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Your MIFF 2023 watchlist sorted

Film & TV  7 Aug 2023

Shayda: Leah Purcell, Zar Amir Ebrahimi, Eve Morey and Jillian Nguyen. Photo: Jane Zhang 

The Melbourne International Film Festival’s (MIFF) 71st edition boasts some of the most anticipated films of the year. With more than 275 films from over 70 countries, there are so many cinematic discoveries to be made. 

We’ve pulled together a list of VicScreen supported films that we’ll be adding to our watch list this year. 


Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story: Ed Sheeran and Michael Gudinski. Photo: Brian Purnell 

Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story 

Written by Bethany Jones, Paul Goldman and Sara Edwards, Directed by Paul Goldman 

Ego: The Michael Gudinski Story is the rollicking account of how Gudinski and his Melbourne-founded record label, Mushroom Group, revolutionised the Australian music and culture scene. Dive headfirst into Gudinski’s rock’n’roll life over 50 years in the Australian music industry, with personal accounts from Gudinski himself, exclusive interviews with some of the world’s most influential artists, rare archival footage, and an electrifying soundtrack. 


Shayda: Zar Amir Ebrahimi. Photo: Jane Zhang 


Written and Directed by Noora Niasari 

A MIFF Premiere Fund-supported film with Cannes Best Actress winner Amir-Ebrahimi Amir, Shayda is about a brave Iranian mother who finds refuge in an Australian women’s shelter with her six-year-old daughter. Over Persian New Year, they take solace in Nowruz rituals and new beginnings, but when her estranged husband re-enters their lives, Shayda’s path to freedom is jeopardised. 


Late Night with the Devil: David Dastmalchian. Photo: Future Pictures

Late Night with the Devil  

Written and Directed by Cameron Cairnes and Colin Cairnes 

Stephen King, applauded Late Night with the Devil following its SXSW premiere: “It’s absolutely brilliant, I couldn’t take my eyes off it.” Jack Delroy is a late-night talk show host craving to be the next Johnny Carson. On the one-year anniversary of his wife’s death he returns to the airwaves with guests including a clairvoyant, a parapsychologist, and the lone survivor of a satanic cult. Unbeknown to Jack, the trio is joined by a supernatural force seeking to haunt him until a climax so diabolical it would no doubt top the primetime charts. 


The Rooster: Phoenix Raei and Hugo Weaving. Photo: Sarah Enticknap 

The Rooster 

Written and Directed by Mark Leonard Winter 

Supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund, Hugo Weaving and Phoenix Raei play a hermit and a cop who form an unlikely connection. The Rooster is a delicate, at times droll, dramatisation of masculinity, mental health and the solace found in companionship. 


Australia’s Open. Photo: MIFF 

Australia’s Open 

Written by Chelsea Watego, George Megalogenis and Directed by Ili Baré 

Through footage from some of the Australian Open’s most legendary games, interviews with sports journalists, industry figures and players old and new, Australia's Open explores sport’s relationship with patriotic pride, athletes’ duality as heroes and humans, and the controversies courted by this million-dollar business.  


This Is Going to Be Big. Photo: MIFF 

This Is Going to Be Big 

Directed by Thomas Charles Hyland 

This Is Going to be Big follows a cast of neurodivergent teens, their families and school staff as they weather the highs and lows leading up to the moment they hit the stage in a John Farnham-themed musical. This Is Going to Be Big is the first MIFF Premiere Fund film to be awarded Bus Stop Films’ ‘Inclusively Made’ certification, in recognition of authentic representation and inclusive filmmaking processes.


Voices in Deep. Photo: MIFF 

Voices in Deep 

Written by Alkinos Tsilimidos and Jason Raftopoulos, Directed by Jason Raftopoulos 

In Athens, after the devastating 2015 refugee crisis and the death of their parents, Tarek and Zaeed fend for themselves on the street in a bid for shelter and food. Tarek accepts exploitative sex work and Zaeed takes desperate, risky measures to change their circumstances. Voices in Deep is an astute and touching examination of statelessness, trauma and time 


The Melbourne International Film Festival takes place over cinemas across Melbourne from 3-20 August and 18-27 August online. For tickets and more information, head to