Melbourne Film Festival Announces $200,000 Prize Fund
The upcoming edition of the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has revealed plans to bestow over $200,000 (A$300,000) in cash prizes and has unveiled the nominees for its inaugural First Nations Film Creative Award. By: Yan Yun
The prize pool, spanning across six award categories, is now one of the most lucrative on the film festival circuit. Among the six categories, the Bright Horizons Competition, catering to first and second-time directors, will receive nearly half of the funds, with the winning filmmakers standing the chance to win $95,300 (A$140,000). Those competing for this year’s prize were announced sometime earlier this month.
The festival, scheduled from 3rd to August 20th, has introduced two new competition awards to its 71st edition: the inaugural First Nations Film Creative Award and the return of the Blackmagic Design Australian Innovation Award. The latter aims to spotlight an outstanding Australian creative within a film in the MIFF 2023 program and comes with an award worth $47,500 (A$70,000). Meanwhile, the newly added First Nations Film Creative Award seeks to support and highlight First Nations talent and storytelling. The award includes a $20,000 cash prize and an additional $25,000 worth of financial services in collaboration with Australian financial services firm Kearney Group.
The contenders are drawn from across all film creative departments and the nominees comprise John Harvey, director of Katele (Mudskipper); Lelarnie Hatfield-Yasso, Aunty Nicky Hatfield and Margaret Hornagold, the screenwriters of Generations Of Men; Derik Lynch and Matthew Thorne, co-directors of Marungka Tjalatjunu (Dipped In Black); Adrian Russell Wills and Gillian Moody, co-directors of Kindred; Tyson Mowarin and Mark Coles Smith, the director and featured subject respectively of Keeping Hope; and Douglas Watkin, director of Rebel With A Cause: Neville Bonner.
This year’s MIFF Awards will take place on August 19. As previously announced, the festival will open with Australian-Iranian director Noora Niasari’s Shayda. MIFF Play, the festival’s online streaming platform launched during the pandemic, will be available nationwide from August 18 to 27.