• screen

18 February 2022

Victoria’s screen industry is booming with the introduction of Australia’s largest film festival prize at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).

Already the Southern Hemisphere’s largest and longest-running film festival, Melbourne International Film Festival’s new competition seeks to attract more major titles, global profile and leading filmmakers to Melbourne in August with its $140,000 award for Best Film.

Film Victoria is supporting the launch of the competition in celebration of the landmark 70th anniversary of MIFF.

An official selection of up to 10 feature films that have their Australian premiere at the festival will compete for the Best Film Award, with a jury of prominent Australian and international filmmakers and industry professionals deciding the winner. Additional awards will include a new Australian Innovation Prize and the return of the festival’s Audience Award.

The new competition crowns a suite of Government-supported initiatives across the festival, including the talent development Accelerator Lab, a commissioning fund and a screen content financing market.

MIFF is one of the few film festivals in the world to feature such a broad offering of industry and public activity, putting it alongside festivals such as the Berlin’s International Film Festival – Berlinale.

The awards will be presented at a reshaped MIFF Closing Night Awards Ceremony on 20 August.

The MIFF Award for Best Film is being supported as part of the Victorian Government's $191.5 million VICSCREEN strategy which is investing in talent, skills, businesses, productions and events to grow the state’s screen industry.

Activity in the Victorian film industry is at record levels, with more than $391 million channelled into production expenditure in 2020-21.