melbourne international animation festival 2003

Promising 6 days of the best of Australian and international animation the third annual Melbourne International Animation Festival (MIAF 2003) kicks off on June 24 and runs until June 29. All sessions will screen at the festival's new home, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square utilising ACMI's state-of the art cinemas and the latest film and digital technology.
stills from miaf films
1 Home Road Movies, Robert Bradbook 2 No Words, Trollback Films 3 Home Road Movies, Robert Bradbook 4 Still Life With Animated Dogs, Paul Fierlinger

Program highlights include:

six competitive screenings

Featuring 95 films from24 countries these screenings will showcase the world's best and latest animation carefully selected to highlight the diversity of the medium. This will also include all 2003 Academy Award nominated films, including the winning film The Chubb Chubbs.

betty boop

Iconographic and celebrated in an exuberant dance tune in the early 1990s, Betty Boop was the creation of Max andDave Fleisher, arch enemies of the Disney aesthetic. Created in the pre-Code era the cartoons are violent, sexy, wild and jazzy, celebrating Betty Boop in all her sassy glory. The cartoons after 1935 reflect the impact of the 'Hay's Act' to clean up the media, and see a reformed Betty abandoning her shockingly short skirts and swapping her nightclub role for that of a teacher, housewife or secretary. Betty's still enormous fun but much more tame. Both eras are represented in the screenings.

art and animation

The 'anima' in animation means giving soul to artwork and that's exactly what happens in these six short exquisite films which pay homage to some major artists - Klee, Escher, Arcimboldo, Kandinsky, Miro, Picasso, Manet among others. These films allow animators to explore notions of how animation and art collide and collude and are international festival favourites and award-winners.

computer animation panorama

One of the most popular sessions at MIAF, this is a chance to see what filmmakers are doing with the latest technology. Some animators are going more and more hyper realistic, others are playing with simulating different textures, like the graininess and otherworldliness of early Expressionist film, while others are attempting to capture abstract movement. Computers touch virtually all aspects of animation, but this section celebrates films that could not have been made without them.

australian panorama

A section of fresh, diverse local films made in the past two years by Australian filmmakers and artists who are fascinated by the possibilities of animation. Australia boasts a high number of gifted animators, most who earn their money in other fields like games, teaching, web design or advertising. Featuring films with cane-toads, robotic cows, kangaroos, spiders and even a suburban wheelie bin, this selection captures the uniqueness of Australian life through animation.

retrospective: paul driessen

Presented in association with the Melbourne Cinémathèque, these two sessions of films celebrate the work of Academy award nominee, master Dutch animator Paul Driessen. Driessen's films have their own particular logic where time is stretched as if it were elastic. He fragments reality by splitting it in two (The Boy Who Saw the Iceberg) and even eight parallel worlds (The End of the World in Four Seasons). He is obsessed with the medium of film, and the absurdities of its logic. He is one of the most prominent and awarded contemporary animators whose remarkable films fully deserve this retrospective.

Also being screened the same evening: The Yellow Submarine, the Beatles extravaganza.

focus on the czech republic

This screening celebrates the remarkable tradition of animation from the Czech Republic. Czech animation is famous for combining the profane and the magic and for its wry take on things. Another distinct tradition in Czech animation is its exquisite stopmotion, which is still being explored in its film schools with spectacular results.This screening features the best of recent and classic Czech animation including works from Jan Svankmajer and Jiri Trnka.

kids' sessions

Two sessions of films that everyone from three to 93 can enjoy. There will also be opportunities for kids to wriggle and talk about the films.

Session 1 celebrates the sublime AND the ridiculous. It includes a this year's Academy Award winner, The Chubb Chubbs, a new film from the makers of Monsters Inc, Mike's New Car, Loon Dreaming, a film where sound and vision open up the possibilities of the world of birds swooping and diving, and one of the best films of the festival, The Dog who was a Cat Inside.

Session 2 is a multi-award winning kids' feature from the UK, The King's Beard. A traditional 2D cartoon with a well-written script; The King's Beard features adventure, songs, bad tempered fairies, talking mice and magical creatures. It also includes the voice talents of some of Britain's best actors including Jim Broadbent (Gangs of New York, Iris).

my beautiful girl (mari/ mari iyagi)

Lee Sung-Gang
Korea, 2002, 80 mins

Awarded the 2002 Grand Prix winner - best feature - at Annecy animation film festival, the Cannes of the animation world, this sublime and beautiful debut feature from Korea successfully challenges the supremecy of Japanese and American animated features. It's not exactly anime, but its masterful form and content is as fully developed and as stunning as the best of the genre.

Targeted towards adult audiences, this completely computer rendered film deals with themes of loss and yearning, fantasy and survival, love and loneliness. Caught in between childhood and adolescence, Namwoo learns that his only friend is moving away from their seaside village. With a marble found in an old lighthouse, he finds himself transported into an incredible world of light where he meets with Mari. Strangely and wonderfully unsettling and inspiring, a graphic tour de force.

the best of the festival

This closing night screening is a perennial favourite and showcases the highlights of the six-day festival. 

session details

Tuesday 24 June
7pm - Grand Opening - International Program 1
8.45pm - International Program 2

Wednesday 25 June
7pm - The Yellow Submarine
8.35pm Paul Driessen Shorts
9.50pm - Paul Driessen - Inside Out (documentary)

Thursday 26 June
7pm - International Program 3
8.30pm - International Program 4

Friday 27 June
7pm - International Program 5
8.30pm - Computer Animation Program

Saturday 28 June
4pm - Czech Animated Film
5.30pm - Australian Panorama
7pm -  International Program 6
8.30pm - Betty Boop Collection

Sunday 29 June
11am - Kids / Under 18s Shorts - all tickets $5
1pm - Kids Feature - all tickets $5
4pm - Art & Animation
6pm - Feature: My Beautiful Girl - Mari
8pm - Best of the Festival and Closing Night Awards

Monday 30 June
7pm - Best of the Festival repeat

More more details go to the MIAF website at

Dates   Tuesday 24 June - Monday 30 June 2003
Admission   Full $12 Concession $9
Festival Pass: Full $70 Concession $55
    bookings (03) 8663 2583
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