ACMI Isolation Guide: Where to find film online

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Missing the movies? We hear you fellow cinephiles and we have a solution. While it's not the same as the real thing, our mixed lolly bag of film online will bring you that little bit of film community you've been missing. It includes everything from festivals to podcasts to grindhouse watch parties. Time to dim the lights and press play.

MIFF 68½  

6–23 August 2020

MIFF has gone online this year. Dubbed MIFF 68½, we have no doubt this virtual festival will be streaming on many a cinephile's screen. Their curated program will include approximately 40 features, including films planned for the festival’s intended 2020 edition, as well as shorts, works from emerging talent, MIFF talks, critics campus and virtual adaptations of their social events. The full program will be announced on 14 July. Are you excited? We're excited.  

Program and tickets 

Still from 'After the Apology' (2017)

Black Lives Matter

One way to become a better ally is to educate yourself instead of asking a person of colour to explain things to you. Read, google, watch, listen and show your friends. Film can help you study the complexities of racism and the many ways it manifests within our society. Deep dive with these watch suggestions. Try these documentaries now available on Docplay. SBS on Demand has a selection of programs that challenge prejudice and injustice. Screen Australia has pulled together this spotlight on Indigenous Australian voices. Netflix's Black Lives Matter page highlights media about the Black experience. Take the time to explore these with intention.

Still from Girl, Interpreted (2019-2020)

Melbourne WebFest

4–6 Sep 2020

Melbourne WebFest screens emerging artists, early-mid career artists and established screen producers in biggest celebration of web series' in Australia. The three day internet extravaganza promotes accessible content and creates opportunities for artists to showcase their work and grow creatively and commercially. Catch popular international web series like Girl, Interpreted (2019-2020), Adulting (2016-2018) and How to Buy a Baby (2017) plus much more. 

Program and tickets

New York, New York (2020) 

Spike Lee recently dropped New York, New York on Instagram. Described by Lee as a love letter to the city and its people, the film takes us through the eerily empty streets of NYC before transitioning to sobering scenes of frontline workers – the heroes of this moment. The soundtrack to the entire film is Frank Sinatra’s iconic Big Apple anthem 'New York, New York'. Both heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measures, this short packs a punch.   

Watch on Instagram  

Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo

Kermode and Mayo's Film Review 

Cinemas may be closed but that hasn’t stopped film reviewing duo Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo. Reviewing together on the BBC since the 90s, their film references and in-jokes are so dense that the show literally has its own glossary of terms, code of conduct and fan-made app so you can locate other members of the "Church".

The epic two-plus hour length makes this the perfect podcast to geek out to while you clean the house or work on that puzzle. While new releases have largely dried up, Kermode and Mayo are serving recommendations on what to watch while in isolation as well as quirky top ten movie lists. For the initiated among us, remember: everything is going to be alright and say "hello" Jason Isaacs.         

Download the podcast  

David Stratton's Stories Of Australian Cinema (2017) 

The grandfather of Australian film criticism, David Stratton, hosts this three-part series celebrating our cinematic icons. A must for anyone craving a trip down memory lane or a guide to Australian Cinema 101. Stratton, together with a solid gold line-up of Aussie film talent, talks viewers through films including the devilish fever-dream Wake in Fright, the scorched-noir thriller Mystery Road and My Brilliant Career  staring Judy Davis at the beginning of her own brilliant career alongside the darling of isolation Instagram, Sam Neill.    

Watch on iView 

Spectacle TV 

Spectacle Theater is a volunteer-run micro cinema in Brooklyn NYC that screens experimental and generally under-appreciated films. During lockdown they’re streaming their deep cuts and rare edits on Twitch under the name Spectacle TV. Films range from Automobilux, an experimental work that visualises the passage of time while travelling (remember travelling?), to the infamous “video nastyNight of the Demon about an anthropologist and a band of his students who endeavor to find Bigfoot in California. While many of the films in Spectacle TV’s program can be found floating around on the internet already, what you can’t find is the sense of community that comes from joining your fellow film nerds for these weird and wonderful Twitch watch parties.   

Films screen seven days a week on New York time, which is still relatively friendly for viewers in Australia. Check the time conversion to ensure you don’t miss out. 

Watch on Twitch  

Short of the Week  

Short of the Week has existed on YouTube for a while. This channel hosts some of the best short films going around, everything from emerging talent through to Academy Award winners. As the name suggests, they feature new short films every week so you’ll never run out of fresh content. They’ve got shorts in every category and genre you can imagine. Animation, horror, comedy, docos – pick your fighter.

Watch on YouTube 

Ghibli Museum virtual tour  

Like most museums across the globe, the Ghibli Museum is currently closed. But even if you could travel to Japan to worship at the shrine of Ghibli, tickets are limited and entry isn’t always guaranteed. Fans rejoice! One of the few silver linings of the situation we all find ourselves in is that now we have access, albeit virtual, to this magical museum via their YouTube channel. A glimpse inside this iconic institution reveals treasures galore and all from the comfort of your own couch.  

Take a virtual tour  

Remains to be Streamed

Presented by Los Angeles-based curator and film preservationist Mark Toscano, Remains to be Streamed is a Instagram Live series where Toscano shares archival, experimental films. ACMI's Director of Film, Kristy Matheson, says it's the closest thing she's had to a cinema experience since lockdown began. 

Watch on Instagram

Another Gaze 

If you’re looking for inspiration, feminist film journal Another Gaze is an excellent place to start. We recommend their interview series 'Portrait Of A Filmmaker', which features interviews in print and video with women filmmakers from around the world. From experimental works to features, makers dive into specific projects  as well as broader bodies of work. We also highly recommend having a wonder through their essays, available for free on their website. Their recent article on film after Agnès Varda is a great entry point.   

Read and watch on their website


Looking for more to watch? Let us guide you through this period of solitude with home-viewing options for every lockdown mood in our ACMI Isolation Guides.