MIFF merges the past with the future in 70th anniversary trailer via Guilty + Thought Police

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This year, the Melbourne International Film Festival celebrates 70 years of cultural significance since its early beginning at the first Olinda Film Festival in 1952. How do you sum up the 70-year cultural legacy of MIFF, Australia’s most important film festival in a humble trailer?


In their third year of collaboration, Guilty director Michael J Lutman, executive producer Jason Byrne and creative director Ben Keenan of Thought Police worked with the MIFF team to connect the past with the future.

Blending the voice of a news presenter at the original festival with a modern representation of MIFF today, the creative team captures the ever-present love of cinema in Melbourne from both then and now.

Says Ben Keenan, writer/creative director, Thought Police: “In researching, we found snippets of an old newsreel with a booming, pompy voiceover covering the original Olinda Film Festival event in 1952. This festival was the first of its kind, the voice of the establishment observing the peculiarities of these curious film buffs coming together for the first time. This audio relic illustrates that, although the times have changed drastically, the Olinda Film Festival audience in 1952, and the MIFF audience of today, are the same kinds of people.”

Says director Michael J. Lutman: “Using this raw 1952 newsreel audio as our base, we captured a wild array of scenes – from chilly laneway cinema hops, to backyard bush theatres – where the modern MIFF audience mouthed the old news reader’s statements, making them their own. The trailer showcases the fact that the humble origins of the Olinda Film Festival is powered by the same people and same love of cinema that’s still strong 70 years on.”

Says Jason Byrne, EP: “After two years of pivoting in and out of lockdowns, it’s exciting to see that MIFF is back to celebrate its immense 70th year. Having the chance to make a trailer that celebrates our city’s long history of loving cinema was such an honour, and only made possible via the talents of ambassadors, collaborators and the rest of the incredible MIFF team.”

MIFF 70 commences from August 4th to 21st at

Client – Melbourne International Film Festival
Artistic Director – Al Cossar
General Manager – Victoria Pope
Head of Marketing & Communication – Claire La Greca

Writer/Creative Director – Ben Keenan, Thought Police

Production Company – Guilty
Director – Michael J. Lutman
Producer – Jason Byrne
Production Managers – Caitlin Devos, Jake Coombes
Production Coordinators – Jessica Hutchinson, Jess Trewin
Director of Photography – Aaron Farrugia
Casting – 2Divas, Maria Efthymiopoulos, Zoe Maye

Editor – Billy Browne
Colourist – Ted Deacey
Online – Dane Scotcher, Jon Holmes

Sound: Electric Dreams
Sound Engineer: Mark Mitchell
Producers: Leyla Varela, Hannah Crofts