MUFF 15 – EVOLVE OR DIE

The 15th annual MUFF is being held at The Backlot Studios. MUFF’s wild, wonderful and woolly winter selection of Indy and guerrilla cinema treats, from both local and overseas sources is here in 2014 to delight, enlight, charm and surprise the cinematically adventurous.

Come along and get involved. With the lineup we have prepared, you won’t be dissapointed!

Welcome to MUFF 15 folks!

This year has been a real struggle, juggling my own busy film career and running this festival – but, hey, no rest for the wicked, right?
First, I’m here to spread the good news! The Rebel Film Festival par excellence The Melbourne Underground Film Festival is back. Sept 12 to 19 at Backlot Cinemas – our great new venue – and future home (we hope!). We are laying on you wild new Indy Cinema – features and shorts – from both here and abroad. We aim to put the Free Spirit back in to the Contemporary Cinema scene. The Theme is Evolve or Die – the Evolution of the New Cinema – out of the Death of Film and the old paradigm – and that’s what we are about. Times are tough but through innovation great things can happen. Though we still LOVE Film, of course, and applaud the efforts of Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and others who protect it’s flame.

But for now -MUFF 15 coming at you

A bit about us: MUFF is an independent film festival running since 2000 that supports Indy, Guerrilla, micro budget, underground and avant garde cinema. It has a nationalist focus on local Australian movies with some overseas material and tries to foster a Second Renaissance in Australian independent cinema – like that of the 1970’s. It applauds genre, transgressive and aggressive genre film making, embracing controversy and flying in the face of Political Correctness at times.

We have a great selection of films that speaks for itself. From Chris Mitchell’s wonderful Start Options Exit on Opening Night through to Stuart Simpson’s confronting and innovative Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla on Closing Night. With over 50 other films in between. So get in to it!

Best Regards,

Richard Wolstencroft
MUFF Festival Director

P.S. The MUFF Retrospectives of cult and genre cinema of the past – that we normally program – will happen at Earthcore 2014 at a Special Outdoor Cinema from Nov 27 to Dec 1 – therefor happening outside the body of the main festival. We have a truly mad, mind bending and wild selection of cinema we’re arranging – incl past MUFF hits from our whole 15 years. The Earthcore/MUFF Special Event Program will be on the MUFF website soon – and will be a must see movie marathon and great addition to this years Earthcore Event.

Directors: Chris Mitchell & Yoav Lester – 7pm – 12th
Writers: Chris Mitchell, Yoav Lester & Ari Neville

Cast: Yoav Lester, Ari Neville, Kristen Condon, Tottie Goldsmith, Chopper Read, Ron Jeremy, Franco Cozzo

Yolis & Neville are two terminal groover twenty-somethings who dress like they’re straight out of East Brunswick but sound like they were born on the other side of the river. In a constant state of argument and banter they accidentally on purpose begin to wage a private war of largely verbal anarchy on everyone they encounter as they prowl the inner city in search of drugs, sex, deification and any other stimulant they can scam with minimal effort. Basically they don’t give a fuck but you will as they stumble, sprint and collapse from one hilarious episode to the next all the while falling way out of synch with everything and everybody but most of all detaching themselves from each of their own senses of personal self.

Framed by two sub-teenage kids hooked on watching a clunky early model video game that firstly delivers the ultimate nihilist message before becoming a recurring device throughout (and into which the two main characters are later cleverly inserted), Start Option Exit was apparently designed as a web series but is presented at MUFF 2015 in one continuous 75 minute slab of deliriously comedic drama. The end product moves along at speed jet propelled by a seriously diverse but united cast who give the entire project a palpable sense of encircling doom and credible debauchery. From Kristen Condon’s “Annoying Girl” receiving her comeuppance but still continuing to yap, to the couple arguing about Tom Petty’s anus, or the discussion between Ron Jeremy and the two leads at a urinal about his appendage, Start Option Exit presents itself as A-grade underground entertainment. The directors Chris (From Meth To Madness) Mitchell & Yoav Lester (who plays Yolis) deserve extra kudos and your close attention for putting this unwieldy beast together with such cohesion and impact. And despite being necessarily Melbourne-centric Start Option Exit is the sort of film that should be seen by and wherever hipsters gather. See it first at MUFF 2015.

Director: Stuart Simpson – 9pm – 20th

Cast: Glenn Maynard, Kyrie Capri, Louise Bremner, Kristen Condon

With Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla we’re talking about ice cream but not as in the same substance that will melt in your hand and give you a briefly sticky feeling. Instead, on his third & absolute best next to no-budget feature, local filmmaker Stuart Simpson and his creative cohorts have whipped up a film that is akin to ice cream in that it will melt but only into your mind and then lodge itself there permanently as it delivers one long term ice cream-like headache, i.e, you’re going to remember this one, sometimes painfully whether it comes from laughing too much or just from it’s hard slap of reality.

By turns funny, sad, awkward and shocking, Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla is served up on a dramatically real and expertly mixed base provided by talented scriptwriter Addison Heath that documents the travails of downwardly mobile loner ice cream salesman Warren Thompson (played with supreme skill by Glenn Maynard) as the demands of a crushingly complex world come to a loud grinding halt in his head. Warren is a fragile soul who gets taken down by many things including his cat, bogans masquerading as customers, and most of all his obsession with soapie star Katey George (Kyrie Capri from El Monstro Del Mar). It’s all set against the alarmingly decayed world of Melbourne’s western suburbs with a score provided by busy Tasmanian Heath Brown and has Neil Foley cameo on through in a real acting stretch as a pervert. Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla might not ever be the health food of a nation but it’s the perfect dessert to finish up MUFF 2015. Don’t be afraid to gulp down Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla it will only give you metaphoric reflux and a good time.

The Suicide Theory

Dru Brown – Brisbane, Australia – 98 Min / Wed 17th – 17th 7pm

Percival, a young gay man becomes desperately suicidal after the love of his life is murdered in cold blood. After many unsuccesful attempts at taking his own life, Percival begins to believe he is cursed. After the hit-and-run death of his wife Annie, hired hitman Steven Ray’s already violent and unpredictable behaviour has become uncontrollable. Drawn together by bizarre coincidence, an unlikely friendship builds between the suicidal Percival and the killer he hires to “finish the job”. Though at times humorous, The Suicide Theory is raw and confronting, placing sexuality, death and prejudice at the forefront of this tragic tale of loss, fear and redemption.

The Dead Speak Back (Adelaide, Australia)

Jason Sweeney – Adelaide, Australia – 78 Min – 14th 7pm

A woman grieves for her young son. Meanwhile, a deceased young man wants to be found – and heard. A evocative surreal movie reminding one of the dark dreamscapes of David Lynch, Jason Sweeney’s debut feature “The Dead Speak Back” dives into the dark spheres of death, grief, and child abuse. Told almost entirely by the visceral performance of actress Caroline Daish and haunting monologues of the dead, this film is an unexpected highlight from Adelaide.

Il Rosa Nudo / The Naked Rose

Giovanni Coda – Italy – 70 Min – 19th 7pm

Il Rosa Nudo (The Naked Rose) tells the often forgotten tale of the GLBT victims of hate and discrimination in Nazi Germany. Branded as sexual deviants and sent to the camps, victims of the so-called “Homocaust” were incarcerated, tortured, and killed in concentration camps alongside Jews, Roma, clergy, and political activists of all stripes. Accompanied by visual metaphors and dreamlike images, this heart-wrenching yet poetic biopic expresses one man’s anguish over the death of his partner and his own suffering at the hands of those who despised him. In Italian with English subtitles.

The Venue for the End of the World

Aiden Prewett – Melbourne, Australia and USA – 95 Min – 14th 9pm

This documentary describes the very personal voyage of a young filmmaker who travels the world interviewing well-known band members and concert organisers in order to understand the link between Nazi Germany and the modern entertainment industry through the power of charisma and group mind.

Another

Jason Bognacki – United States – 80 Min – 19th 5pm

America’s Jason Bognacki presents a powerful and bone chilling homage to the Italian giallo horror movies of the 1970s with his 2014 offering, “Another”. Upon coming of age, young Jordyn (Paulie Rojas) is pulled into a darkly seductive world of witchcraft, possession and wicked indulgence. Balancing on the fine line between insanity and truth, Jordyn discovers that her blood holds the key to a long lineage of evil. Lined with dreamlike cinematography and glorious set pieces, this movie will possess you long after you leave the theatre.

An Evening with Chopper Read

Mark Bakaitis Starring- Mark “Chopper” Read and John Mangos Melbourne, Australia – 80 Min – 18th 9pm

One of Australia’s most notorious criminals, died on October 16, 2013. Weeks earlier, on stage at the Athenaeum Theatre, Chopper revealed all about his life and his crimes and ultimate redemption.

How to Time Travel

Samuel Sheffield – Melbourne, Australia – 91 Min – 17th 9pm

How to Time Travel is true science fiction of the internet age and a must-see for all genre film aficionados. Two losers develop a time travel device in response to a spurned marriage proposal that results in a power struggle that reverberates through space and time. Engaging actors meet a dark and convoluted plot in this Melbourne made sci-fi dramedy.