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!
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 – 9pm – 10:15pm – 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 – 19th
Writer: Addison Heath
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.
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.
110 mins – 7pm – 13th
UN-SEEN – Kate Staples – AUS – 2min
It explores the emotion you feel in that moment, the darkness and sadness as it sweeps over you before it subsides.
REMNANTS – Andrew Jankovic – AUS – 3min
Portraying this possible future in a shocking and sinister tone demonstrates what could be, and further highlights the inner evils of man.
Digital Scratching – Harrison Burr – AUS – 3min
Digital Scratching is an experimental film using real corrupted video and audio elements
First Instance – Matt Bissett-Johnson – AUS 4min
Against the Tyrant Kortezula, the only hope of the twin cities lies on the Ra Gliders Feeble Wings.
Help – Samantha Ferguson – AUS – 2min
Help is about mental illness. About anxiety. It is an attempt to express through film what I never seem to be able to explain to people verbally.
Holiday – Tony Lawrence – AUS 7min
A beautiful girl sees beyond her reflection in the mirror. This film was shot on Black and White Super8 film, then projected through a home made refraction chamber where wave effects and a colored dye were added. A journey to her subconscious, overwhelmed by physiological forces.
Under the Surface – Gemma Rossetti – AUS – 1min
The young man explains through narration how mental illness often goes completely unnoticed in daily life, but the effects on the individual are far greater.
Inadvertent – Kristina Kraskov – AUS – 2min
An experimental and visual journey of someone trying find themselves.
214 – Matthew Victor Pastor – AUS 3min
Filmed as part of the VCA clickers film competition, written, filmed and edited in the 3 hour time limit comes a story about a sex addicted, narcissistic film director.
color – Russell Wyatt Roberts – AUS – 5min
The perception of humanities existence and the magnitude of this worlds beauty stems from ones view of their existence.
Time of Death – Haili Luxa Idak – 5min
A journey following Leigh, A man who is not ready to die.
Fight Evil – William Jones – AUS 6min
Bennett and Weaver battle the forces of darkness in a town plagued by supernatural evil.
Umbra – Bryn Tilly – AUS/New Zealand – 6min
A Mortal is seduced by a Vampire and transmogrified into an Immortal, her final hours engulfed in a tenebrous fever dream as she slips across the boundaries of Life and Death.
113 mins – 9pm – 13th
Marsupials – Nathan Armstrong – AUS 3min
A group of tourists encounter killer koalas in the outback.
Message Delay – Doug Turner & Chris Wells AUS 3min
A group of girls take a camping trip to forget about boys.
Six Bloodstained Shadows – Hussein Khoder – AUS 2min
A woman takes refuge in a warehouse after being chased by a killer.
Meat – Tim Giessauf & Hussein Khoder – AUS – 3min
This family has a hunger no other family has.
Misc. – Jordan Whippell – AUS – 3min
A son and his mother enjoy a horror movie together.
Beware the Mummified Mother Fucker – Peter Murfet – UK 3min
A woman is saved from being mugged by a unlikely hero.
Dueling Darlings – LM Harter – TX, USA 4min
The Dueling Darlings are a performance couple who settle their problems in the tightrope.
The Little Missus – Adam Beal – Canada 3min
A woman decides to punish her cheating husband.
Maisie – Ray Sullivan – Ireland 3min
A man comes home to find that his wife has been killed.
Mother – Corey Norman – ME, USA 4mins
A mother and daughter enjoy a bedtime story together.
Melodious – Félix Catala – France 3min
A man creates his newest melody using a woman.
Movie Night Maniac – Shelly & Michael Doss – CO, USA 3min
Two friends enjoy a horror movie together only to realize its more real than they thought.
Teddy – Thom Newell – CA, USA 3min
A boyfriend tries to take back a teddy he gave to his girlfriend.
Skom – Christophe Deroo – France 7min
Two kids try and stop an evil janitors evil monster.
The Muck – Tony Wash – IL, USA 6min
A woman comes home and enjoys a relaxing bath.
Maid of Horror – Caitlin Koller – AUS – 18min
This is the blood-soaked story of Story of Emma, An overlooked Maid of Honour who would kill to get her fairy-tale ending
Deflection – Brett Conyers – AUS 22min
There is an ancient and strange mirror chained in the garage . Once uncovered the dangerous occurrences begin.
Delta Force Hardkill – Hussein Khoder – AUS 25mins
The guys the authorities call on when they fail to crack a case.
109 MINS – 9pm – 15th
The Meat Cycle – Joseph Christiana – USA 12min
A man is forced by the woman he loves to murder his meat puppets.
Dark Outside – Amanda Jermyn – AUS 11min
A dark comedy about love, forgiveness and revenge. After punishing her husband for years of mistreatment, Christy calls on her sister for support. The situation becomes both perilous and absurd, threatening to destroy their relationship.
The Big Shift – Kristopher Tweedie – USA 14min
Max Hensucker, the world’s greatest detective, must transform from noir detective to western cowboy in order to solve the one case he cannot crack.
Trash – Ryan O’Donnell – AUS – 11min
Three trash bags. Two brothers. One epic quest.
Im a degenerate – Aleksander Tranberg – AUS – 17min
Chris picks up his sister from school on the same day Ronnie, the king of Long Bay Prison, seeks retribution on Chris for injecting his nephew with drugs.
Life – Jonathan Adams – AUS – 9min
One man’s epic struggle to have his toast just the way he likes it.
Ignition – Dylan Harris – AUS – 14min
Jake is awoken in the middle of the night to his 1970 Volkswagen Kombi “Betsy” being hotwired and stolen. With no time to spare, Jake and his roommate Ben go on wild goose chase around Brisbane. With Jake only in his underwear and socks, Ben in colourful pajamas, the night has only just begun…
No Cigar – Peter De Verus – New Zealand – 14min
Two years have past since Teddy “The Cigar” turned his back on the underworld, focusing instead on his daughter, the only family he has left. “Max”, his daughter’s fiancé, reveals he has a hidden past that involves a debt and a vendetta
Stop Leak – Dan White – AUS – 7min
Willy always knew that Sunday’s lunch with his girlfriend Chloe and her parents Mr and Mrs Pegg was going to be a little awkward, but nothing could have prepared him for this.
Neon Spread – Tony Lawrence – AUS 4min
Put together from found 16mm negative film strip. The images found on this film were quite a surprise! An erotic vision of a retro future.
Fade Away – Steve Trevaskis – AUS – 13min
When a work experiment traps Garcia in a state of limbo, he finally has all the time in the world to spend with his wife Dani, but she can’t see him anymore.
Olivia – Tony Lawrence – AUS 6min
In a dream a girl tries to move beyond physical limitations. Shot on B&W Super8 film.
Sex Boss – Jackson Stewart – USA 6min
A group of interns vie for a high-paying job under a psychotic employer who knows no boundaries.
Meter – Christopher Kay – AUS 7min
Three dull criminals are all about breaking the law when they plan to rob a bank but when a parking space becomes a problem, they discover that sometime it pays to follow the rules.
El Bostan El Saeed Street – Maysoon El-Massry – Egypt – 15min
Saied, the seventy-year-old man, goes back to the street, where he spent his childhood. He searches for everything that used to exist there in the past, the girl he was in love with and his memories
96 MINS – 7pm – 16th
Little Lamb – Heidi Douglas – AUS – 23min
1829. Louisa is a convict trapped in the living hell of a British prison in faraway Van Diemen’s Land. She ignores warnings from her prison mate and places her hopes for freedom in becoming the servant of the mysterious Mr Black. On his remote farm, Louisa befriends an orphaned lamb as she adjusts to her new position. Now at the mercy of her new master, she must obey his wishes despite her reservations or face the grim truths hidden in the darkness.
Manny Gets Censored – Graeme Robertson – AUS – 8min
Manny wakes up to find his life has been censored by the film classification board. Angry, bemused and now rated G, Manny tries to adjust to his confusing new life while to trying to fix his broken heart.
Undo – Thushy Sathi – AUS – 10min
Michael is rescued from a violent late night mugging by his best friend Troy. As Michael and Troy try to get away from the gunman it becomes clear that Troy is the mastermind behind the attempted murder.
In the Dark – Najib Melky – AUS – 9min
Think Buried with Ryan Reynolds meets Paranormal Activity
Last Call – Camille Delamarre – France – 13min
A man standing on a mine makes his final call.
the day she commits suicide – Yuichi Suita – Japan – 8min
Today is gonna be a good day. Because, today is ideal day to suicide. She wants to commits suicide. But she brushes her teeth, washes her clothes, and eats something same as usual…
Freak – Josh Cockfield – AUS – 9min
Freak is a magical realism film about Misty, a teenage girl headed down a lonely path when she has a life-changing encounter with the huge, hairy, figure of folk-lore, Bigfoot.
Mr. Lamb – Jean Pesce USA 15min
Mr. Lamb is a dark comedy about a lonely waitress who is in love with her penpal, the convicted murderer – Charles Lamb
Bellerophon – Tarun Hansen AUS 10min
A police officer investigates a writer who claims that his dreams are making his fictional crime stories come true.
122 MINS – 9pm – 16th
Vibraciones (Vibes) – Guis Brothers – Spain – 12min
An erotic gift begins the war of a classic couple.
NUIT / BETON (CONCRETE / NIGHT) – Noe Weil – France 19min
Simon, a drug dealer, is kidnapped by his supplier. Under a psychological torture, he ends up admitting why he his late with his payment: the story behind seems to be even more intense and personal…
Zero – Chris Smellin & Robert Smellin – AUS 15min
A young mother must face the hardest choice, she must let go of her only son..
Womb – David Ward – AUS – 9min
An expecting mother, deeply troubled by and afraid of her unborn child, struggles to maintain her sanity and motherly instincts amidst a mess of medical imposition and mechanical oppression.
I’ll be home soon James Everett – UK – 15min
A young man is suddenly held captive by his own family but it is unclear as to who he is trying to escape from.
The Mane Man – Nic Barker – AUS 25min
Unconventional spin doctors Percy and Mr Black are called in to help a politician solve a unique problem.
Home Invasion – Trevor Smith – AUS 12min
An intense and claustrophobic drama about aggravated burglary on an occupied residence.
Cut down the puppet strings – Joshua Belinfante – AUS 15min
An astronomer struggling with the loss of her husband and daughter becomes tormented by her past and troubled by a harrowing discovery.