Festival Director’s Statement
MUFF 18 is here and it’s great bumper festival of mischief and mayhem from Australia’s wildest and most notorious Indy film event. We have a record number crop of New Australian and Overseas Shorts and Features including new work from Lisa Enos (Ivan’s XTC, Snuff Movie, Mr. Nice), Jeremy De Ceglie (Jugular), Steven Williams and Nick Barker. We have mined a new wave of American Horror with In Furs, The Super and Crackbaby Billionaire. Seamus Ryan has excelled himself (with Amy Antcliffe) to produce a wild selection of shorts across six sessions and, as before, SOME features will curl the hair, feed the eye balls, and stimulate the mind.
The Theme this year is The Golden Age of Censorship. David Thrussell and I came up with it whilst whittling away on some wood at his country compound. We realised we were living in a scary new 1984 type world of censorship that was being insidiously brought into existence by the very people who process to love free speech and individuality. Two films in particular, The Red Pill and Vaxxed, no other festival in Australia had the guts to let you see – but we will! Check our FB CLOSER to the event when SECRET venue will be revealed to stop/slow protests and wowsers who would silence Free Expression.
I would also like to Welcome Festival Patron Frank Howson – long time friend of MUFF who has often delivered a reading or poem to open and close the festival in years past – to the festival. He and I will be playing some work proving that MUFF is run and patronised by active and dynamic filmmakers who are not decaying sitting behind desks but are still in the saddle with their boots on. We will continue to display and discuss our own work in Q&A’s alongside every other independent and maverick filmmaker we support and platform here at MUFF.
Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City, I Robot and Gods of Egypt) is also OUR very special guest giving a Masterclass on his views on past and contemporary cinema plus his advice for young and contemporary filmmakers. So as you can see it’s a FULL slate – so MUFF 18 will bare its teeth, sharper than ever, and Viva Free Speech, Viva The New Cinema and Viva The Revolution!
It is indeed an honour to be Patron of a festival that is celebrating its 18th year, let alone one that celebrates the independent spirit of young and not so young film-makers from all over the world. Over its time, this festival has discovered quite a few movie mavericks who were shunned by other festivals and who have, given MUFF’s spotlight, gone onto become important international success stories. To my mind, that confirms the great value and irreplaceable necessity of this festival above all others. This is a bandwagon jumping industry. No secret about that. Everyone is eager to jump onboard once your bandwagon looks like it’s up and running. But this festival goes out of its way to help you build that bandwagon from scratch. It gives you the platform, the theatre and the audience to test what you have; and in this cut-throat and self-serving industry that can be a very big boost onwards and upwards.
It is a nice heart-warming irony that I gave a very young Richard Wolstencroft his first chance to direct a professional 35MM film, and now here he is passing on opportunities by giving other young moviemakers their first shot to have their talents seen by an audience of their peers, as well as other veteran film practitioners. Hopefully some of the young film-makers who get a lucky break from this festival will go onto have great success and will one day remember to pay it forward by encouraging and enabling the next generation of creatives to get started. The industry desperately needs that selfless encouragement in order to grow into a healthy reflection of the very best in us.
To all you directors, writers, producers, actors, cinematographers, crew members – I salute your persistence, faith, bravery, and talent. Don’t take no for an answer, endure, and grow stronger.