‘Top of the Lake: China Girl’ to make Aussie debut at MIFF

'Top of the Lake: China Girl' will make its Australian debut at MIFF.

The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has unveiled the first 30 films on its line-up ahead of the full program launch in July. 

Among the highlights at this year’s festival, to be held August 3-20, is actually a television series: the Australian premiere of Jane Campion’s series Top of the Lake: China Girl, fresh from Cannes. 

All six episodes of the show, starring Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman, will play in three concurrent two-hour sessions, before the show goes on to air on Foxtel’s BBC First.

Another Aussie highlight will be documentary The Silent Eye, from director Amiel Courtin-Wilson (Hail, Ruin), which follows free jazz pioneer Cecil Taylor and modern dance artist Min Tanaka. 

Many of the Aussie films that are screening at Sydney Film Festival will also head south for MIFF, including a double bill froom Kriv Stenders, The Go-Betweens – Right Here and Australia Day, as well as Jeffrey Walker’s Ali’s Wedding, Jen Peedom’s Mountain and Gregory Erdstein’s That’s Not Me.

From across the ditch will be Kiwi doco Pecking Order (New Zealand), which follows the members of the 148-year-old Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club as they prepare for the National Show. Spookers, from MIFF regular Florian Habicht, will take audiences Auckland’s former psychiatric hospital turned ‘scream park’.

Headlining the international films is Terrence Malick’s Song to Song, a romantic drama that boasts a stellar cast includes Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett. 

Winner of Best Screenplay and Best LGBT Film at Berlin, Sebastián Lelio’s A Fanstastic Woman will also screen, along with Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name.

From the UK is Sally Potter’s black-and-white satire of a post-Brexit England, The Party, with an ensemble headed by Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson and Timothy Spall.

Another British film on the line-up is Francis Lee's feature debut God’s Own Country, which picked up the Teddy Jury Award at Berlin and the World CInema Dramatic Best Director Award at Sundance.

Other highlights include the Australian premiere of Alex Ross Perry’s Golden Exits, which stars Emily Browing and Chloë Sevigny; the Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro from Raoul Peck, James Gray’s The Lost City of Z, starring Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson; and Peter Mackie Burns’ Daphne.  

MIFF will also showcase shorts from the festival circuit including this year’s Cannes Film Festival Short Film Palme d’Or winner A Gentle Night, from MIFF Accelorator alum and Griffith Film School Grad Qiu Yang (The World, Under the Sun).

View the full list here:

The full program will be announced July 11.