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For the second year in succession, the Melbourne International Film Festival is moving to a digital-only event after the Australian state of Victoria entered a sixth lockdown due to a surge of COVID-19 cases.
“In light of the current COVID situation in Melbourne, and with the safety of audiences and staff at the forefront of their thinking, the Board and Management of the Melbourne International Film Festival have taken the difficult decision to cancel the in-cinema component of this year’s festival, planned to be delivered from Thursday 12 to Sunday 22 August,” organizers behind MIFF said in a statement released Tuesday.
Australia’s biggest and oldest film festival, which began on Aug. 5 and runs through to Aug. 22, plans to expand the online MIFF Play section to 70 short films and 94 features.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that some of the most prominent films in MIFF’s original lineup will not now screen at all, including the opening film, Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife. Justin Kurzel’s Nitram will not screen in Melbourne or online but is still set to screen at MIFF satellite events at regional theaters.
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