‘Memoir of a Snail’ by Oscar-Winner Adam Elliot, Set to Open Melbourne Film Festival

Memoir of a Snail
Arenamedia, Anton

Memoir of a Snail,” directed by locally-born, Oscar-winning director Adam Elliot, has been set as the opening title of the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The festival runs Aug. 8-25 and is expected to comprise more than 250 titles. An early sneak peek, revealed Thursday, confirmed a high quality international and local selection.

These include Cannes Critics’ Week award winner “Blue Sun Palace”; double Sundance-winning semi biographical directorial debut “Didi,” by Sean Wang; Aaron Schimberg’s “A Different Man,” which earned Sebastian Stan the acting prize in Berlin; Australian-produced Imax presentation “Fungi: Web of Life”; Rooney Mara-starring “La Cocina”; Frederick Wiseman’s restaurant documentary “Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros”; Berlin prize-winner “My Favourite Cake”; Steve McQueen’s “Occupied City”; and Jodi Wille’s “Welcome Space Brothers.”

The lineup also includes “We Were Warriors,” a feminist and comic directorial debut from Maori filmmaker Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu, that is executive produced by Taika Waititi.

Elliot, who won the best animated short film Oscar in 2004 with “Harvie Krumpet” said: “’Memoir of a Snail’ is about Melbourne, made by Melburnians and voiced by Melburnians. [It is] a handmade stop-motion film lovingly crafted by a team of local artists.” The voice cast includes Sarah Snook, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Magda Szubanski, Eric Bana, Tony Armstrong, Nick Cave and Jacki Weaver. The film also received funding from the MIFF Premiere Fund.

Five other Premiere Fund-backed titles were also revealed as receiving MIFF gala performances.

Screening as the 2024 MIFF Family Gala feature, “Magic Beach” brings to life the Australian children’s book classic by Alison Lester as reimagined by ten Australian animators each with their own unique style.

For the Music on Film Gala, Justin Kurzel (“Nitram”) directs “Ellis Park,” an examination of rock ‘n’ roll legend Warren Ellis of The Bad Seeds and Dirty Three, as he fulfils his personal passion project to establish an animal sanctuary in Sumatra.

In Natalie Bailey’s “Audrey” a soap opera has-been and self-proclaimed Mother of the Year, portrayed by Jackie van Beek (“The Breaker Upperers”) tries to take another stab at stardom by stealing the identity of her comatose teenage daughter.

Presented as MIFF’s inaugural Premiere with Purpose, “Left Write Hook” is a powerful local documentary directed by Shannon Owen. It takes the audience inside a transformative recovery program attended by seven female survivors of childhood sexual assault. Under the guidance of boxing instructor and trauma survivor Donna Lyons the women band together as they break their silence for the very first time.

Directed by Eliza Cox, “Queens of Concrete” is a coming-of-age documentary that follows three young skateboarders – Hayley, Ava, and Charlotte – as they strive to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics, all the while juggling the familiar obstacles of teenage girlhood.

The bulk of the festival program will be announced on July 11.

From Variety US