MIFF Next Gen Highlights

Next Gen is MIFF’s unique program of entertaining and challenging cinema for audiences of all ages. Coordinator Thomas Caldwell gives us the lowdown on what to expect for 2013.

For young viewers the animated Moon Man, based on Tomi Ungerer’s classic picture book of the same name is a delight. Adult audiences will also find much to enjoy from the film’s Monty Pythonesque surreal sight gags. The French-language animation The Days of the Crows with its beautiful hand drawn animation recalls the films of Studio Ghibli is not to be missed.

Other family-friendly films in the program include the spirited Kurdish-language adventure film Bekas, and Next Gen is also premiering the first four episodes of the exciting new ABC3 television series Nowhere Boys, created by Tony Ayres whose credits include The Slap and Tim Winton’s The Turning.

Teen and adult audiences alike should look out for war-film parody I Declare War where the sticks and water bombs are depicted the way the kids see them – as machine guns and grenades. Also a lot of fun is the South Korean supernatural romantic comedy/drama A Werewolf Boy, thankfully far closer in spirit to Edward Scissorhands than it is to the Twilight films.

For older audiences Foxfire, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, is set in 1950s upstate New York, following the misadventures of a group of teenage girls who begin to fight back against the patriarchy. By contrast, the thought provoking Irish film What Richard Did looks at culpability, masculinity and the dangers of alcohol.

Evoking recent films such as The Hunt and West of Memphis, the Canadian film Blackbird *is about persecution as a result of mob hysteria when a boy is falsely accused on planning a school massacre. Finally, the documentary *Valentine Road looks at a tragic incident in an American school where community intolerance towards difference is explored in the aftermath of the murder of a cross-dressing schoolboy. Director Marta Cunningham is a guest of the festival.

Read more and book tickets on the MIFF website.