There are 62 short documentaries set to screen at MDFF 2019 and with that comes the very difficult question: What to see?
Shorts often pack an emotional punch. They’ll make you laugh, cry, and drop your jaw before your seat’s even warm. The selection of shorts at this year’s Melbourne Documentary Film Festival will do just that and make you see the world with freshly opened eyes and a newly touched heart.
Here are 10 shorts we think you should add to your list of must-watch docs at MDFF 2019.
“Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure” directed by Cat Mills
“Who is Biker Bob? And why does a bottle full of his ashes keep washing up on the beaches of Vancouver Island?” Check out the Australian Premiere of Biker Bob’s Posthumous Adventure screening July 19th during Docs After Dark Program 1 at Cinema Nova.
“Happy Android” directed by Jaina Kalifa
“Street performer Paul Cooper brings joy to audiences around the world with his endearing roving act Tubby the Robot, yet he struggles to find joy within himself. Paul’s childhood was disturbed by a tragic family accident and he now suffers from depression and anxiety. Often feeling disconnected and broken, he goes through the motions of life like an automated machine. Ironically, it is when Paul performs as Tubby that he feels the most functional, the most human. Paul and Tubby inhabit very different worlds – one full of sorrow and alienation, the other filled with happiness and love. In this unique film the two worlds collide, leading to a poignant exploration of family, mental illness and the transformative.” Happy Android has its Melbourne Premiere July 20th during Short Session 1 at Cinema Nova.
“After the Fire” directed by Derek Knowles and Spencer Seibert
After the Fire follows residents of Sonoma Valley as they struggle to find their places in a community that has been reshaped overnight by the historic Northern California wildfires. It is an intimate look at what they’ve lost, what they’ve gained, and what happens next, after the fire.” See the Australian Premiere of After the Fire screening at Cinema Nova July 20th during Short Session 1.
“Thursday Fields” directed by Harry Zernike
“A surprisingly diverse cast of characters gathers every Thursday evening at a defunct airport in Brooklyn. Native New Yorkers and new immigrants, Wall Street traders and construction tradesmen, they come to race bicycles on Floyd Bennett Field’s crumbling, windswept tarmac. The competition is merciless. The rewards are many. Thursday Fields is a portrait of New York City’s current-day melting pot in action.” Catch the Australian Premiere of Thursday Fields July 20th during Short Session 1 at Cinema Nova.
“For Your Consideration” directed by Patrick Green
“A pop culture provocateur and Naked Trump sculptor team up to take down Harvey Weinstein, creating a statue of the disgraced movie producer that goes viral and incites further conversation.” See the Australian Premiere of For Your Consideration screening July 20th at Cinema Nova during Docs After Dark Program 2.
“Voodoo Medics” directed by Kristin Shorten
“ Voodoo Medics is an eight-part documentary about trauma, resilience and post-traumatic growth in the medics who served with our special forces in Afghanistan. Voodoo Medics unpacks the most defining experiences of six medics – affectionately referred to by their call sign ‘Kilo’ – who served inside Australia’s Special Operations Command over 15 years. These highly experienced and decorated medics served on the frontline of the frontline, fighting some of the most traumatic and intense battles – to save their mates’ lives – in the desert and dusty field hospitals of Afghanistan. And now this elite group of specialist medical veterans – known as Voodoo Medics – are being acknowledged for their largely unseen but life-saving contribution to the war on terror. In this revealing and raw documentary, these sworn healers who worked alongside Australia’s most elite fighters share their mental health battles, survivor’s guilt and the contradictions of their complex roles.” The Melbourne Premiere of Voodoo Medics takes place July 21st at Cinema Nova during Short Session 2.
“Becoming Cherrie” directed by Nicky Larkin
“ Becoming Cherrie is a documentary about living with HIV in Northern Ireland. The film tells the story of actor and performer Matthew Cavan, aka Belfast’s most-loved drag artist, Cherrie Ontop. Diagnosed HIV-positive aged 19, Matthew struggled to find acceptance in conservative Northern Irish society. Coming from a religious family, Matthew was kicked out of his church by the Minister, and having never met anybody else with HIV, felt so alone he tried to commit suicide. In a desperate attempt to escape his everyday reality and get back on stage, Matthew created his absolutely fabulous drag alter-ego Cherrie Ontop. A decade later, Cherrie is Belfast’s most-loved drag artist, and Matthew is a spokesperson for people living with HIV in Northern Ireland. However, as a result of being so open about his HIV status, Matthew has become a frequent target for homophobic trolling, threats and abuse. Becoming Cherrie allows us inside the intimate process of transformation between Matthew and Cherrie. A portrait of resilience and reinvention, Matthew and his father Terry tell the story of the difficulties of living with HIV in the age of the DUP – set against the backdrop of the abuse Matthew has received; adapted into a terrifying stage performance!” Becoming Cherrie will have its Melbourne Premiere July 22nd at Backlot Studios during the LBGTIQ/Aborginal Program & Masterclass.
“Flying Fur” directed by Alicia Wszelaki and Matthew Nothelfer
“Welcome to the friendly skies of animal rescue. Saving dogs and cats one flight at a time is the mission but changing the fate of these lovable creatures is no easy task. Lives are at stake and failure is not an option.” Catch the Australian Premiere of Flying Fur July 23rd at Cinema Nova.
“There’s a Hell of a Racket Coming from your House, Mrs. Wood” directed by Stuart Douglas
“A short documentary and conversation with legendary guitarist and contemporary artist, Ronnie Wood.” The Australian Premiere of There’s a Hell of a Racket Coming from your House, Mrs. Wood takes place July 29th at Backlot Studios during the Music Shorts Session.
“Uncaged: A Stand-In Story” directed by Blake Johnston and Kelso Steinhoff
“Marco Kyris worked as Nic Cage’s stand-in for a decade on 20 films; everything from Cage’s break out role in Leaving Las Vegas to the blockbuster franchise National Treasure. In Uncaged: A Stand-In Story, Marco talks about his early life as an actor, his journey into the entourage of Nic Cage, and what it was like working in the shadow for one of Hollywood’s Legends of Cinema.” Uncaged: A Stand-In Story makes its Australian Premiere July 19th during Docs After Dark Program 1 at Cinema Nova.
To learn more about the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, visit: mdff.org.au / @mdffest / and the MDFF Facebook Group