The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival online program kicks off July 1st – 31st.

Audiences are spoiled for choice this year with a tremendous selection of documentaries that will challenge your thinking, stir your emotions, and broaden your world to new ideas.

Below you will find our 17 picks of captivating and impactful feature documentaries screening online that we think deserve a place on your must-watch list.

“Without Arrows” directed by Jonathan Olshefski and Elizabeth Day

Synopsis: “Delwin Fiddler Jr. left home on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation in South Dakota as a young man to build a new life in Philadelphia. Thirteen years later he misses home and leaves his new life behind to return to his family and tribe where everything and nothing has changed.”

“Chasing the Sun” directed by Michael B. Clifford

Synopsis: “In 1973 a professor in a little known American university set out to discover the most energy efficient creature on earth: turns out, it’s a human being on a bicycle! The experiment has since entered into legend and is now more relevant than ever before. We explore extraordinary personal stories of ordinary cyclists chasing the sun, revealing the power of the humble bicycle to transform lives and help save the planet. The film features contributions from broadcaster and ITV’s voice of the Tour de France Ned Boulting, author and blogger Jools Walker, Turner Prize-winning artist Sir Richard Long and 4x Mountain Bike World Champion Tracy Moseley.”

“Cat City” directed by Ben Kolak

Synopsis: “A feature documentary chronicling Chicago’s love/hate relationship with feral cats. It tells the story of Chicago’s outdoor cats, the communities who look after them, and the ordinance that protects them.”

“Shape” directed by Roger Ungers

Synopsis: “The gay community celebrates diversity and equality yet discrimination still exists within it. Gay men are bombarded with unrealistic body image standards through advertising, social media, hook-up apps and the clubbing scene. Cisgendered men who are young, fit, white and masculine are clearly at the top of hierarchy. This important documentary unpacks the damaging beliefs which lead to an obsession over physical appearance and how this manifests in excluding those who don’t meet these unattainable standards.”

“Wasted” directed by Jessica Cheam and Fraser Morton

Synopsis: “This film opens our eyes to the simple truth hidden in plain sight: What we throw away, doesn’t go away. Everything we consume has a lifespan we never see. “Wasted” calls on us to shift our perspective and open our eyes to the reality of our trashed planet in this new era of the Anthropocene. We have forgotten the undeniable truth that waste has an inextricable connection to our daily lives and the well-being of our societies. Solutions to tackle this blight exist in plain sight, so why are we wasting opportunities to make change? “Wasted” highlights the connections between waste and human health, and its intersection with the climate crisis. It is a visual exploration across Asia, from landfills to recycling plants, cinematic aerials to intimate portraits. Above all, it is a film of hope.”

“It Isn’t JUST Politics” directed by Liza Asner

Synopsis: “Liza Asner, the daughter of the late actor Edward Asner, came to manage her father’s career, office and schedule in the last decade of his life and up to his passing in August 2021. During this time, she spread her wings as a theater producer, writer, and eventually filmmaker. Liza produced the successful theater run of a political comedy entitled “God Help Us” which starred her famous father as The Almighty. The show had just hit its stride and was booking shows all over the country when the COVID-19 pandemic began and shut down the tour. Frustrated with the quarantine, she began to focus on what she could do with the downtime. Inspired by the success and theme of the play, she began working on a documentary that would examine the causes and possible solutions of political polarization in the United States. Eventually interviewing nearly a dozen well known political figures, educators, scholars, community leaders and activists from both conservative and liberal sides of the aisle, the end result is “It Isn’t JUST Politics” which is a bipartisan discussion of how we got here and what we can do to solve the great divide between Americans.”

“The Cure for Hate: Bearing Witness to Auschwitz” directed by Peter D. Hutchinson

Synopsis: “This project documents Tony McAleer’s profoundly personal journey of atonement to Auschwitz/Birkenau – exploring the conditions that allowed for the rise of fascism in 1930s Europe; shedding a unique light upon how men get into, and out of, violent extremist groups; and serving as a cautionary tale for our time that underscores the dangers in allowing hate to be left unchecked.”

“To an Asteroid and Back” directed by James Tralie

Synopsis: “In this documentary film, follow along with NASA’s OSIRIS-REx team, as they launch a spacecraft to an asteroid, collect a sample of Bennu, and bring it home to Earth.”

“Where Olive Trees Weep” directed by Maurizio Benazzo and Zaya Benazzo

Synopsis: “A searing window into the struggles and resilience of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. It explores themes of loss, trauma, and the quest for justice.” All proceeds from this screening are going to the Olive Kids Australia.

“Into the Unknown” directed by Dom Farrell

Synopsis: A fourteen-year-old Australian boy travels with his adventurous father to the an unexplored region of the Peru Amazon in search of the headwaters of a major river. The exploration sponsored by the Australian Geographical Society takes the boy into an environment no other foreign people have seen, where they encounter hostilities, personal learning and the remote geography remains one of the few unexplored regions on Earth.”

“Sonic Impact: A History of Drum & Bass” directed by Laurent Pasquier

Synopsis: “This documentary film is a 7 years research across Europe to understand and tell the story of a musical culture and testify the richness and the vitality of Drum & Bass. From the origins to nowadays, we will travel along the history of this multi-racial music, and will tell about its evolution by meeting up with its major figures, like Goldie, Congo Natty, Andy C, Roni Size and more… Coming from the underground, we will see how this sound succeeded to reach higher spheres, by renewing constantly and spreading everywhere in Europe and the rest of the world.”

“REAL” directed by Gary Turner

Synopsis: “REAL is an illuminating documentary that delves into the complex and often invisible forces that shape our relationships. It takes viewers on a transformative journey of self-discovery, revealing the hidden dynamics that we all bring from our pasts into our present relationships.”

“The War Diary” directed by Hakob Melkonyan

Synopsis: “A contemporary road movie that confronts history with the current reality of Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia. An extraordinary document leads Hakob Melkonyan to undertake the journey of a lifetime: After receiving his grandfather’s WWII diary, the Armenian filmmaker decides to follow in the footsteps of the Soviet army and discover today’s reality in those territories. Having become independent after the fall of the USSR, they are now torn apart by numerous deadly conflicts in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, and Ukraine. “The War Diary” is a very personal quest, but also sheds light on the geopolitical context of these countries.”


“KHUYLO. War in Ukraine” directed by Joakim M. Vila

Synopsis: “The documentary narrates the events experienced in Ukraine (April 17-May 22, 2022), both in the field of humanitarian volunteering in the rear, and in the vanguard, on the war front line. It also shows the movement of displaced persons (IDP’s) and the life of the civilian population in the bombed places, with interviews with soldiers, volunteers and civilians; from the devastated places in the north of Kyiv, passing through Kharkiv, the Donbas region or the Kherson front with Mykolaiv, and then ending in the self-proclaimed and pro-Russian Republic of Transnistria (Moldova), bordering Ukraine.”

“Guardians of the Sea” directed by Laurent Lutaud

Synopsis: “This documentary reveals the reality of the daily work of activists from an ocean defense organization Sea Shepherd. Less publicized but still as committed to the fight against polluters and poachers, today they use methods of action that are very different from the forceful interventions of the past.”


“Charge Around Australia” directed by Stuart Pollitt

Synopsis: “Two normal people, one adventure of a lifetime – to show how far solar power can take the world. In this documentary, Liverpool green energy champion Stuart McBain attempts to drive nearly 10,000 miles around Australia using state-of-the-art flexible solar panels. Living on the other side of the world from Stuart is Professor Paul Dastoor. He’s devoted his life to this solar technology, now he will finally get to see if it works. This documentary sees Stuart meet those on the front line in the battle against climate change as he faces torrential rain, tornadoes and tire blow-outs on an amazing journey. This is a green road trip with a message as the drama unfolds around 10,000 miles of coastline. Stuart meets communities destroyed by climate change and the skeptics who depend on fossil fuels for their livelihoods. He also takes his technology and his ideology into remote rural schools to spread the word about this new idea, which he believes could help save the planet. For Stuart and for Paul this is also a personal journey to discover the extraordinary landscape of a country which finds itself under threat, and to ultimately find out if they have uncovered a key tool in the fight for our future on Earth.”

“The Drive” directed by Samuel Harvey

Synopsis: “Follow along a group of four young Aussie blokes, committed to a challenging and treacherous journey to Uluṟu in cars they have bought for under $1500 all in the name of mental health and suicide prevention. Just as we control the cars we drive, we too can control and drive our lives and mental health. The boys will be looking at tools and techniques they can implement to control their daily lives. As they confront insecurities and encourage vulnerability, they hope to impact the world around them on their journey.”

For more information on the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, visit: and check out the complete online lineup at