This opening night film at this year's Melbourne Film Festival has been announced.
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SBS Movies

23 Jun 2015 - 12:43 PM  UPDATED 23 Jun 2015 - 2:52 PM

The opening night film at this year's Melbourne International Film Festival will be Paul Cox's Force of Destiny, an Australian love story starring David Wenham and Shahana Goswami.

Force of Destiny follows the romance between Robert (Wenham), a sculptor, and Maya (Goswami), a marine biologist, in all its tragic timing - the two meet just after Robert is diagnosed with cancer. Their hope is that Robert is able to receive a liver transplant in time.

The festival has described the new Australian film as 'a moving love story with a sumptuous aesthetic', and much has been made of the closeness of the story's themes to the life of writer-director Paul Cox.

Cox has himself battled liver cancer. 

"One of Paul Cox's most revealing films, it provides a glimpse into the personal life of one of Australia's most respected and prolific filmmakers,' said MIFF Artistic Director Michelle Carey.

Cox has made 47 features, shorts and documentaries, including Man of FlowersInnocence, Human Touch and Molokai: The Story of Father Damien - also starring David Wenham.

Recommended reading:
Down but not out - Paul Cox interview
In a frank interview, filmmaker Paul Cox talks about his fight against liver cancer.

Shot in Australia and India, Force of Destiny also stars Jacqueline McKenzie, Hannah Fredericksen and Terry Norris. 

The Melbourne Film Festival will run from July 30 to August 16, with the full program of 300 films to be released on July 7.

This year's festival will also feature a David Gulpilill retrospective.

Watch a scene from Force of Destiny

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