• Xavier Samuel in 'The Death And Life Of Otto Bloom' (MIFF)Source: MIFF
Sarah Norton

16 May 2016 - 3:42 PM  UPDATED 22 Jun 2016 - 4:02 PM

This year the 65th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will open with a world premiere screening of The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, the feature debut of Melbourne filmmaker Cris Jones.

The Death and Life of Otto Bloom chronicles the life and great love of Bloom (Xavier Samuel) who experiences time in reverse. He goes backward through his years while he continues to remember the future. The film also stars Matilda Brown and Rachel Ward.

“We knew as soon as we saw The Death and Life of Otto Bloom that it was the perfect way to launch our 65th edition of MIFF. Not only does it signal the arrival of an exciting new filmmaking talent in Cris Jones, it speaks to so many of the themes and will run throughout the entire program this year,” MIFF Artistic Director Michelle Carey said in a media release.

“To have Otto Bloom premiering on MIFF’s Opening Night is such an honour and a joy. For me, MIFF is more than a celebration of film. It is a family and a home," Cris Jones said in the release.

Carey congratulated the Melbourne filmmaking team; producers Melanie Coombs, Alicia Brown and Mish Armstong, and writer/director Cris Jones.

"To have the world premiere at MIFF on the Opening Night is a dream come true for all of us."

“We are so delighted that Artistic Director Michelle Carey and the whole MIFF team have recognised the magic of Otto Bloom. To have the world premiere at MIFF on the Opening Night is a dream come true for all of us,” Coombs said in the release.

Jones is a 2004 alumnus of the MIFF Accelerator emerging director workshop. He participated in the workshop with his VCA graduate film Excursion, which he won the MIFF Shorts Award for Best Emerging Australian Filmmaker with.

“The festival has played an enormous role in my journey as a filmmaker, and without the support of the Premier Fund, this film would not exist. I’m so grateful to Michelle Carey and the festival team for giving our film the best possible start in life, and look forward to celebrating the work of our wonderful cast and crew at such an amazing event,” Jones said in the statement.

“Optimism is a rather ambitious thing to aspire to, but Alicia Brown, Mish Armstrong and I are ambitious, as is our writer/director Cris Jones and this film about Life, Death, Time and Love,” Coombs said.

The 2016 MIFF runs from 28 July – 14 August and the program will be revealed on 5 July.The event has partnered with Grey Goose this year for the opening night that will be held at Hamer Hall. For more information go to miff.com.au


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