Melbourne Documentary Film Festival returns to Nova


The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (MDFF) will run at Cinema Nova from July 17 to 31, showcasing an array of features fresh from some of the world’s most esteemed festivals alongside compelling local productions.

Cinema Nova has been home to MDFF since 2017, marking five years of the festival’s growth as a standout in the global festival circuit.

“As a venue partner, we welcome the opportunity to showcase a plethora of local Melbourne talent as well as true stories direct from the most prestigious documentary film festivals across the globe,” head of marketing at Cinema Nova Caitlin Pettit said.


Whether you’re a documentary fiend or new to the genre, MDFF’s program of upwards of 80 features and short films is sure to have a story that resonates and connects with you.


The festival kicks off with the highly anticipated opening night screening of Blak Douglas VS the Commonwealth on July 17, offering a revealing portrayal of Dhungatti artist and Archibald Prize winner Blak Douglas.

The program also includes a screening of Reading Landscape with David Holmgren on July 21, where viewers will embark on a journey across Djaara Country with David Holmgren, co-originator of the permaculture movement, as he shares insights developed over four decades of studying landscapes.

The film’s showcase pays tribute to the late film director and producer Dan Palmer, whose vision was realised by filmmaker Dave Meagher in close consultation with Mr Holmgren.

“The film is building on my various attempts within the context of permaculture design courses, to inspire people on their journey to read landscapes because it is a process of inspiration rather than teaching,” Mr Holmgren told Inner City News.

“Like reading people, we can all read landscapes to some degree. It’s enormously empowering at creating a genuine connection to country. You start to see the landscape as alive, as coming from the past and moving into the future.”

MDFF culminates with its closing night feature, The Promise on July 28, delving deeply into the profound impact of suicide on individuals and communities, amplifying diverse voices. 

Having premiered more than 400 documentaries in Australia since its inception, MDFF promises an exceptional line-up for its 2024 edition. •

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