The Capitol acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

Melbourne International Film Festival

Celebrating its 69th edition, Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) returns in 2021 with an astonishing lineup of 283 international and Australian films and transformative screen experiences.

Highlights at The Capitol include the historical kaleidoscope Ablaze (2021), Alec Morgan and Tiriki Onusa’s compelling untold story of activism, resistance and politically-driven art-making; Gero von Boehm’s Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful (2020), an expansive portrait of the controversial fashion icon capturing both light and shade; and Palme d’Or contender Bergman Island (2021), the latest instalment in French writer/director Mia Hansen-Løve’s oeuvre of delicate, semi-autobiographical investigations into love.

Presented by Melbourne International Film Festival.

RMIT Media Virtual Showcase 2021

Emerging contemporary media professionals present their short films, video art, soundscapes and digital projects for the RMIT Bachelor of Communication (Media) end of semester online showcase.

Highlights include Cristina Ulloa Sobarzo’s meta-documentary on film editor Johanna Scott So, You’re Telling Me I’m Serving People Tea and Coffee? produced for the Women Beside the Screen studio in partnership with the Melbourne Women in Film Festival, which creatively profiles women who have forged a career in the Australian screen industries; Kennel, a phone app described as “Tinder for pets” by Marla Kalaw and Derek Xu; and the non-linear video series exploring the weight of grief, As Grief Holds Usby Sofia Georganas, Andy Eaton and Rishi Ranjan.

Presented by RMIT School of Media and Communication.

Expand to browse the showcase highlights below:

Future Play Studio

Kennel game/app trailer  by Marla Kalaw, Derek Xu

Women Besides the Screen Studio
So, You’re Telling Me I’m Serving People Tea and Coffee? by Cristina Ulloa Sobarzo

The Next Generation by Chau Vu

Eye of the Beholder by Isabel Savenake

Deliberate Film Studio

The Box by Shiyang (Jack) Wang

Failed Mission by Joyce Wong

Kitchen Play by Xinyu (Sandra) Zhang 

The Call by Madeleine Cheale

Real to Reel Studio

Salvage by Emmanuelle Mattana

I’m a Writer by Ruby Walker (contains some coarse language)

Antiquarians by Beatrice Madamba, Jasper Cohen-Hunter, Sophie Aitken

Preserving the Gallery by Simon Tran

Collecting Embodiment Studio

These are each collections of multiple works. Videos should be watched in the order they are on the page.

As Grief Holds Us by Sofia Georganas, Andy Eaton and Rishi Ranjan

Belong to my Body (Dirt of My Mind) by Maddy Weeks, Rhonda Hodgson, Eva Williams

Making Sense of Social Media Studio

(All work by the whole of the Studio)

Instagram Unfiltered Instagram Page

Instagram Unfiltered Tik Tok Page

Tools For Change

Future Machina Studio

Crux by By Seamus Daniel and Jessica Hooper

The Doppelganger by Jiayao (Cherry) Lin 

The Breakfast Bandits by Chiara Watt, Leith Edwards, Lisa Jacobsen, Max Meaden and Patrick Neideck

Mars TV by JoongHyuk Joe, Marlon Mckinnon, Zane Giernatowski

Unravelling the Real Studio

Remember Me by Amelia Christie

How To Cope With Brussels Sprouts by Sabrina Phillips Brash

It’s not Rocket Surgery Studio

Why History can be Unreliable… by Joel Cormack, Keely (Yuqi) Xing, Willa Robinson, Xena (Xiaohang) Dong

Mona’s Secret by Alice Nguyen-Manderson, Jessica (Anqi) Li, Hamza Ipek, Trevor (Zihang) Wang

Seeing the Unseen Studio

Greenhouse Cage by Hang Yi Wong, Tianjin Shi, Jiangxue Han

The Dying Natural Vitality by Abby, Lee, Jacky & Yvonne

Room With A View Studio

Each of the Radio Features are in the Soundcloud embed below the RWAV live show

First Nations Artists by Bronte Pitcher, Holly Colvin, Lachlan Flannigan and Eliza Butcher

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Melbourne Overlooked Film Festival 2021

This event has been cancelled in line with the Victorian government’s public health announcement. For further information please visit MOFF’s website.

An RMIT student-led initiative unearthing underground, underappreciated and unconventional cinema. The Festival opens with an exclusive screening of cult classic sci-fi horror Body Melt (1993) followed by an intimate panel with director Philip Brophy.

Starring iconic Aussie actors Ian Smith (best known as Harold Bishop from Neighbours) and Gerard Kennedy (Glitch, 2015), this schlocky ozploitation gem follows the residents of peaceful Pebbles Court who are being unknowingly used as test experiments for a new supplement pill that causes rapid body decomposition, ghastly mutations and painful death.

Tickets on sale 3 June.

Presented by RMIT School of Media and Communication.

 

Blak Fillums

Tue 11 May: Servant or Slave

Stolen from their families and forced into slave labour, five women draw on courage, strength and fortitude to pursue justice. Servant or Slave is a true story about the heartbreaking experiences of Rita Wright, Rita Wenberg, Violet West, Adelaide Wenberg and Valerie Linow. Theirs was a hard fight for personal retribution, and a pivotal one for the next generation.

Wed 12 May: Marked, Closed Doors, Between Two Lines and Transblack

In Marked, a young artist is tormented by evil spirits in the wake of his mother’s death.

Closed Doors is an abstract look at the process of grief and forgiveness in a time of loss, told through a young father’s thoughts as he moves through his own pain.

Set against a WWI backdrop, Between Two Lines explores the idea of what a conversation would be like between two enemy soldiers.

In Transblack, four larger than life personalities push the boundaries of social norms, but their day-to-day lives reveal more than a touch of adversity to overcome.

Thu 13 May: A Piece of Us, White Paper and Say Something

In A Piece of Us, the writer draws on his own loss experienced throughout his family life. It’s a glimpse into a storytelling method used to teach young people and help spirits heal.

White Paper is a documentary exploring mining greed by an Australian-owned company in Greenland, and its effect on ancient land, and the health of an entire community.

Say Something reflects discrimination against Blak peoples and the perpetrators who learn nothing.

The Handmaid’s Tale (1990)

The new TV season is imminent, so it’s an excellent time for a vintage refresher of the original Schlöndorff film, made in 1990, long before Elizabeth Moss donned her red robe. Fans of the book and TV series will be familiar with the futuristic, theocratic and dystopian United States, where fertility has become alarmingly rare and women able to bear children are forced into sexual slavery. Starring the glorious Faye Dunaway, Natasha Richardson, Robert Duvall and Aidan Quinn, there is no past-future more prescient than Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. 

This film screens in a double bill with On Guard (1984). 

 

Past Futures curatorial notes —
What futures were past filmmakers imagining for our present world? And did those sci fi prophesies come true? All dreamers and designers start from a place of deep imagining.

In Past Futures we look at imagined dystopias and utopias that made their way into the collective conscious – into the design of now – and consider what might be in the making to come.

In our selection of sci fi visionaries, some classic, others populist, and still others perhaps idiosyncratic, we look away from the stuff of shiny space wars, and towards a survey of the social, political, technological, environmental, interpersonal and existential prophesies dreamed onto the cinema screen over the last century. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, these films offer “an arsenal of images for imagining the world.”

What worlds were filmmakers of the past envisioning for today? Which of these past-futures have materialised in shades of our lived realities? What do modern utopias and dystopias look like? Can cinema help us collectively design a world we want to see?

In curating this series my co-curator, Michelle Carey, and I considered the future worlds that filmmakers were envisioning in the past. In our selection you’ll find distinct visions from pasts that vary in length from way back to cinema’s silent beginnings, to just a moment or two ago.

The curated titles awakened a curiosity in us by way of each film’s aesthetic and philosophical design, some quixotic and wildly ambitious, others comparatively domestic while still suggesting a collective turn in consciousness or new ways of seeing and being. Our present is very much felt and reflected in these past futures.

What future visions are we projecting on screen, now?

Ghita Loebenstein
Creative Producer, The Capitol

Read More

Presented by The Capitol as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

What is This?

Innovative design developed through and beyond function expands preconceived confines of “design” into realms that encompass artistic value, social & environmental attention and imaginative human experience. Creating an inhabitable space housing a series of activations, films, performances and public talks, the artists disrupt concrete definitions and formal delineations in design, opening fluid approaches intertwined with art and daily life that encourage communication, cooperation and change.

The artists would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri, Djab Wurrung, Gunditjmara, and Gulidjan peoples of the Kulin Nation as the traditional custodians of the unceded lands and waters, on which they live, create and exhibit their work, and pay their respect to all First Nations Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.

Presented by The Capitol and RMIT University School of Art as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Soylent Green (1973) + Green Renaissance

6.00pm Green Renaissance panel talk:
To complement the Green Renaissance exhibition running at Queen Victoria Market, this panel discussion will speculate on the future of food and farming given predictions that the world could run out of quality topsoil in 60 years time.

Topsoil is the non-renewable resource we currently rely on to grow 95 percent of our food. Intensive farming practices and anthropogenic activities are in general to blame for the diminishment of this essential material. How will we feed ourselves when it runs out?

Moderated by Dr Ollie Cotsaftis, this speculative conversation features David Holmgren, environmental designer and co-originator of the permaculture concept; University of Melbourne Associate Professor Alex Johnson, a researcher in the fields of plant nutrition and bio-fortification; and RMIT University Dr Pirjo Haikola, a designer and a researcher working on regenerative marine design projects, and whose current work Urchin Corals is exhibited at the NGV Triennial.

7.30pm Soylent Green screening:
Richard Fleischer’s dystopian classic Soylent Green was made in 1973 but set in the ever-closer year 2022, when the cumulative effects of overpopulation, pollution and climate change have caused severe worldwide shortages of food.

In a densely overpopulated, starving New York City of the future, NYPD detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) investigates the murder of an executive at rations manufacturer Soylent Industries, who control half the world’s food supply with artificially produced wafers. Only the elite can afford spacious apartments, clean water, and natural food – at inflated prices. The air is thick and green, and conscientious citizens don face masks when outside. Soylent Industries’ latest product is the nutritious ‘Soylent Green’, supposedly made from ocean plankton, but it’s in short supply, and hungry rioters take to the street, as the plot, and the air thickens.

Both film and panel ask: how will we feed ourselves in the not-too-distant future?

Past Futures curatorial notes —
What futures were past filmmakers imagining for our present world? And did those sci fi prophesies come true? All dreamers and designers start from a place of deep imagining.

In Past Futures we look at imagined dystopias and utopias that made their way into the collective conscious – into the design of now – and consider what might be in the making to come.

In our selection of sci fi visionaries, some classic, others populist, and still others perhaps idiosyncratic, we look away from the stuff of shiny space wars, and towards a survey of the social, political, technological, environmental, interpersonal and existential prophesies dreamed onto the cinema screen over the last century. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, these films offer “an arsenal of images for imagining the world.”

What worlds were filmmakers of the past envisioning for today? Which of these past-futures have materialised in shades of our lived realities? What do modern utopias and dystopias look like? Can cinema help us collectively design a world we want to see?

In curating this series my co-curator, Michelle Carey, and I considered the future worlds that filmmakers were envisioning in the past. In our selection you’ll find distinct visions from pasts that vary in length from way back to cinema’s silent beginnings, to just a moment or two ago.

The curated titles awakened a curiosity in us by way of each film’s aesthetic and philosophical design, some quixotic and wildly ambitious, others comparatively domestic while still suggesting a collective turn in consciousness or new ways of seeing and being. Our present is very much felt and reflected in these past futures.

What future visions are we projecting on screen, now?

Ghita Loebenstein
Creative Producer, The Capitol

Read More

Presented by The Capitol as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

 

Bombay Beach (2011)

The film follows three men of varying ages try to figure out if they are a product of their world or if their world is a construct of their own imaginations. It also presents a vision of a dried-up-utopiaBombay Beach was once the destination of choice for the rich and famous; a glitzy holiday playground on shores of the massive Salton Sea lake in southern California. That was way-back in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Since then, the lake has become ever more saline and the once-plush resort has fallen on times equally as hard as those of its present occupants. Har’el’s gentle, tender lens reframes what could be viewed as a modern dystopia, into a uniquely utopian skew on the beauty and importance of true community – and won Best Feature Documentary at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. 

Past Futures curatorial notes —
What futures were past filmmakers imagining for our present world? And did those sci fi prophesies come true? All dreamers and designers start from a place of deep imagining.

In Past Futures we look at imagined dystopias and utopias that made their way into the collective conscious – into the design of now – and consider what might be in the making to come.

In our selection of sci fi visionaries, some classic, others populist, and still others perhaps idiosyncratic, we look away from the stuff of shiny space wars, and towards a survey of the social, political, technological, environmental, interpersonal and existential prophesies dreamed onto the cinema screen over the last century. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, these films offer “an arsenal of images for imagining the world.”

What worlds were filmmakers of the past envisioning for today? Which of these past-futures have materialised in shades of our lived realities? What do modern utopias and dystopias look like? Can cinema help us collectively design a world we want to see?

In curating this series my co-curator, Michelle Carey, and I considered the future worlds that filmmakers were envisioning in the past. In our selection you’ll find distinct visions from pasts that vary in length from way back to cinema’s silent beginnings, to just a moment or two ago.

The curated titles awakened a curiosity in us by way of each film’s aesthetic and philosophical design, some quixotic and wildly ambitious, others comparatively domestic while still suggesting a collective turn in consciousness or new ways of seeing and being. Our present is very much felt and reflected in these past futures.

What future visions are we projecting on screen, now?

Ghita Loebenstein
Creative Producer, The Capitol

Read More

Presented by The Capitol as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Gattaca (1997)

In the exquisitely designed Gattaca we are confronted with the plight of Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke), who has always fantasised about travelling into outer space, but is grounded by his status as a genetically inferior ‘in-valid’.  His solution is to purchase the genes of Jerome Morrow (Jude Law), a laboratory-engineered ‘valid’, with superior DNA. This blackmarket ‘passport’ enables Vincent to join the Gattaca space program, where he falls in love with Irene (Uma Thurman), and the helix starts to unravel. 

Gattaca imagines a world in the not too distant future to ours, where society is striated according to people’s genetic make-up, rather than class, race, gender or sexuality. This is an interesting idea as this difference is predicated not on something immediately visible, but rather something ‘hidden’. This is in distinct contrast to where society is oriented, where how you appear – the colour of your skin, even how you might dress or talk – is the main determiner of how you are treated and able to navigate the world, especially professionally and socially.

In Gattaca this schematic striation still determines one’s opportunities and success, and Freeman’s opportunity to travel to Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is his dream made possible. He assumes the genetic identity of another, and the doors open for him. It is his inscribed passport. 

This idea echoes across current world events, and conversations about the introduction of ‘vaccine cards’: a card that must always be carried on the person, and those who possess them can access travel, the arts, sports, other life pleasures, that others may not. This is a conglomerate of science-fictions. 

This 1990s classic, with Hawke and Thurman in earned roles, foresaw some of the quandaries the Covid-19 pandemic has thrust upon our world and invites us to again think about the implications of such a stark organisation of inequality.

Past Futures curatorial notes —
What futures were past filmmakers imagining for our present world? And did those sci fi prophesies come true? All dreamers and designers start from a place of deep imagining.

In Past Futures we look at imagined dystopias and utopias that made their way into the collective conscious – into the design of now – and consider what might be in the making to come.

In our selection of sci fi visionaries, some classic, others populist, and still others perhaps idiosyncratic, we look away from the stuff of shiny space wars, and towards a survey of the social, political, technological, environmental, interpersonal and existential prophesies dreamed onto the cinema screen over the last century. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, these films offer “an arsenal of images for imagining the world.”

What worlds were filmmakers of the past envisioning for today? Which of these past-futures have materialised in shades of our lived realities? What do modern utopias and dystopias look like? Can cinema help us collectively design a world we want to see?

In curating this series my co-curator, Michelle Carey, and I considered the future worlds that filmmakers were envisioning in the past. In our selection you’ll find distinct visions from pasts that vary in length from way back to cinema’s silent beginnings, to just a moment or two ago.

The curated titles awakened a curiosity in us by way of each film’s aesthetic and philosophical design, some quixotic and wildly ambitious, others comparatively domestic while still suggesting a collective turn in consciousness or new ways of seeing and being. Our present is very much felt and reflected in these past futures.

What future visions are we projecting on screen, now?

Ghita Loebenstein
Creative Producer, The Capitol

Read More

Presented by The Capitol as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

They Live (1989)

Carpenter’s low-budget thriller follows the vagrant Nada (Roddy Piper), who discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, glasses on, Nada is horrified at the blunt subliminal messages being transmitted through media, advertising and government at every turn. Hilariously outrageous, shlocky and wearing its B-movie aesthetic on its sleeve, They Live heaps lively political and social commentary into its capitalist critique. If you’ve wondered if your phone is listening to you, grab your sunglasses for this film. 

Past Futures curatorial notes —
What futures were past filmmakers imagining for our present world? And did those sci fi prophesies come true? All dreamers and designers start from a place of deep imagining.

In Past Futures we look at imagined dystopias and utopias that made their way into the collective conscious – into the design of now – and consider what might be in the making to come.

In our selection of sci fi visionaries, some classic, others populist, and still others perhaps idiosyncratic, we look away from the stuff of shiny space wars, and towards a survey of the social, political, technological, environmental, interpersonal and existential prophesies dreamed onto the cinema screen over the last century. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, these films offer “an arsenal of images for imagining the world.”

What worlds were filmmakers of the past envisioning for today? Which of these past-futures have materialised in shades of our lived realities? What do modern utopias and dystopias look like? Can cinema help us collectively design a world we want to see?

In curating this series my co-curator, Michelle Carey, and I considered the future worlds that filmmakers were envisioning in the past. In our selection you’ll find distinct visions from pasts that vary in length from way back to cinema’s silent beginnings, to just a moment or two ago.

The curated titles awakened a curiosity in us by way of each film’s aesthetic and philosophical design, some quixotic and wildly ambitious, others comparatively domestic while still suggesting a collective turn in consciousness or new ways of seeing and being. Our present is very much felt and reflected in these past futures.

What future visions are we projecting on screen, now?

Ghita Loebenstein
Creative Producer, The Capitol

Read More

Presented by The Capitol as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Fashion Film Awards Ceremony 2021

Join us at The Capitol for the Fashion Film Award Ceremony, where the Official Selection will be screened and Best Direction will be announced, followed by a panel discussion.

OFFICIAL SELECTION:
– Anna Cordell Fashion Film, Australia
– REPLICA, Australia
– [ LIGHTBALANCE ], Australia
– Brutal, Australia
– —-, Australia
– Modern Antiquities, Australia
– Stieglitz, Netherlands
– Genki dama, Peru
– Untilted, France
– RISQUES, France

On Guard (1984)

Set in Sydney, Susan Lambert’s politically charged feminist thriller On Guard (1984) follows four women on a mission to sabotage a supercomputer holding ten years’ worth of data on IVF research. On Guard saw a future (and responded to a recent past) in which women take back control of their reproductive systems, and livelihoods. Informed by the burgeoning women’s movement of the 1970s, the film posited a new world of radical feminism with the scrappy aesthetics of underground punk cinema. With Australian women recently rising up yet again with tales of high-level institutional violation, rape and other crimes recently reported, this film is as urgent and welcomed as ever. 

On Guard screens in a double bill with The Handmaid’s Tale (1990). 

Past Futures curatorial notes —
What futures were past filmmakers imagining for our present world? And did those sci fi prophesies come true? All dreamers and designers start from a place of deep imagining.

In Past Futures we look at imagined dystopias and utopias that made their way into the collective conscious – into the design of now – and consider what might be in the making to come.

In our selection of sci fi visionaries, some classic, others populist, and still others perhaps idiosyncratic, we look away from the stuff of shiny space wars, and towards a survey of the social, political, technological, environmental, interpersonal and existential prophesies dreamed onto the cinema screen over the last century. To paraphrase Roger Ebert, these films offer “an arsenal of images for imagining the world.”

What worlds were filmmakers of the past envisioning for today? Which of these past-futures have materialised in shades of our lived realities? What do modern utopias and dystopias look like? Can cinema help us collectively design a world we want to see?

In curating this series my co-curator, Michelle Carey, and I considered the future worlds that filmmakers were envisioning in the past. In our selection you’ll find distinct visions from pasts that vary in length from way back to cinema’s silent beginnings, to just a moment or two ago.

The curated titles awakened a curiosity in us by way of each film’s aesthetic and philosophical design, some quixotic and wildly ambitious, others comparatively domestic while still suggesting a collective turn in consciousness or new ways of seeing and being. Our present is very much felt and reflected in these past futures.

What future visions are we projecting on screen, now?

Ghita Loebenstein
Creative Producer, The Capitol

Read More

Presented by The Capitol as part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.