Here at Nitty Gritty, we have to agree that Melbourne is a pretty grand old place to live. Its eclectic and diversity-fueled arts scene ensure our schedules are routinely bursting with all the topical and inspired fodder they could possibly imagine. A favourite? The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), an annual jewel in most Melburnians calendar, celebrates its 65th year this week. To pay homage to this significant achievement, we rounded up our team members to share their top pick for this year’s fest.

Who? Kat

What? The Love Witch (2016), Anna Biller

Why? This movie came on my radar a couple of months ago, and I’ve been waiting with baited breath for it! A take on 60s b-grade movies (that I love) of a similar ilk, The Love Witch covers subversive themes, the metaphysical and it’s all shown through a colourful pastiche that looks like an ode to Technicolour. The narrative cleverly examines feminine desires and dynamics in relationships between men and women, while still keeping things light-hearted and tongue in cheek. Director Anna Biller is a gal after my own heart; she wrote, edited, scored and handled production design of the film – talk about wearing all the hats! After viewing the trailer here, we’re all excited to see this one. I’m sure I can safely speak for everyone that we’re all excited to see this film!

Who? Anna

What? The Commune (2015), Thomas Vinterberg

Why? As a spirit-child of the seventies, this film appears to tick all my satirical boxes: a little bit of testament to the human condition here, a little bit of Euro-quirk there. With it’s bold colour palette and flares a-plenty, I’m highly anticipating escaping into the initial warmth and freedom of this small community sharing a country estate in rural Copenhagen, and hanging on for the ride as cracks start to appear amongst a once idyllic arrangement.

Who? Georgia

What? My Scientology Movie (2015), Louis Theroux

Why? Who isn’t fascinated by Scientology? It’s so gloriously juicy – coupled with crazy famous people (I’m looking at you, Cruise), heaps of cash and a cult-like status. All I’ve ever wanted to do is go undercover into wherever these eccentric people congregate, but thanks to Louis “Dad-Bod” Theroux, I no longer have to risk my life and identity! Sure, the reviews for this bad-boy are lackluster at best, but I can never resist the whole deadpan thing Louis does so well. This is sold out, by the way. Does anyone have a spare ticket?

Who? Lauren

What? Contemporary Color (2016), Bill and Turner Ross

Why? I grew up watching exclusively Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, and similar to my taste when it comes to carbohydrate derivatives, I like my films ‘loaded’. Song, dance, lights, America and NELLY FUTARDO all feature in this sweetly packaged homage to everything Color Guard (a live stadium spectacular featuring a form of dance that combines synchronised swimming, gymnastics, the American military and heaven). Not convinced? Well, David Byrne (famous and clever musician, all-round legend) actually coined the term. A nod from Dave gets a nod from me. Although I have a hunch I’ll be seeing this alone…

MIFF runs from July 28th to August 14th. You can check out the program here.