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Beat's Top Picks of Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival features 60 of the best Australian and international documentaries -- to help you navigate the program, we've hand-selected some of our favourites.

The Music Stops Here!

This documentary looks at the difficulties the culture of communities’ face, particularly as cities continue to develop. Focussing on Manchester's The Star and Garter, the same perspective can be taken when viewing developments in our own cities. What does Sydney’s live music scene look like today in comparison to the past? 

George Michael Freedom – The Director’s Cut

An autobiographical story that delves deep into George Michael’s life, concentrating on the making of his album Listen Without Prejudice. This is an intimate portrait of a music icon co-directed by George Michael before his death.

Big in Japan

It’s no secret that Japan loves foreign talent – just look at the success of Adelaide-born Richard Magarey AKA Ladybeard. Big in Japan follows Dave, an ordinary Melbourne guy, and his exploration of the huge demand for international talent and how this defines fame.

Rodents of Unusual Size

Fisherman turned bounty hunter, Thomas Gonzales, and a colourful bunch of diehards defend their land. Protecting what’s theirs against the forces of nature. Man vs rodent – may the best mammal win.

Black Anzac

The story of Australian artist Hego’s telling of not so well known Australian history through a mural in the heart of Sydney. Hego expresses the journey of a World War I Aboriginal soldier and the positive influences this had on the wider community.

Decks and the City

This documentary explores the passion for electric music and the obstacles that DJs, producers, venue owners and patrons face from lawmakers and a conservative society. A must-see for aspiring artists, producers and fans of electronic dance music.

Living the Game

The journey of a variety of Esports professionals playing Ultra Street Fighter IV is documented over the course of a year. Features gamers Daigo Umehara, Momochi, Justin Wong, Luffy and GamerBee.

A Crude Injustice

Focuses on the aftermath of Australia’s biggest offshore oil disaster on the people of West Timor. This film tells the story of the long-term impact of major pollution, specifically on the lives of seaweed farmers and fishermen in Indonesia’s West Timor.

War Mothers

This documentary tells the story of three women, Galina, Svetlana and Yulia from the town of Zaporizhia, along the eastern front on the ongoing war in Ukraine. The focus is on how they’re still fighting for their country and its people.

Dream Empire

We see Yana’s business transform remote Chinese ghost towns into ‘internationally booming cities’ with the use of actors, tricking visitors into buying overpriced properties. However, as the real estate market starts to collapse she faces financial ruin.

The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival runs from Friday July 6 until Saturday July 14 at various venues around Melbourne. For the full program head to their website.