The best and biggest film festivals in Melbourne and Victoria in 2022

Film camera

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted May 27, 2022

From MIFF to Monster Fest, make sure you don’t miss the latest and greatest film festivals to hit Melbourne and regional Victoria this year. 

Cinephiles rejoice, for film festivals are kicking off around the state at some of our favourite cinemas and inner-city destinations.

Victorians are known for their love of the arts and culture, so what better way to celebrate than with a homegrown movie or something sophisticated from across the pond?

The state is quickly becoming know for its film festivals that rivals those of the internationally acclaimed events such as Cannes, Venice, Berlin and Sundance. 

The Melbourne cinematic calendar is full of a myriad of film festival delights over the year, from those celebrating movies and shorts made in different regions to short film festivals, documentary festivals, and the renowned Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).  

So, whether you're an animation afficianado, love Scandi on screen, are looking for something for the kids or you're a budding filmmaker yourself, here's all the film festivals for you to see and be seen at around Melbourne and Victoria. 

Melbourne film festival calendar 2022

Cannes Film Festival

17 – 28 May, Cannes, with screenings at Melbourne cinemas

The Festival de Cannes is held annually around May on the French riviera. Featuring a rotating jury, many stars flock to the resort town in France to showcase their latest films, network, sell film distribution rights and compete for awards, the most prestigious being the ‘Palme d’Or.’ 

Some of these films typically make their way to Australia during our own great film festivals, such as screenings at MIFF, during certain national festivals, or before the Academy Awards season toward the end of the year. 

German Film Festival

 24 May – 22 June, Palace Cinemas

Presented by Palace Cinemas, the German Film Festival showcases the latest Bavarian cinema, including films from Austria and Switzerland. With a mix of contemporary releases, kids' films, and a ‘Best Ofs’ collation from the last 50 years of German film in Australia, RACV Members can enjoy their schnitzel and pretzels with discounted Palace Cinemas tickets.

St Kilda Film Festival

 27 May – 5 June, various venues around St Kilda

Presented by the City of Port Phillip, the St Kilda Film Festival showcases a variety of films from accomplished filmmakers and new talent. Supporting youth filmmakers and filmmaker development, it also is home to the country’s Top Short Film Competition, which qualifies films screened for Academy Awards submission. 

Children’s International Film Festival

28 May – 13 June, Classic, Lido, and Cameo Cinemas

Who said film festivals were just for the elite? Featuring a fun range of films for children aged three and up, the Children’s International Film Festival brings movies for kids from around the globe. There’s animation, fantasy, international, comedy, mystery, and more, as well as special events like cardboard art-making and dancing competitions. Have fun! 

Armenian Film Festival

3-5 June, The Lido Hawthorn

Showcasing the best of Armenian film, the festival encompasses film, documentaries, animations, and shorts with an aim to inspire and entertain. The panel aims to display Armenia's talents for creativity and storytelling, with an aim to educate and open dialogue around Armenia. 

Castlemaine Documentary Festival

1-3 July, Theatre Royale, Castlemaine

Showcasing real stories about regional Victoria alongside international submissions, the Castlemaine Documentary Festival brings film to the countryside with a wealth of experiences including film, Q & As, live telecasts, and pop-up events. Top off your visit with a trip around Victoria's bustling Goldfields region. 


People in a cinema

Renowned film festivals like MIFF have hundreds of films for cinephiles to enjoy. Image: Palace Cinemas. 


Scandinavian Film Festival

12 July – 10 August, Palace Cinemas

Looking for some winter viewing? The Scandis put the best of their silver screen forward at the Scandinavian Film Festival, showcasing a myriad of movies from the fjord-lovers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. 

Melbourne International Animation Festival 

13-21 July, ACMI

Screening anywhere from 250-400 films per season, the Melbourne International Animation Festival celebrates animation on screen in a range of ‘competitive, student, curated and retrospective programs’ for Australia’s largest event celebrating animation.

Entered by hundreds of avid filmmakers around the globe and now in its 21st year, avid animators can even select to purchase a full access pass for unlimited screenings if they choose. 

Bendigo Queer Film Festival

July 15-17, The Engine Room, Bendigo

Off the back of Bendigo PRIDE is the region's rainbow Queer Film Festival, hitting the town this July. Celebrating queer talent from the regions, the festival aims to 'provide cultural and artistic opportunities to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIA+) people living in Central Victoria.' And hey, while you're there, don't forget to spend a day at the town's exclusive Elvis: Direct From Graceland Exhibition, and a singalong at Bendigo Piano Bar. 

Irish Film Festival

Between Aug-Oct, (TBA)

While an exact date is yet to be set for Melbourne, the Irish Film Festival will run both in Melbourne and online. The not-for-profit organisation celebrates Irish culture and tradition on film. 

Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)

 4-21 August, various venues around Melbourne

Now in its 70th year, MIFF is a not-for-profit festival showcasing international and Australian filmmaking at a range of cinemas around the city. Including premieres from major overseas festivals, prizes, a financing market, a Critics Campus for emerging talent, and the MIFF Shorts program, it has become one of the hottest tickets on the Melbourne cinematic calendar. 

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

12-20 August, various venues around Melbourne

Celebrating Indian filmmaking both in cinemas and online, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) allows Indian filmmakers to submit their works for both the Short Film Competition and the Dance Competition, as well as a showcase of some of India’s diverse filmmakers to create four short films on diversity and inclusivity. 

Now running for 10 years, it has become the largest Indian Film festival in Australia and is supported by Film Victoria. 

Multicultural Film Festival

August, various venues around Melbourne and regional Victoria

Presented by the Victorian Multicultural Commission in association with Swinburne University of Technology, the Multicultural Film Festival (MFF) features films made by local filmmakers that touch on diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion. Submissions are open to the public, and feature awards, industry Q & As, and a film screening on SBS OnDemand.


Hoyts cinema

Your cinema experiences await! Image: Hoyts Melbourne Central. 


Melbourne Documentary Festival

1st – 31st October 2022, online and Cinema Nova

Featuring films both in cinema and online, the Melbourne Documentary Festival, one of the largest of its kind in the Southern hemisphere, showcases both local and international documentaries from established and emerging filmmakers from around the world. With a mix of up-and-comers to docos on celebrities and those straight from Sundance or Venice, docomentary aficionados can choose from a wealth of genres to learn about on the big screen. 

Jewish Film Festival

October 2022, Classic Cinema

Building on 30 years of Jewish cinema in Australia, JIFF: 2022 will be released in cinemas and digitally at home this coming October. The festival includes a range of Jewish-themed and Israeli cinema alongside special event screenings and presentations. 

Japanese Film Festival

18 November - 5 December 2022, various venues around Melbourne

While details are still to come, the Japanese Film Festival has previously been presented by The Japan Foundation, who look to bring stories from the east to the west. ‘J-Film,’ as it has become known, has found popularity amongst its action and animation, while also presenting a range of comedies, dramas, thrillers and documentaries to come. 

ST. Ali Italian Film Festival 

13 September – 16 October, Palace Cinemas

There’s no better place for an in-cinema gelato than the ST. Ali Italian Film Festival. Bringing the Mediterranean movie style to our shores, big-screen lovers can laugh, cry and invest in stories and culture at the biggest Italian film festival outside of Venice in the world. 

British Film Festival

25 October - 23 November, Palace Cinemas

There’s nothing like a British thriller or awkward rom-com, the Poms just get cinema so right. At the British Film Festival, viewers can expect a mix of big-name releases alongside indie classics and hidden treasures, from vintage footage to Oscar contenders. BYO teacup. 

Korean Film Festival

December, various venues around Melbourne

Korean cinema has most certainly been having a moment after Parasite swept the Academy Awards in 2021. Those looking for more action can head to the Korean Film Festival, which is scheduled to be held around December. 


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