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Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.x
OUR CONTRIBUTORS
JOEL KALKOPF
SWITCH Contributor

Born and raised in Melbourne, Joel completed his studies in Entrepreneurship at RMIT (yes it’s a real degree!). Although currently working in the property industry, films are where his heart is and always has been. His parents educated him from a young age with 'The Sound of Music', 'Oliver!', 'Fiddler on the Roof' and the like, and ever since his passion for movies has continued to grow. He's just started in the reviewing game because whilst art is subjective, he believes his opinions are right and should be shared.

TOP 3 ARTISTS: The Killers, Vampire Weekend, Alan Menken
TOP 3 MOVIES: Inglorious Basterds, The Life of Brian, Singing In The Rain
BEST CONCERT: Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto Tour, Melbourne
FIRST MEMORY OF A FILM: I think it was my very first trip to the cinema to see Muppet Treasure Island. To this day, an underrated all time classic that makes me laugh every time.

joel@maketheswitch.com.au
www.twitter.com/Joel_Kal

Limbo - A witty yet humanising look at the refugee experience
LIMBOA witty yet humanising look at the refugee experience
It holds all the right cards, setting it apart. Funny without belittling, sad without being tragic, and relatable without pitting, this is a rewarding film that will leave audiences smiling.
Some Kind of Heaven - A bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
SOME KIND OF HEAVENA bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
However bizarre The Village is, it's the characters that hold this film together. The pursuit of their desires can be uncomfortable and even sad at times, but their journeys are fascinating.
The Fox and the Hound - Celebrating 40 years since Disney's saddest tail
THE FOX AND THE HOUNDCelebrating 40 years since Disney's saddest tail
This is one Disney film that is often forgotten about and rarely brought up, but it's a film that utilises its sadness to bring hope and beauty to its world.
TOPOWA! Never Give Up - Uganda is alive with the sound of music
TOPOWA! NEVER GIVE UPUganda is alive with the sound of music
It's said Africa taught the rest of the world rhythm, and 'TOPOWA!' certainly shows plenty of that. Radiating with positive energy, viewers will be forgiven for jumping out of their seats and leaning into the beat.
Breaking Bread - Why not <i>not</i> eat pigs together
BREAKING BREADWhy not not eat pigs together
All the ingredients are there, all the tools are in place, and 'Breaking Bread' proves that with the right combinations and platforms, anything is achievable.
Too Far Away - Scoring all sorts of goals
TOO FAR AWAYScoring all sorts of goals
A warm and sentimental film. If you're expecting an underdog sports family drama, you'll instead find a film about a blossoming friendship against the odds, filled with adventure, heart and smiles.
King Otto - The world plans, and the Greek gods laugh
KING OTTOThe world plans, and the Greek gods laugh
For football fans, this is a decent overview of the man behind the most remarkable fairytale, and for non-football fans, there are enough lessons here to leave you empowered, if not overjoyed.
Shrek - After 20 years, do we need a reboot?
SHREKAfter 20 years, do we need a reboot?
The originality that burst onto our screens 20 years ago may have lost some of its edge over the years, but the same cannot be said of its charm and warmth.
De Gaulle - Historical biopic on Free French leader
DE GAULLEHistorical biopic on Free French leader
A very basic - and oftentimes, very sweet - look at this period of Charles de Gaulle's life. It's really nicely shot, but will leave you feeling generally unamused.
Twist - Please sir, can I have a lot less of this?
TWISTPlease sir, can I have a lot less of this?
The film genuinely has no idea if it wants to be a homage, a wink, a parallel, or complete coincidence. Yet the strangest part is that it manages to convince a really stellar cast to take part.
Amélie - The perfect companion piece to 'Soul' for a life of joy
AMÉLIEThe perfect companion piece to 'Soul' for a life of joy
The fantastical atmosphere of 'Amélie' holds a special place in viewers hearts all over the world, with its distinctive tones being eternally memorable. With 'Soul' now trying to teach similar and valuable lessons, we have no excuse not to open our eyes and appreciate life's little gems.
Cross The Line - A gritty descent into a feverish hell
CROSS THE LINEA gritty descent into a feverish hell
This is Mario Casas film, and the way he carries himself throughout is truly remarkable. These great thrillers are rare, and with a friendly runtime of 90 minutes, don't find an excuse to miss it.
Tom & Jerry - A spiritless reimagining of a classic cartoon
TOM & JERRYA spiritless reimagining of a classic cartoon
The spirit of the old cartoons is nowhere to be seen here. There's enough to entertain families, but for those looking to revisit some old favourites, it's best to look elsewhere.
The Grizzlies - Freedom Writers meets Mighty Ducks
THE GRIZZLIESFreedom Writers meets Mighty Ducks
It loses its way when it tries to be an inspirational sports drama, but when it focuses on the Inuit community and the troubles they face, it gives you every reason to smile and even shed a tear.
Night Shift - A promising premise that lets you down
NIGHT SHIFTA promising premise that lets you down
A fairly messy approach to what should otherwise be a very focused and minimalist film. Let down by wanting to cover too much results in an unfortunately forgetful and unsympathetic exploration.
Asia - Israel's award-winning drama
ASIAIsrael's award-winning drama
Audiences witness the slow ascent of a mother finding her feet to become more dependable and more caring, which comes together in a devastating finale that will leave few dry eyes in the crowd.
Golden Voices - Immigration struggles with amusing challenges
GOLDEN VOICESImmigration struggles with amusing challenges
This amusing story of Russian dubbing stars may seem ultra-specific, but it clearly has a universal theme for all to appreciate and enjoy, and presents the idea in an amusing and heartfelt way.
Anton - That's what friends are for
ANTONThat's what friends are for
It's harmless and sweet in a way that should encourage children to watch it, but simultaneously lacks the heart and focus to make it more memorable.
The Shepherd - A true story through an unflinching lens
THE SHEPHERDA true story through an unflinching lens
Brutal, honest, painful and creatively stunning. Focusing a war story on a lonely shepherd in a rural town with minimal dialogue should not make for captivating viewing, but it certainly does.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit - A charming and poignant tale of survival
WHEN HITLER STOLE PINK RABBITA charming and poignant tale of survival
In terms of introductory films that address the horrors of the Second World War, this film goes a long way in putting its hand up for number one spot.
Assassins - Did two girls really commit political assassination?
ASSASSINSDid two girls really commit political assassination?
A run-of-the-mill documentary that presents a great story, but little else. It would have benefited more by going deeper into the psyche of these girls to unlock more of this bizarre story.
Pixie - A violent bunch of eejits
PIXIEA violent bunch of eejits
There are lots of laughs, and though there's not much new, the chemistry between the characters is wonderful. Crass, funny and violent, what are movies for if not to escape reality and enjoy yourself.
Lupin the Third: The First - Honour and adventure amongst thieves
LUPIN THE THIRD: THE FIRSTHonour and adventure amongst thieves
There's little here for fans not to enjoy, and although it's certainly not going to blow the mind of any newcomers, it's a fun introduction to the world's greatest gentleman thief, Lupin.
A Call to Spy - The unknown stories of real-life heroes
A CALL TO SPYThe unknown stories of real-life heroes
It falls into the traps that too many biopics suffer, but with a great ensemble cast, there is space for this film to exist and prosper. These real-life heroic women deserve your attention.
Jumanji - It's okay to be afraid
JUMANJIIt's okay to be afraid
Resilience, bravery and self belief - a hero's journey complete through the adventures of 'Jumanji'. Alan learns to conquer his fears, something we can all stand to embrace.
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
THE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
It looks to explore how love can transcend all obstacles, but as it fails to really capture any of that emotion, what's left is a rather incoherent mess of an otherwise promising premise.
Perfect 10 - Superb debut sticks the landing
PERFECT 10Superb debut sticks the landing
There are no major twists along the way, but the opportunity to see these characters up close and personal is a real treat. One thing's for sure - this is a superbly confident debut from Eva Riley.
Rialto - An understated yet emotional mid-life crisis
RIALTOAn understated yet emotional mid-life crisis
Strong acting, purposeful directing and confident screenwriting, on paper it should be a stock-standard film, but proves to be able to rise above the occasion.
GoldenEye - 25 years on and it's still the ultimate Bond experience
GOLDENEYE25 years on and it's still the ultimate Bond experience
It stands the test of time, reminding us that before there was the best video game ever created, there was one of the best Bond films ever produced.
The More You Ignore Me - Searching for joy amidst the darkness
THE MORE YOU IGNORE MESearching for joy amidst the darkness
Thoughtful when it wants to be, heartfelt when it needs to be, and funny when it can be, this film is sure to leave a smile on your face, and maybe even a tear in your eye.
My Little Sister - A moving and sensitive portrayal on the effects of illness
MY LITTLE SISTERA moving and sensitive portrayal on the effects of illness
For an emotional, moving and sensitive narrative, this film generally hits the right notes, and even when it doesn't, the calibre of performances make it a worthwhile viewing experience.
Four Kids and It - Be careful what you wish for
FOUR KIDS AND ITBe careful what you wish for
What it lacks in comedy and childlike wonder, it does make up for in interesting takeaways. It will be great for young kids stuck at home, running out of things to watch and searching for adventure.
Kuessipan - Coming of age story in an Innu community
KUESSIPANComing of age story in an Innu community
There is no "right" path for these girls to take, but the confidence with which director Myriam Verreault approaches the issues makes for a captivating and tender film. It will linger on your mind.
Shiva Baby - A comedy of discomfort
SHIVA BABYA comedy of discomfort
While it may play out like a psychological thriller at times, it's a witty and fun film that may lack originality, but has plenty of energy and memorable moments that make for a confident debut.
First Cow - A minimalist portrait of the American dream
FIRST COWA minimalist portrait of the American dream
Kelly Reichardt points to an alternate reality where it's not the muscle of capitalism that conquers, but rather the sweet companionship and commitment to fellowship, not the greed of self-interest.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - Not here to make money and stuff
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLDNot here to make money and stuff
It's since become a cult classic, but the film failed to recoup its budget in cinemas. Perhaps audiences didn't know what hit them - every frame bursts with life, filled with meticulous detail.
Litigante - An authentic and tender character piece
LITIGANTEAn authentic and tender character piece
This is an authentic and tender exploration of a family, bookended with delicate - and organic - family moments. It will leave you smiling, reflective, teary, and hopefully above all else, inspired.
23 Walks - A story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
23 WALKSA story of dogs, walks and romance later in life
This is about those emotional scars that people live with. A gentle, warm and potentially teary 90 minutes, you'll know straight away if this film is up your alley.
The Boys Who Said No! - Powering change through non-violence
THE BOYS WHO SAID NO!Powering change through non-violence
An interesting, thought-provoking and ultimately challenging film with a powerful message - that standing up for what you believe in can have a transformative effect on your surroundings.
The World's Best Film - A second chance at life to follow your passion
THE WORLD'S BEST FILMA second chance at life to follow your passion
A skilled storyteller with a director's eye for human stories, Josh Belinfante didn't make the world's best film, but he sure gave it his best try, and that is what's most important.
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