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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

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.
Leaving Allen Street - Following residents out of institutional care and into our hearts
LEAVING ALLEN STREETFollowing residents out of institutional care and into our hearts
The beaming smiles the residents have on their faces when they finally move in is shared with its audience. They not only deserve this happiness, but through this film, they actually lead us to ours.
Flying High - Still landing jokes 40 years after take-off
FLYING HIGHStill landing jokes 40 years after take-off
It will have you in stitches, even after 40 years on the screen. The jokes are everywhere, and so many of them remain quotable gems still used around the family dinner table today.
Batman Begins - Celebrating fifteen years since the gritty reboot
BATMAN BEGINSCelebrating fifteen years since the gritty reboot
The chain reaction of 'Batman Begins' for Hollywood studios is still being felt today. 15 years since 'Batman Begins' was first released in cinemas, the question stands - does it still hold up?
Abe - Fusing food for peace and harmony
ABEFusing food for peace and harmony
Aimed predominately at a younger audience, there is plenty for them to sink their teeth into and hopefully learn from. What it lacks in weight, it makes up for in charm and great looking food.
Wes Anderson, ranked - Celebrating a modern-day auteur
WES ANDERSON, RANKEDCelebrating a modern-day auteur
As Wes Anderson gets set to turn 50, we're celebrating his unique films by ranking each and every one of them!
Kick-Ass 10-Year Anniversary - The love letter to superheroes that changed everything
KICK-ASS 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARYThe love letter to superheroes that changed everything
When it was released 10 years ago, it was amidst a cloud of controversy - but 'Kick-Ass' was able to breathe and grow to become the superhero film it is today: an influential love letter to heroes.
Notre Dame - Offbeat French comedy about rebuilding your life
NOTRE DAMEOffbeat French comedy about rebuilding your life
The style overshadows the substance, but this is a lighthearted and often very funny insight into overcoming failure, something that everyone can appreciate to some degree.
Hope Gap - Enough hope, but too many gaps
HOPE GAPEnough hope, but too many gaps
Audiences certainly feel that there is hope, but the gaps along the way are too frequent to feel any genuine satisfaction. Go for the acting masterclass, stay for the gorgeous seaside.
A Serial Killer's Guide to Life - A gory and funny road trip of self-discovery
A SERIAL KILLER'S GUIDE TO LIFEA gory and funny road trip of self-discovery
Contrary to its small budget, the gore and violence are at the forefront, and the quirky characters we meet along the way are fun.
La Belle Époque - Crowd-pleasing French romantic comedy
LA BELLE ÉPOQUECrowd-pleasing French romantic comedy
The romance is so pure, and there are genuine laugh-out-loud moments. It doesn't quite reach the heights of some of its cinematic predecessors, but you will leave with warm fuzzy feelings inside.
S He - A stop-motion animation with sole
S HEA stop-motion animation with sole
It's imaginative, it's vivid, it's creative, and it's unbelievably bonkers. If you can look past the shoes, there are lessons being taught by a visionary director who's willing to take risks.
Away - A minimalist and evocative animated adventure
AWAYA minimalist and evocative animated adventure
With such an impressive and often stunning debut, I can't wait to see what Gints Zilbalodis produces nex - this Latvian animator is certainly one to watch.
H is for Happiness - A heartwarming family tale about finding optimism in the world
H IS FOR HAPPINESSA heartwarming family tale about finding optimism in the world
There are genuinely touching moments, quirky characters, laughter and a closing musical number. If H is for happiness, it should also be for heartwarming and heartfelt.
Motherless Brooklyn - A neo-noir set in 1950s New York
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYNA neo-noir set in 1950s New York
There is nothing inherently wrong with this film, bar some odd edits and framing choices, and Edward Norton tackles the material fairly well, creating a great tribute to the noir era of filmmaking.
A Guide to Second Date Sex - A quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
A GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEXA quintessentially awkward British romantic comedy
There's just enough laughter and sweetness throughout to make it likeable, but whilst cute and enjoyable, there's too much familiarity.
Finding Farideh - An emotional & moving documentary for Iran's Oscar submission
FINDING FARIDEHAn emotional & moving documentary for Iran's Oscar submission
All everyone is after here is closure. Whether or not anyone finds it - well, you'll have to watch and find out, but this moving and revealing story is worth it.
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