Thank You For Smoking, which releasesin Australia this week, wasthe most popular film among Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF)audiences.
Director Jason Reitman and his long-time producing partner Daniel Dubieckiwere guests of the event with Dubiecki, whose father is Australian, exploringAustralian opportunities while in the country.
The top five MIFF films according to audience votes are a diverse bunchwith Bong Joon-ho's The Host, fromSouth Korea, running second, and Jafar Panahi's Offside, from Iran, third. The festival, which is Australia's oldest andbiggest, programmed a retrospective of Panahi's work.
Ken Loach's The Wind That ShakesThe Barley from the UK/Ireland and veteran US director RobertAltman's A Prairie Home Companionrounded out the top five. The one Australian film in the top 10 was Last Train To Freo, actor and theatredirector Jeremy Sims' big-screen debut.
On the documentary front, the US reigned supremewith the top three spots. Director Davis Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth was the most popular, followed by SydneyPollack's Sketches Of Frank Gehry,and Denis Henry Hennelly and Casey Suchan's RockThe Bells. A home-grown film, Rob McCafferty's A Weekend In The Country: A History Of The Meredith Music Festivalwas fourth. Another US film, LOUDquietLOUD: A Film About The Pixies,from directors Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin, was also included in the topfive.
About A$1.25 million tickets were sold this year, a five per centincrease on the previous and this equated to a record 180,000 attendances.There were 57 sell-out sessions during the three-week event.