The opening night of the 52nd Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will feature the work of two hometown talents, Sue Brooks' Cannes competition feature Japanese Story and Adam Elliot's 22-minute claymation Harvie Krumpet.

Japanese Story stars Toni Collette, Matthew Dyktynski and Gotaro Tsunashima in the Australian outback and was been picked up during Cannes for the US by Samuel Goldwyn.

Harvie Krumpet is narrated by Geoffrey Rush and won a host of awards at the recent Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Cracker Bag, winner of the short film Palme d'Or at Cannes and directed by a third Melbourne director, Glendyn Ivin, will also be in the limelight during another festival spot. It will be the supporting film to Gregor Jordan's Buffalo Soldiers. Jordan is also Australian, but hails from Sydney.

MIFF executive director James Hewison unveiled details of the 400-plus films screening in over 19 days from July 23, and the 200-plus filmmakers taking part, including Iran's Abbas Kiarostami.

The festival, as usual, will have an international panorama, an Australian showcase and a regional focus. Spotlights include new Japanese cinema, films from new women directors from Asia and the Middle East, contemporary fringe films from France, classic and new martial arts films, independent Indian discoveries, contemporary Russian cinema and animated features.