Black comedy Suburban Mayhem, starring Emily Barclay,will close the 55th Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) on August 13.

Director Paul Goldman (Australian Rules, The Night They Called It A Day) said the festival is seen as bothan audience-friendly and cutting edge event and is the perfect place to launchthe film: "I like to think that Mayhemmirrors the brave, dynamic and exciting programming of the festival."

Suburban Mayhem represents a shift from commercials production to feature films forproducer Leah Churchill-Brown and was written by her former productionco-ordinator Alice Bell, who is being hailed as Australia's next big script-writing thing. It draws on manyreal-life murders, an obsession that Churchill-Brown and Bell have shared for some time.

Barclay (In My Father's Den) plays KatrinaSkinner, a 19-year-old single mum and master manipulator of men who arrangesthe murder of her father - and gets away with it. Other cast includes RobertMorgan, Michael Dorman, Steve Bastoni and Genevieve Lemon.

Icon has not yet set a datefor Suburban Mayhem's Australianrelease and sales agent Fortissimo Films will launch it at the Cannes FilmFestival next month.

Outgoing MIFF executivedirector James Hewison announced the news today. April 21 is the deadline forexpressions of interest from people keen to take over the creative directionand overall management of the festival from August 2006. Hewison is to nexthead the Australian Film Institute.