Dedicated to screening rare & significant films in their original format.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run film society.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a membership-based film society based in Melbourne, Australia.

We hold screenings at ACMI, Fed Square every Wednesday night for most of the year.

Admission is by membership, which can be obtained on a short-term or yearly basis.

We are a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation.

Make a tax deductible donation to support our 2025 Screening Program fundraising campaign through the Australian Cultural Fund.


Wednesday 26 June


Samira Makhmalbaf (2000) 85 mins – PG

This fluid, episodic narrative, following Kurdish refugees traversing the rocky mountain passes near the Iraqi border in northern Iran, focuses on teachers trying to find students as well as a group of old men in search of homes, as armed soldiers patrol their surrounds. Makhmalbaf’s precociously assured and bold second feature combines documentary realism with surrealist fantasy, as itinerant teachers carrying their blackboards on their backs crowd uncannily together to “make a spectacle that is like an art installation” (Peter Bradshaw). Co-written with and edited by Samira’s father, Mohsen.

35mm print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.


Samira Makhmalbaf (2008) 101 mins – Unclassified 15+

Shot and set in Afghanistan, Makhmalbaf’s last completed film is a bracing and confronting parable following the life of a poor young boy who earns a measly living piggybacking to school wealthy children who have lost legs in the war. A competition develops between the children that tests “how far a relationship between two people can go” (Makhmalbaf). As in her earlier films, the director chooses uncomfortable themes and challenging images to unsettle the viewer and examine social inequities and exploitation. Written by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, it was the winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 56th San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Two-Legged Horse
by Faith Everard


The Melbourne Cinémathèque started out as the Melbourne University Film Society (MUFS) in 1948 and changed its name to Cinémathèque in 1984.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque aims to present films in the medium they were created and as closely as possible to screen films the way they would have originally screened (i.e. big screen, celluloid prints, not video or DVD).

Programmes include a diverse selection of classic and contemporary films showcasing director retrospectives, special guest appearances and thematic series including archival material and new or restored prints.

We have on occasion hosted numerous seminars featuring renowned film scholars such as David Bordwell, Adrian Martin and Ian Christie. We are also dedicated to providing new annotations on the films we screen via the CTEQ annotations, hosted as a part of the quarterly online film journal Senses of Cinema.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered and membership-driven relying on support from individuals, foundations, corporations and government funding to maintain its high standard of excellence. If you would like to be involved, or to offer donations or sponsorship, please contact us.

Presented by The Melbourne Cinémathèque with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Curated by Michael Koller, Adrian Danks, Eloise Ross, Cerise Howard and Andréas Giannopoulos for the Melbourne Cinémathèque

Subtitling Logistics: Lorenzo Rosa

Music Synchronisation: Michael Koller

Supported by VicScreen & RMIT University.


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