The coming-out comedy canon gets a welcome addition in Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt), a refreshingly funny standout at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). The teen rom-com is the feature-film debut from writer/director Monica Zanetti (Tonightly With Tom Ballard) and will screen online exclusively as part of the stream-from-home MIFF 68½ program.
The film follows 17-year-old overachiever Ellie (Sophie Hawkshaw), who is trying to work up the courage to ask her rebellious classmate Abbie (Zoe Terakes) to the formal. After awkwardly coming out to her mum (played by Marta Dusseldorp of Wentworth and Janet King), Ellie winds up getting advice from the ghost of her dead aunt (Julia Billington), an LGBTQIA+ activist who makes it her mission to help her niece with this all-important romantic breakthrough – whether Ellie likes it or not.
Despite its fantasy premise, Ellie & Abbie is deeply relatable – right down to details such as accidentally liking one of your crush’s old Instagram posts. MIFF artistic director Al Cossar describes the movie as “a real charmer for audiences” that has a “resonant political message as well”. Watch the trailer here.
This year’s festival has been dubbed MIFF 68½ – a nod to both its slimmer program and Fellini’s landmark Italian comedy-drama 8½. You can buy money-saving film-screening bundles grouped by genre, and there are several bundles of short films screening for free too.
To secure your tickets, just set up an account online (even if you have a MIFF account from previous years). Films can still sell out, so we recommend you grab tickets sooner rather than later. Once you’ve got your tickets, you can watch your selections any time during their scheduled streaming windows.
See the full 2020 program at MIFF.
Broadsheet is a proud media partner of MIFF. The festival has also partnered with digital bank Up, to offer new cardholders a $10 credit towards their MIFF stream. Simply use the code ‘MIFF’ when using your phone to signup with Up, and you'll receive a $10 bonus in your new account to put towards your next MIFF stream. Read more about Up’s discount at MIFF.