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Melbourne fest opens with ‘Party’

Helmer Jane's pic was backed by event's film fund

Tyro helmer Amanda Jane’s “The Wedding Party” will open the Melbourne Film Festival on July 22, outgoing fest director Richard Moore announced on Wednesday.

Pic, about a man on the verge of financial ruin who agrees to marry a residency-seeking Russian woman for money, was backed by the fest’s Premiere Film fund.

“We had received funding from Screen Australia and then needed to find additional funding,” said Jane. “So without the help of MIFF the film might not have been made.”

“The Wedding Party” is a Melbourne-based story with a local cast, most of whom will be in attendance.

Pic will also screen at this year’s MIFF 37ºSouth Market, which has registered 70 Australian and New Zealand producers, up 33% from 2007’s inaugural edition.

MIFF 37ºSouth Market will run July 22-25. The fest wraps Aug. 8.

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