City So Real at Melbourne Film Festival

Friday, August 7, 2020 12:00 am

Melbourne, VIC
Melbourne Film Festival

Introducing MIFF 68½ —
a digital film festival for 2020.

Discovering new possibilities in the face of dramatic disruptions in the global film industry, MIFF is excited to announce a new online showcase for 2020 to deliver a fresh program of new-release films from around the world.

City So Real from director Steve James will be participating in the digital showcase of over 60 features, four shorts packages, talks, events, and activations – all available to stream across Australia, from August 7th, 2020 -  August 23rd, 2020. 

Films on MIFF 68½ will be accessible from 11am AEST on Friday 7 August 2020 through to 11.59pm AEST on Sunday 23 August 2020, unless otherwise noted. 

More information regarding the festival can be found here. 

Purchasing information can be found here. 


Steve James, the visionary director of Hoop Dreams, tackles an ambitious, must-see four-part chronicle of Chicago’s 2019 mayoral elections, revealing a city divided on social-justice issues – and between Black and white.

When incumbent Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made the surprise decision not to run for re-election, twelve candidates – running the gamut from conservative establishment to more radical outsiders – threw their hats into the ring. James follows a selection of these candidates as they embark on their campaigns, in the process piecing together an expansive mosaic of a city that is emblematic of conflicts and concerns across the USA.

From campaign offices to barbershops, beauty salons to Wrigley Field, City So Real admirably attempts to capture all facets of Chicago’s civic life. In total becoming an epic exploration of a city, from its elites to its outsiders, the film functions as a wholly realized portrait of community and exclusion, observing an engaged Black populace acutely aware of how their home has been designed against them. This sprawling work is a thoughtful and compelling portrait that only has more relevance following the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests.