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The slap seemed to echo. It cracked the twilight. The little boy looked up at the man in shock. There was a long silence.

This year's MIFF will host a special world premiere screening of the first two episodes of the long-awaited ABC TV adaptation of The Slap, the controversial, highly praised and Premier's Award winning novel by Melbourne-based Christos Tsiolkas.

When a backyard cricket match turns into an out-of-control tantrum for an irritable boy, one man's attempt to punish a child that is not his own explodes into a world of litigation and resentment. A biting portrait of the seething underbelly of middle-class Australian life seen through the eyes of eight affected characters, The Slap is a bleakly comic demolition of our cosy assumptions about community, family and the way we raise our children.

Stars Jonathan LaPaglia, Essie Davis, Sophie Okonedo, Sophie Lowe and Melissa George.

Cast and crew will be present for the screening.

Watch a preview of the ABC TV series

See the film and read the book - browse online at Readings

D Jessica Hobbs P Tony Ayres, Helen Bowden, Michael McMahon S Kris Mrksa, Emily Ballou Dist ABC TD HD Cam/2011

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