Every year Melbourne International Film Festival shows a variety of films to the public and attracts both the filmmakers and cinephiles’ attention. Many films and documentary choose this festival to show to the public. In this year MIFF (2018), I learnt what the distribution of the documentary really like depending on the film festival after joining in the publication event of Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley.
Originally, the impression of film festival is more about the opening ceremony and the awards ceremony. More information about these parts can be got on the internet and most audience only take care of awards ceremony like famous film stars’ red-carpet photos and their speeches when won awards. Every year, the film gets the Oscar Awards in the Oscar could gain a great number of discussion on the internet and more audience would watch the film. Some latest films make the distribution in the film festival and get the public attention in this way. However, the distribution in the film festival is not limited in this way.
MIFF shows a clearer idea about how film festival helps film distribution. It brings the director and actors in to attract the media and public’s attention. The first playing event in the film festival’s distribution contains the film’s main idea speech from the filmmaker, the Question & Answer part, etc. In the distribution event of Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley, the director gave the speech about why he wanted to make the documentary for what the people in the north-western want and what issues they are facing. The media care about the festival come and record the speech so that the wide range of audience could know the background information about the film.
After watching the documentary is the Q&A part, this is a kind of communication between the filmmakers and the audience. Film festival itself has a presitage and would bring it to the new distribution (Harris 2017, pp.53-54). Many audience applaud after Albert Wiggan who is one of the important actors in the documentary answering the question about the future of culture gap to show their agreements about Wiggan as well as the film idea. The film festival provides a platform to gather a group of cinephiles who understand the style of documentary and the workers in the industry to communicate about the film content and style (Czach 2010, pp. 139-140). In some cases, their voice about this documentary might affect the audience who haven’t seen the documentary to decide whether watch it.
From this experience, it can be recognized that the playing event is an important part of the film festival distribution which should not be ignored. Due to the film festival is a prominent platform of showing films to the public, it has a lot of followers who would give a help in the further distribution of the film (Valck，Kredell, & Loist 2016, p.12). From the films festival, more background information of the film could be published directly to the public. Under this condition, when plan a film distribution in a film festival, the features of film festival and utilize the advantages of it to make attracting activities about the film need to be cared about.
Harris, LC 2017, “Theorising film festivals as distributors and investigating the post-festival distribution of Australian films”, Studies in Australasian Cinema, vol. 11, no. 2, pp.46-58, doi: 10.1080/17503175.2017.1356611
Czach, L 2010, “Part of special section on cinephilia”, Cinema Journal, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 139-145, doi: 10.1353/cj.0.0194
Valck, M，Kredell, B & Loist, S 2016, Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Practice, Routledge, New York.