Before I attended MIFF (Melbourne International Film Festival) on 8/8/18, all my knowledge about the film festival was just from the television and internet. I considered that it was celebrations to praise the glory of stars and directors, which was filled with Greed, vanity and sites of power and as a social place where famous people get together to celebrate. Those people who are Dazzling got more attention than the films.
MIFF refreshes my understanding of the film festival. There are no red carpets and costumed popular stars or the scores of accredited journalists at the festival. At the beginning of the festival, the host introduced the topic of the film at the stage and then, after the film’s interviewer, Albert Wiggan performed a music performance, the , was showing in the cinema. A documentary tells these struggles from the southwest corner of Australia. To sake of the Australia’s economic development, the government intends to develop the minerals and the rural areas in Kimberley. Because of the competition for resources, the suppression of traditional culture, and the unequal treatment, continuously conflicts between Indigenous and white men started. The film is mostly made up of interviews with traditional heirs and landowners. In my impression, the first words of almost all interviewees are “I was born here”. Indigenous born and raised in this country and now have to lose their resources and their own traditional culture. Problems that have been ignored or hidden are exposed to the audience. The audience was so absorbed that some applauded for the interviewees in the film, and some cried over their misfortunes. Everyone cheered and applauded for the film when it finished.
In my personal opinion, that night was amazing and the film festival was successful. It not only opens my view and refreshes my view of what a film festival also can be, also gripped the audiences’ attention. It seems like the audiences took over the art of cinema. The film festival gets to ‘real’ life and reach out to audiences, as Dina and Ragan mentioned in their article. The Film Festival as Exhibition Site also transforming to an important factor closely linked to other aspects of the creative cycle such as to evoke a community of shared experience and plays a key factor in the film industry with politics and other spheres. Contemporary, the Festivals enhance the exposure of films, Director, screenwriter and producer, etc. So that those non-mainstream films as <Undermined: Tales From the Kimberley> can be more into the audience’s vision, the creators can get more supports and affirmation. More problems like Kimberley’s can be addressed. I always believe that a good movie can make the world a better place. An memorable experience at Melbourne International Film Festival.
Iordanova, D. (2015). The Film Festival as an Industry Node. Media Industries Journal, 1(3).
Iordanova, D. and Rhyne, R. (2009). The festival circuit. St. Andrews, Scotland: St Andrews Film Studies.