MIFF Shows a Different Life

As an international film festival, MIFF plays many excellent films from different countries and Shoplifters is a Japanese film which won the Palme d’Or in 71st Festival de Cannes. This film tells a story about a family which lives depending of stealing. Although their life is embarrassed they still try their best to live happy. However, the stolen happy won’t keep for a long time. Their behavior is discovered by the public after the boy in the family was caught in a stealing and the whole family go in to the prison. In fact, the family members have no blood relationship with each other. They might hide something to each other, but they tried to care about the family. They want to choose their own family member not depending on the blood but their choice so that they believe they could avoid the hurt from their family of origin.


The tickets of this film sold out fast. It attracts not only Japanese in Melbourne, but also many locals and people from other countries. It can be said that, in some degree, it is MIFF who choose the film in and bring it to cinephiles. Choosing film is an important part in a film festival, it contains many factors, like the theme of the festival, the goal of the festival, and the tastes of the festival (Valck,Kredell, & Loist 2016, p.111). Since MIFF was set up, it aims to enhance the cooperate of filmmakers from Australia and other countries. This means the film it chooses must be representative on the international level. Shoplifters is one of the films that reaches this requirement. It shows the culture of Japan, some facts of Japanese and the director’s thinking about the society. The shooting technology and narrating way of this film is worth to be learnt. A lot of audience show their understanding of the story. In this case, the film adding the feature of the MIFF and shows to the public what kind of film it will choose to show. The idea of what kind of film festival that MIFF is would be clear in the public’s mind and this is a process of tastemaker forming in film festival which depending of time and quantity.


It needs a long for film festivals to act as a tastemaker. For MIFF, it has hold for about 66 years. Audience who like lasted and argued film would care about the film festival and become the member of it. It can be seen as the taste that the festival made to the public. From watching Shoplifters and thinking about why it can be chosen to MIFF, it can be found that in a film festival, staff work for choosing film need to care about what the festival want to express and thinking about how to utilize the habitus of the festival.



Valck, M,Kredell, B & Loist, S 2016, Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Practice, Routledge, New York.

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