When talking about film festivals, the first impression jumped into my mind is the world’s four biggest film festivals——the Oscars film festival in the United States, the Cannes film festival, the Venice international film festival and the Berlin international film festival. Due to my biggest hobby——film, I gradually notice some relatively minority film festivals, such as Sundance independent film festival in the United States and Tokyo film festival. Due to there is the diversified cultural atmosphere in Melbourne, I was quite honored and lucky to attend the Melbourne International Film Festival this mouth and had a deeper understanding of the film festival, such as how film festival operate and what impact can be brought from film festival. When I visited the official website of the Melbourne International Film Festival for the first time, I was really surprised that MIFF include a variety of films which have different cultural background, different type of films come from different country, which means MIFF give the audience a choice of films in different cultural contexts.
In order to better understand the film itself, I, as a Chinese, naturally chose the film of Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke. Director Jia Zhang-ke is one of my favorite Chinese directors. His films have strong personal characteristics, from the structure of the lens, the selection of the BGM and the setting of the plots, they all have obvious personal branding. From the previous “A touch of sin” and “mountains may depart” to this year’s “Ash Is Purest White”, all show the life of contemporary Chinese society from different perspectives. The movie ” Ash Is Purest White ” tells the story of Datong county in Shanxi province, China in 2001. Model Qiao Qiao and taxi company owner Bin are lovers. Once, Bin was attacked by competitors on the street, and in order to protect Bin, Qiao Qiao shoot the competitors in the street and finally was put into prison. Many years ago, when Qiao Qiao released from prison, she began to look for brother Bin, however everything has changed beyond Qiao Qiao’s expectation. When audiences watch this film, people can feel a strong sense of personal characteristic, the whole film is remarkably emotional. The film strongly reflects the real Chinese society.
Based on the past experience, the film will not be released for the public in China mainland because of Chinese film censorship, therefore thanks to the Melbourne International Film Festival this platform, gives this full of emotion and dramatic movie an opportunity to expose in front of western audiences and oversea Chinese audiences. It is truly impressive and touchable. Just like Iordanova (2009) said: movies also need film festivals. Due to the festivals provide films a platform, many minority films can be exposed in front of the audiences and get publics’ attention. After all not every film is commercial movies with movie stars and big budget. Many art films and experimental films need festival to kick the door of mainstream market. On the other hand, the environment and atmosphere can effect the audiences, to some extent (Nochimoson, 2012).
Iordanova, D., 2009. The filmfestival circuit. Film festival yearbook 1: The festival circuit, pp.23-39.
Nochimson, M.P. 2012, “Festival Festival Report: Forty-Ninth New York Film Festival September 30-October 16, 2011”, Cinema Journal, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 155-159.