By Henrique Barbosa Macedo
A film festival can be a whole new world of experiences for the audience, and creative labours from the film industry. A part of the films, side events, workshops, question and answers sections, and even parties are great ways to make the film festival experience memorable and intense. The festival format with various events happening at the same time builds new futures and economic growth for the whole community. It is putting in evidence filmmakers, audience, and community that I had a unique experience at the St. Kilda Film Festival, that happened this year in St. Kilda, and also in a small tour in the regional areas of Victoria, Australia.
The St. Kilda Film Festival produced by Port Philip is a short film competitive festival that aims to support the Australian film industry by screening and giving an opportunity for a range of works that, maybe, did not have a chance to be screened for a “big audience.”
With 35 years of festival, having one edition per year, they aim to promote, form, and reward filmmakers and creative labours in this award competition for Best Director, Best Achievement in Screenplay, Best Documentary, Best Animation, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Indigenous Filmmaking, Best Comedy and Best Achievement in Sound Post from the “top 100 Australian short films”.
In 2018 edition, this festival had simultaneous events happening inside the St Kilda Town Hall to inspire and educate new filmmakers with the free workshops. Build new audiences with free screening with Q&A sections, and generates new experiences mixing the professionals with amateurs, the modern with the experienced, the traditional with the vanguard.
With a diverse program range going from the “top 100 Australian short films” to “music videos competition” and “virtual reality experience,” this year was programmed to be innovative.
Furthermore, this special edition of the festival had the programmers building a “parallel” celebration to build audience and experiences just for young kids and teenagers, to start to show that they can be part of this industry, generating viability for the community.
Some people say that a festival is created to generate a diverse type of experiences in a specific framed time and a particular space. However, this festival decided to go further with that, for the first time St.Kilda Film Festival is doing a pocket festival experience and is touring in the regional area of Victoria.
Why do a festival tour is a way to go further in the perspective of time and space? In my personal experience of this two formats of this festival, I could experience the whole program and excitement during the main program in St.Kilda, but I also could have a similar experience watching a program of Australian short films in the regional area. I know that both lives experiences are not the same, besides that, the pocket festival tour opened a long tail opportunity that expands the time and space of this particular festival, making the pocket opportunity as a “small entrée” for the waiting time to the next “main course meal” in 2019.
However, the question for the next edition will be if the new audience and the regional experience would inspire other communities to run their festival and film industry? Or will they be simply followers of the main festival, bringing tourism and provincial capital to Port Philip? I believe we will need to wait for the next year to have those answers, and see the results of this format experiment.
What do you think about the future of this new way to run a short film festival in Victoria? Send your opinion about this festival in the comments below.