Film festivals may bring the audience numbers and various films in a period of time. Take MIFF as an example, there are more than 400 films showing within 18 days (Mills, 2018). Normally, most of the films released in the cinema are commercial ones produced by big companies or starring famous actors/actresses. Film festivals can provide the platform for films other than commercial ones being noticed by the public, like independent films, low-cost films, and so forth. The documentary ‘Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley’ premieres at MIFF to raise more people’s attention on the issue of overdevelopment in Kimberley and the Aborigines’ lives there, the topic of which people may ignore at ordinary times. Besides, different from the films released in the cinema need to be censored, the films showing in the film festival are invited by the programmers after their submissions (Winfrey, 2016). Therefore, the category, topic, content of the films in film festival may be broader since the criteria of screening is relative flexible.
Furthermore, for the international film festival like MIFF, more foreign films can be available. It is not only for the audience that can have the chance to appreciate exotic culture, the producers or filmmakers can have access to different ideas of filming and to communicate with each other. In the interview on ABC RN with Michelle Carey who is the director of MIFF, she mentions that the festival would provide an opportunity for Australian filmmakers to have an international mind. Apart from the professionals, for those who want to devote in the film industry in the future, film festival offers work opportunities like being the volunteers of it. Refer to the experience of attending MIFF, volunteers can be seen everywhere around the event site. Doing the voluntary work in the activities alike may bring some experience and the access to get closer to the film industry.
Except for attracting the audience and the film professionals, film festival can also help the social activists to realize their appeal. For instance, the main character Albert in the documentary ‘Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley’ conveys his thoughts and emphasis after the screening, which may leave the audience more impressive feelings that joints the connection of the art (documentary) and the reality. To some degree, people’s desire of protecting the environment and the culture there may get more intense. After the cinema let out, the audience would get the promotional card of the documentary which has the slogan that appealing people to take action to support the campaign in Kimberley.
Overall, the film festival provides a great chance to integrate film resources which benefits for the audience, the professionals in the film industry and even some other relative industries. The role it plays may not be limited to the film area but influence in the social sphere.
Mills, N 2018, ‘MIFF: The top films at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival’, The ABC News: news, viewed 20 August 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-02/best-films-at-miff-2018-melbourne-international-film-festival/10051056
Winfrey, G 2016, ‘How Film Festivals Decide Which Movies to Accept’, Indiewire: Film, viewed 20 August 2018, https://www.indiewire.com/2016/06/film-festivals-moma-sundance-tribeca-movies-1201700469/