First Time Visiting a Film Festival

I knew the Film Festival such as ‘Festival De Cannes’, ‘Berlin International Film Festival’, ‘Shanghai International Film Festival’ through the Internet or on TV in the past. However, most of the news and videos’ reporting are largely focused on actors, idols, and superstars who attending this Film Festival rather than the awards of films. Therefore, I thought the Film Festival is just equal to the red carpet, or it is a public occasion for stars to compete with each other such as who wears the most brilliant dress or who is the most beautiful or the most handsome in this event in my past impression. Melbourne International Film Festival is the first film festival I have ever participated in. It makes me re-recognize the film festival and refreshes my previous understanding of the film festival. It is a precious experiencing for me to take part in this event. I think my previous understanding of the film festival is shallow and ignorant.

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Melbourne International Film Festival is Australia’s largest and most important film festival. It is a non-profit organization that has been continuously running since 1952. It is the leading film festival in Australia and it is the world’s largest showcase of Australian filmmaking, in addition to, it is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. We are usually exposed to the popcorn film such as commercial blockbuster in the cinema; the Melbourne International Film Festival provides a good platform for the audience to watch many movies that are unknown. Through this film festival, some of Australia’s excellent local films have a chance to be spread; meanwhile, different categories of movies from other countries can be seen by audiences.

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I watched ‘On Happiness Road’ this film with my friends on August 11th. This film led the audience to experience Taiwanese forty years changing times through the growth story of the protagonist Xiao Qi. ‘On Happiness Road’, It is a Taiwanese rare original cartoon film, but it bombed at the box office in Taiwan. Films, for example Hollywood and Bollywood films, they do not need film festival to reach audiences; however, some of special-interest films depend on festival participation to beyond their original environment (Lordanova and Rhyne, 2009, p.25). For film, the film festival gives a chance to these kinds of films to make more audiences know them. Moreover, for audiences, they can see some excellent movies that might be missed. As director Tobi Wiemann (2018, p.62) said, “For filmmakers, it is an opportunity to experience first hand how the audience reacts to the finished project which involved so much energy”. Xin-ying Song, a director of ‘On Happiness Road’, completed her first cartoon film in five years. She can show her ideas like why she wants to do this story directly to the audience through the festival and communicate with them. Also as Tobi Wiemann (2018, p.62) said, “Festivals are events in which a diverse array of people can gather. They are a place for cultural exchange”. I remember that the cinema was packed in that day;all the audience burst into applause After the film ended. I saw many people still sitting in the seats and discussing with each other before leaving.

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Film festivals can bring many good films to the audience, and this is the direct way to make the dissemination of culture. It is a power of film festival.

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Reference

Iordanova, D & Rhyne, R 2009, The Festival Circuit, St Andrews Film Studies in collaboration with College Gate Press, Great Britain.

MIFF 2018, About MIFF, viewed 20 August 2018, http://miff.com.au/about

Wiemann, T 2018, ‘Fokus: Festival’, Blickpunkt Film, August, pp.62.

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