Before I went to MIFF, the impression of film festival might be a more formal, organized and dignified cultural event, but after I started to experience with MIFF, my impression of the festival began to change. For example, different film festivals may screen different movies, and MIFF selected mainly short films. There’s another point really surprised me that the festivals I’ve seen on the news are almost related to the show of red carpets, celebrities, and different types of award shows. As for audience, the elements described above, though presented in MIFF, were more about the communication between the director, producer and audience (that’s probably because the first film I saw at MIFF was Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley).
the shows before screening Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley
There are many angles to write about a film festival. I mainly talk about MIFF’s movie-watching experience and outlook. This year’s MIFF started on August 2 and ended on August 19. The films were screening in Forum Theatre, Kino Cinema and other venues. It might be a hassle for the audience who want to watch many movies among the film festival, and they had to cost more time here. In China, the venue for a film festival is usually fixed, which may be convenient for the audience. After the film, however, I came to a new understanding of this phenomenon. The movie-watching experience in different venues may be conducive to updating the audience’s standards for the movie-watching venues. Specifically, the audience’s requirements for the movie-watching venues have been raised after experiencing different venues. After receiving feedback from audiences, theatres will probably pay more attention to the need of watching equipments, so that the industry standards can be indirectly improved. Before I got ready to see Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley, I saw the audiences were queuing out of Forum Theatre. It’s still cold in the winter in Melbourne, so it might be better to queue indoors.
I was deeply impressed by the communication between the production team and audiences. Before screening Undermined: Tales from The Kimberley, the organizer from MIFF introduced us to production team of this film. One other actors of this film, Albert Wiggan, brought two fancy songs to audiences, which gave us a good mood of watching films. In the Q&A session after the screening, director Nicholas Wrathall and others answered a lot of questions about the motivation and purpose of this film, which enabled the audience to reconsider some problems caused by social development, and also advocated competent people to provide help to these remote areas. This was the first time that the distance between artistic creation and the audience was so close. Sometimes, the director’s creating motivation is very simple, and the audience really respects the efforts from film producers (many audiences initiatively applauded for the film after the end of the film). However, I understand that it is impossible that every production team will have close contact with the audience.
In short, my MIFF experience is quite good, which makes me discover some differences between Chinese film festivals and MIFF, but some aspects of MIFF need to be improved.
MIFF information from Melbourne International Film Festival Official Website: http://miff.com.au/