I have been to Shanghai International Film Fesival( SIFF ) for several times as an audience as well as volunteer, while this is my first went to the Melbourne International Film Festival ( MIFF ). Thus, in this article, I want to compare the difference between SIFF and MIFF in five aspects in order to highlight the feature of the MIFF. These five aspects are venues, volunteers, films selection, business and marketing and mission. The comparison is based on my personal experience, my volunteer experience in SIFF and an interview on an anonymous volunteer in SIFF.
This year in Shanghai, I have watched The Shining, which is a part of ‘respect to master’ of the SIFF
The major difference between SIFF and MIFF is their mission. According to the SIFF website, their mission is to provide professional service for the industry, builds an exchange platform for filmmakers around the world, presents foreign and domestic movie cultures for audiences, and contributes to the new development of China’s film industry. While the mission of MIFF is to bring the story of the world through curated and unforgettable screen experiences. Based on the mission, the SIFF plan to be a comprehensive and global film festival that take the resposibility of displaying different culture as well as contributing to the art aspect. On the other hand, the MIFF is a platform that display different cultures and face to the domestic audience. The difference in mission between SIFF and MIFF leads to the different film selection, venues and marketing.
In the 2018 SIFF, there is a wide range of film from worldwide. For example, the SIFF has two major awards, Golden Goblet Awards and Asian New Talents Awards. The previous one display the films from worldwide, while the second award focus on the Asia filmmakers. Also, the SIFF has the ‘Respect to Masters’ section. This year, the SIFF had shown classic films from James Cameron and Stanley Kubrick. By contrast, the MIFF focus on the domestic films as well as other indie films and documentary films. For instance, Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley is a film focus on the Australian environment and the culture and current situation of Aboriginal people. In this case, the MIFF showed social care that lead people to focus on Aboriginal people and their culture. While the SIFF is majorly face to worldwide and domestic films are rare.
The image was taken before the movie Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley and left side is the place for film-related staff
Also, the film selection may lead to the venues selection in some way. Since the SIFF has many international and classic films, some of these filmmakers can’t go to Shanghai to participate related events. However, the MIFF hold many events and activities that invite film-related staff to participate in. For example, before and after the displaying of Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley, staff came to the Forum theatre and attend the Q&A part. In this case, the Forum Melbourne is the fittest venue to hod this event. The Forum Melbourne is originally a place for concerts and gigs, while it is designed to welcome every audience’s participation. However, all of the venues of SIFF is the cinema. Rarely, filmmakers can directly access to audience in these venues and there are less Q&A part comparing to the MIFF.