The role of the “gatekeeper” in the film festival: the Melbourne International Film Festival


The Melbourne International Film Festival is Australia’s first international film festival and it is one of the most influential international film festivals in the Southern Hemisphere. It was founded in 1952. The main purpose of the film festival is to understand the film situation in countries around the world, to promote the close cooperation between Australian filmmakers and foreign filmmakers, and to contribute to the development of the country’s film industry. In addition, the Melbourne International Film Festival has also played an important role as a “gatekeeper”.


In the 1950s, communication scholar White, D.M. (1950) applied this concept “gatekeeper” to journalism research and proposed a “gatekeeper” process model for news dissemination. White (1950) believes that the news media’s reporting activities are not “recording”, but the process of selecting and processing a large number of news materials. In this process, the media forms a gateway and through the gateway to delivery news or information to the audience and that is only a minority. The shortcoming of White’s “check” mode is that he does not realize that the check is an organizational behavior, but thinks that it is mainly a news editor’s choice based on personal subjective judgment. In addition, this model does not indicate the standard of news check.

Melbourne International Film Festival is the “gatekeeper” role. Every year, the Melbourne International Film Festival collects and screens a wide range of films from a wide range of subjects. Includes feature films, short films, documentaries, cartoons, experimental films and multimedia movies. Movies from around the world, these films are often fresh and controversial. Film festival as a media form which is not blindly selecting movies. Each movie represents the information that the festival wants to pass to the audience.


For example, many different types of movies can be seen on the official website of the Melbourne International Film Festival. This not only increases the exposure, but also increases the chances of film display, which further enhances the recognizability of the film. Some niche, less-famous movies have gained exposure through the festival, allowing more viewers to understand them. These are the roles of the film festival “gatekeeper”. In daily life, it may be difficult for some young viewers to have access to these niche movies. They are more likely to be attracted to some commercial films. The Melbourne International Film Festival provides an opportunity for more people to see and understand these movies.


The Melbourne International Film Festival plays the role of “gatekeepers” and selects different types of films to meet the needs of different groups and people of different ages.


White, D.M. (1950). The gatekeepera case study in the selection of news. Journalism Quarterly, 27, 383-390.

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