In the past, I had no idea about a film festival, and I thought it was far away from my life. As in my understanding, a film festival gives me the image of celebrities, movie stars, red carpet, award ceremony and so on. I thought those things would not appear in my life. However, through attended Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) with Irina, my understanding of a film festival has changed. Now I know that a film festival is a big event that all the people can participate in. In other words, everyone can attend a film festival, and people can choose different films that they interested in to watch.
Different from the usual movie shows in cinemas, before watching a film during the period of a film festival, there will be some important guest speeches, such as the directors and the leading actors. Those people will simply introduce the film to audiences. After their speeches, the film hall will start to play the screening of the film. To my surprise, after the film is over, the host will invite the main creators of the film, such as the director and the scriptwriter to the stage for interviews. Through interviews, the audience can better understand the meaning of the film and the story behind the film, and even try to know about directors and writers ‘experiences. The interview after the film brings us closer to the film.
My favorite part is the audience’s question time after the interview. In this session, the film creators’ team will interact with the audience and answer questions raised by the audience. This is a very precious opportunity for our audience to solve some of our doubts about this film, and it also gives the film creators’ team and audience a chance to communicate. Although I did not have the chance to come up with a question to the film creators’ team, I still feel excited.
After the interactive session, the film festival trip is not really finished. Because Irina gave me a new understanding of the festival again. Irina led us to the Lounge of the MIFF. Food and drink can be ordered in the Lounge, where people can comfortably continue to communicate their feelings and thoughts about the film. The lounge likes a small post-film exchange, it is giving people a chance to discuss the film face-to-face, and it makes people close to others. Digitalization makes us accustomed to watching movies on the Internet and communicating with others through film reviews. Although it is convenient for people’s life, it makes people distanced others. The film festival brings us closer to the film and it also brings us closer to discuss the film.
(The lounge of MIFF, photo credit to Jiang)