Most film festivals in Melbourne have target audiences in particular forms varying from genres to formats compared to international film festivals.
Two nationalities film festivals experiences in Melbourne
Czech Slovak film festival & Korean film festival
In traditional cinema, audiences go to watch films with friends and during the watching period they may talk to each other sometimes and there is no interactions or social things with other audiences. But for example, in Czech Slovak film festival, they have live music and drinks in the Bar after films, the film serves as an appetizer for this event. And such nation based film festivals build a clear and complete imagination for participants to immerse themselves in this culture: I join a Czech Slovak activity, most audiences are Czech Slovak, their reactions to films are the same under the Czech Slovak’s style. The booklets and exhibitions are all related to Czech Slovak.
As for Korean film festival, I watched A Taxi Driver in Korean film festival which tells the history of the 1980 political movement in Gwangju, South Korea. I saw people around me crying hard and keep arguing after watching. I know this period history before but in this film, experience I find it is totally different between “I know, I read” with “I watch”. Considering the huge screen is the most efficient media to trigger audiences’ emotions, the film is still the best way to tell a story, thus, film festivals as a pathfinder offer a lens for audiences to explore social identity and culture importance for different communities.
Speaking of the social role of film festivals, in order to perform this social role in the best way if it is possible for film festival itself to create their own contents in the future just as Netflix. At first, Netflix only serves as a distributor without producing contents but now it starts to present films, documentaries and TV series.
After taking this class, I start to realize the number of individual film festivals in Melbourne is staggering to have more than 40 film festivals. Along with film festivals, various cultural events are pervasive. I am thinking that whether these events shape the society transfer into a immigrate city or all these cultures bring diversity events or maybe these two elements interact with each other. Due to this thinking, I searched for relevant articles. One article from Stevens (2015) refers that it was until the end of the 1990s, “an exponential increase in the number and diversity of events had occurred.” And in the 1980s, film festivals in Australia were only limited to the country’s capital cities. However, Australia’s Immigration time goes back to the 19th century. Maybe it because of the diverse interactions among nations and cultures which inspire multiple culture perspectives for film festivals in Melbourne.
Stevens, K 2016, ‘ From film weeks to festivals: Australia’s film festival boom in the 1980s ‘, Studies in Australasian Cinema, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 250-263, doi: 10.1080/17503175.2016.1198450