Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MIFF Meet the Programmers

I received the following in my Inbox this afternoon, and I'm in two minds about it.

Dear MIFF member,

This year MIFF is pleased to present our members with an exclusive inner sanctum Festival experience!


Here is your chance to hear first hand from MIFF’s Executive Director, Richard Moore, and Senior Programmer, Michelle Carey.

• Ever wondered what it’s like to travel the world attending festivals such as Berlin, Cannes, Rotterdam and Toronto?
• How are films selected for MIFF each year?
• What is the selection criteria? What makes a film relevant?
• Want to know what are the must-see films of MIFF 09?
• What part does the Festival play in launching films selected for local theatrical release?
• Does the Festival have a place in fostering and developing Australian filmmakers?
• What is the future for film festivals amid growing entertainment and digital options.

All will be revealed at this special event - MEET THE MIFF PROGRAMMERS.

Richard and Michelle will speak at length with moderator Michael Agar about their personal experience in the arts and specifically the trials, tribulations and thrills of programming Australia’s largest film festival. Members will be able to ask questions from the floor following the presentation.

Now, this is an event that interests me. It presents a great opportunity for MIFF to market itself by opening up itself to its members and demonstrating the value of membership if the event were free. But it's not. It's $10 for a member and $13 for a member's guest.
Please note that this is a ticketed event. See below for details on how to purchase your tickets. Each MIFF member is able to bring along one guest.
I'm a sucker for this sort of event and will probably go, but I think it will further fuel the criticisms of MIFF by the proletariat. You know, they could have probably hosted such an event at their own modest offices, and put it on for free, but they're obviously aiming at a particular demographic by holding it at the Sofitel. Anyway, I'm sure there'll be some sniping, but that'll happen regardless anytime you do anything. Damned if you do, damned if you don't, and everyone wants everything for nothing. Fuck it, yeah I will go. What's ten lousy bucks? Go on, gripe on below; you know you want to. Or any other comments welcome.


Scott Henderson said...

To be charged as a MIFF member for a trip down self-indulgence lane seems a little gulling.

Perhaps seen as you pay for those jollies festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Rotterdam and Toronto the least they could do is share the experiences for free. Or if they are going to charge you they could at least show a film...

Paul Martin said...

Or if they are going to charge you they could at least show a film...

Sounds good to me, Scott. Though they've allocated 90 minutes as it is.

I suppose the idea is that dialogue is an enhancement to the cinema experience, a bit like a Q&A session is. Or, a bit like Worse Addictions? ;)

ProudProle said...

The proletariat!!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they are trying to add another festival to their tour by funding it through this. Venice anyone?

Paul Martin said...

Anonymous, at $10 a head, I reckon they're just trying to cover the cost of the venue. I would have thought, though, that the cost could be covered by the marketing budget. Really, what it could have been is handing back a few of the crumbs from membership fees.

Does anyone else think it's commendable that they're opening up the programming process?

poignantPoint said...

I'd go for sure, would be interesting.

A tenner ain't much, but yeah, it probably should be free (maybe to MIFF ticket holders or something).

Paul Martin said...

Ryan, I suppose there could be some chagrin. As per an earlier post, some people are not happy that MIFF is only making full festival passes available to members, which means if you're not a member and want a festival passport, you have to shell out $80 or thereabouts for membership.