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Melbourne International Film Festival launches Critics Campus for media students

Meld Magazine

Mon May 19 2014

MIFF Critics Campus

CAN you still have a career in film writing when just about anyone can publish their opinions online? MIFF is holding a seven-day lab intensive to help students succeed in a changing media environment. Kai Yi Wong has details on how you can apply. 

MIFF Critics Campus

Here’s a work experience opportunity worth getting excited about.

The Melbourne International Film Festival has announced the launch of Critics Campus, an intensive seven-day lab aimed at helping aspiring film critics develop their skills in a live festival setting.

The lab itself will take place from August 4 to 10, and while the festival is in its 63rd year, this is the first time organisers have sought to involve students looking to enter the industry in such a focused and engaged way.

The application process will be competitive, as only up to eight applicants will be selected.

As part of the lab, participants will attend mentoring sessions and panels with key Australian industry and media players, as well as produce their own daily coverage. They will have access to festival films, publicity materials, guests and networking opportunities.

In return, meals and accommodation will be provided, as well as the invaluable experience of producing a range of pieces daily for publication across a variety of outlets.

Four prominent international critics are also expected to visit the festival to participate in the Campus, variously assisting with mentoring, sitting on panels and as a resource for the participants.

The initiative is a nod to a swiftly changing media environment and the challenges digital media poses not just for writers seeking employment in the field, but for ensuring a strong film culture and industry in the digital future.

Organisers say the Campus is about encouraging informed writing and criticism on cinema among the diversity of voices online, offering participants a platform to be heard in the competitive Festival environment, and ultimately, better preparing participants for a successful career in film writing.

To apply, you must be in the beginning stages of your career, with no more than two years’ of experience in film writing, and need to be available from August 4 to 10 inclusive.

Applications should include:

  • A 1-2 page resume covering relevant studies and/or professional experience and a list or portfolio of writing and criticism with links where relevant
  • Three film writing samples including:
    1. A film review under 500 words
    2. A feature or interview under 2000 words
    3. A piece of the your choice that you feel best demonstrates your capabilities

University essays are allowed but not encouraged.

You may also include a podcast/video interview (5 to 10 min excerpt) if you have an interest in working in these mediums.

The online application form is accessible from the Critics Campus page and enquiries should be directed to For more information on festival, visit the MIFF website.

The deadline for applications is 9am Monday June 2, 2014 and successful applications will be notified by Friday, June 13.