MIFF is calling for applications to its third Critics Campus, an intensive five-day lab that enables emerging Australian film critics to develop their skills in a live Festival setting.
(Full disclosure: this reporter was a participant in CC's first go-round in 2014).
The 2016 Campus will take place during MIFF, July 28 to August 14.
Underlying the Campus’s ethos, the festival said in a statement, is "a belief that in a swiftly changing media environment, informed writing and criticism on cinema is vital to a strong film culture and industry. Digital media allows for a diversity of voices yet poses challenges for writers seeking employment in the field".
“Critics Campus gives you the chance to learn from some of the most exciting film critics and thinkers working today", said 2015 Campus alumnus Conor Bateman (4:3, The Lifted Brow, Fandor), "as well as connect with an interesting and eclectic group of young writers from around Australia."
2015 alumnus Eloise Grills (Junkee, 4:3, Kill Your Darlings) concurred, calling the program “One of the most valuable experiences I think I've ever had".
"I made life-long connections with my peers and established critics, improved my craft immensely, and got to watch a whole bunch of movies and have my opinions about them read by a wide audience”.
CC alumni have gone on to write for The Age, Senses of Cinema, The Monthly, 4:3, The Saturday Paper, Junkee and The Hollywood Reporter.
Eight participants will take part in mentoring sessions and panels with key Australian industry and media players, as well as producing their own daily coverage for a variety of outlets.
Meals and accommodation will be provided to participants, who will have access to Festival films, publicity materials, guests and networking opportunities and file pieces daily for publication across a variety of outlets.
Three prominent international critics will visit the festival to participate in the Campus as mentors.
Applications are sought from Australian writers in the beginning stages of their career, with no more than two years of experience in film writing.
They should prepare to be available in Melbourne July 31 to August 7 inclusive.
The deadline for applications is April 26. Successful applicants will be notified by May 5.