The programme for the Canberra International Film festival is now online (http://www.canberrafilmfestival.com.au/) and available at Dendy Cinemas. As much as I look forward to this event each year, I have a couple of gripes:
- 1. As it was last year, it seems the Opening Night is only going to be for VIPs (i.e. for sending tickets out to all the sponsors and embassies, if last year is any indication). This is supposed to be a community event, Mr. Sergi and colleagues, not an opportunity for non-film enthusiasts to swan around and pretend they know their Woody Allen, when in reality they probably haven’t watched one of his movies since Bullets Over Broadway in the mid-90s. Really, the people you invite would be just as happy, maybe even more so, if you just threw a big party with free grog and networking opportunities. Give the opening night back to the supporters of the Festival i.e. the public. (I am willing to withdraw the criticism if there will be general tickets available, but the advertising for Opening Night looks exactly the same as last year’s).
2. It seems that Three Blind Mice, Salvation and Rats and Cats are “Canberra Premieres”. Funny, I recall seeing all three only last month at the AFI screenings (which are open only to AFI members, but anyone can join the AFI, so it’s not like they were exclusive).
With similar problems from last year (including the no-show of a few advertised guest speakers), maybe it’s time to get some fresh ideas and organisers for this event next year…