MIFF opens applications for Critics Campus and 37 South Market

In the leadup to the festival's 69th edition, MIFF opens applications for two of its iconic programs, Critics Campus and the screen financing-focussed 37 South Market

The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) has returned to the producer-support circuit with the  2021 37°South Market, a selective event that seeks to connect screen professionals to IP holders and potential financiers. It will take place in the opening days of MIFF, on 5–8 August. Applications are currently open for professionals interested in getting involved. 

While details of the program are yet to be announced, the 37°South Market Program will include screenings for films seeking sales/distribution, events for book publishers and IP holders seeking to pitch their manuscripts or creative assets to producers for potential screen adaptations, and writers pitching their screenplays to producers, as well as panel discussions. 

Early-bird discount applications to take part in 37°South Market close on Monday 17 May, with second-look applications closing on Monday 31 May. For more information or to apply across any of these professional streams, visit MIFF Industry.

MIFF has just opened for applications for its eighth edition of Critics Campus, the festival’s nationally renowned program for developing emerging film critics. Critics Campus will be held on 9–13 August, as part of MIFF’s 69th edition.

The festival is currently seeking applications from emerging and early-career critics with no more than two years’ professional writing experience. Ultimately, eight critics will be chosen from this competitive application process  to take part in a five-day program that will run during MIFF, enabling emerging Australian film critics to develop their critical and professional skills in a live festival setting.

2021’s critics are yet to be announced. In 2020, the eight critic mentors included The Monthly’s music critic Anwen Crawford, who recently published No Document, The Age/SMH television critic Craig Mathieson, former Metro editor (and current MIFF Publication and Content Manager) Adolfo Aranjuez, and the ABC’s Dan Golding.

READ: The Distorting Mirror: Adrian Martin’s MIFF Highlights

2020 Alumna Shaheen Ahmed described Critics Campus as ‘a fantastic opportunity.’ She continued: ‘It felt a little overwhelming, because there were so many different writers and thinkers coming from different perspectives, but it got me connected with so many people from the culture.’

This opportunity is open to Australian residents online, with applicants being asked to provide a one-page resume, including a list of published writing and criticism (with links where relevant), as well as three writing samples:

  • A 500-word review of a new film currently in theatrical or streaming release
  • An 800-word feature/essay/interview
  • A piece of the applicant’s choice that they feel best demonstrates their capabilities. This may take the form of a feature, longform review, video essay, podcast (5–10-minute excerpt), experimental writing piece, or other form that demonstrates critical engagement and ability. 

Applications for Critics Campus close 5pm on Monday 31 May. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 7 June. To apply, or for further information, visit MIFF’s Critics Campus.

Jini Maxwell is a writer and curator who lives in Naarm. They are an assistant curator at ACMI, where they also host the Women & Non-binary gamers club. They write about videogames and the people who make them. You can find them on Twitter @astroblob