Film Fesitval Surival Guide

I wrote the following last year after taking 2 & 1/2 weeks holiday to see 36 films at MIFF.

17:53 23/08/2002

Based on my experiences in the recent 51st Melbourne International Film Festival I have decided to compile a list of what I learnt from seeing all those films over two weeks (and immitating one of the people from the film Cinemania.)

My main advice is as follows:

Planning
What to eat
Getting to the session on time
Seating arrangements
Take a break once in a while
Have fun


Planning
Be prepared to spend a while choosing your films (and book them in advance if necessary.) From the festival I just went to the most popular sessions where on Friday nights and the weekends.

During the week you should be able to get away with buying the tickets on the day (depening on the film's popularity), be prepared to change sessions if necessary.

The biggest mistake I made at the festival was booking tickets for five films in the same day (three concurrently), which meant I was locked in to seeing all those films.

If it is a big festival you may want to take some time off work (which I did). I had been planning it for quite some time though and bought a festival pass as well.


What to eat
Although it's tempting to just eat just junk food during these type of events, if it goes for more than a couple of days you are going to get sick of it.

On the other hand, you may get sick of eating just sandwiches for lunch and dinner (I know I did) for a couple of weeks.

If you have the money it's probably best to take something to eat during the week and eat out for dinner during the festival on the weekends (even if it's just Pork Buns or Curry Laksa.)

Also remember to take plenty of water as buying drinks at the venues is expensive and the air conditioning can dry you out.


Getting to the session on time
This is easiest to arrange if you are going to the session by yourself, but if you are going with friends arrange somewhere close to the venue to meet them.

During the week you can probably arrive at the session about 30-15 minutes before it starts (depending on if you need to buy tickets.)

On the weekends I would probably get there about 45 minutes before and STAY IN THE LINE as the line can get huge in as little as 15 minutes.

I only ended up having to run between sessions once during the festival, but I only meant that I ended up a bit further up the line to get in than usual.


Seating arrangements
It depends on the venue, but I found the best seats where in the middle of the row as you don't have to keep getting up for people to come into the row.

If you need to leave early or have another session to run off to it would probably be better to sit on the isle near the wall of the cinema.


Take a break once in a while
As the festival went for over two weeks I decided to take a couple of days off to go visit my parents and also took day trips to the Melbourne Museum and Scienceworks.

Unless you are really keen there are probably days where you will only see one or two films. These are also good days to go out shopping or on a day trip.


Have fun
This what is is meant to be about, so don't get too obsessed about it or else you might end up in a documentary...


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