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Critics Campus 2016 

After two successful editions, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) will present a third Critics Campus, an intensive five-day lab that enables emerging Australian film critics to develop their skills in a live festival setting, during the festival’s 65th edition: 28 July-14 August 2016.

Applications are now closed. Applicants will be notified before the end of May 2016 of the outcome.

Underlying the campus’s ethos 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. The campus will address these issues and better prepare participants for a successful career in film writing. It will also offer them a platform to be heard in the competitive festival environment.

“Critics Campus gives you the chance to learn from some of the most exciting film critics and thinkers working today, as well as connect with an interesting and eclectic group of young writers from around Australia,” says 2015 Campus alumnus Conor Bateman (4:3, The Lifted Brow).

Eloise Grills (Junkee, 4:3, Kill Your Darlings), another 2015 alumnus, believes Critics Campus was “one of the most valuable experiences" she's 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.”

Since participating in the lab, alumni have written for publications including The AgeSenses of CinemaThe MonthlyThe Saturday PaperJunkee and The Hollywood Reporter.

This year 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. 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.

Three prominent international critics will visit the festival to participate in the campus, variously assisting with mentoring, sitting on panels, and as a resource for the participants.