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Critics Campus

Applications for the 2015 Critics Campus are now open

After a successful launch in 2014, the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) is proud to open the call for applications to its second edition of Critics Campus, an intensive five-day lab that enables emerging Australian film critics to develop their skills in a live festival setting. Critics Campus will take place during the festival’s 64th edition, 30 July–16 August 2015.

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.

“As an un-established writer it's easy to feel as though you exist in a vacuum, or that you're slightly delusional, or both. The encouragement I received from people whose work I admire was a jolt to keep going. It's one of the most energising professional experiences I've ever had,” said 2014 Campus alumni Harry Windsor.

Since participating in the lab last year’s alumni have gone on to write for publications including The Age, Senses of Cinema, The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, Junkee 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 The Age and MIFF. 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.

How to apply

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 2–9 August inclusive.

Applicants will need to provide:

  • A one-page resume covering relevant studies and/or professional experience and a list of published writing and criticism with links where relevant.
  • Three film writing samples including:

i. a 500-word review of a film currently in theatrical release.
ii. a 200-word review of a film of their choice.
iii. an 800-word (or fewer) feature, interview or essay piece of the applicant’s choice that they feel best demonstrates their capabilities.

University essays are allowed but not encouraged.

Additionally, applicants may include a podcast/video interview (5–10 min excerpt) if they have interest in working in these mediums.

Previously unsuccessful applicants are welcome to re-apply in 2015.


The deadline for applications is 5pm Friday 12 June 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 3 July 2015.

All Critics Campus enquiries should be directed to criticscampus(at)