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Critics Campus 2017

Now in its fourth edition, the Melbourne International Film Festival Critics Campus is 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 66th edition, 3-20 August 2017.

Underlying the Campus’s ethos is a belief that in a swiftly changing media environment, informed writing 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 also offers them a platform to be heard in the competitive festival environment.

“The experience was transformative. Whenever I sit down to write now, I remember a little lesson [from the Campus] and I'm grateful for each one. My mentor made me feel valued, challenged, positive and proud – especially when she offered me work on the third day. The hot-house environment made me a faster, stronger, more ruthless writer. I wouldn't have achieved such progress without the support of our mentors, the guest speakers and generous MIFF staff,” said 2016 Critics Campus alumnus Aimee Knight.

Since participating in the lab, alumni have gone on to write for publications including The Age, Senses of Cinema, The Monthly, 4:3, The Saturday Paper, Junkee, Little White Lies, IF Magazine and The Hollywood Reporter.

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.

Applications are now closed. Read up on the 2017 participants and mentors.

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

2017 Critics Campus is hosted by RMIT.