You can almost smell the popcorn in the air. Cinemas throughout the central city are gearing up for Australia’s biggest screen event of the year – the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF).
Being an avid fan of all things MIFF, I got my festival program especially early as it’s an opportunity to see films that may never get a general release in Australia.
Here’s my step-by-step guide to getting yourself organised for one of the best things about Melbourne in winter.
1. Brush up on the festival program
There’s nothing like spending a wintry night in a cosy bar with a beverage nearby as you scour the program, circling your favourites. I chose to hang out in Strange Wolf; its bunker-esque aesthetics are perfect for protecting you from any wet and wild elements outside. My list was far too long, but I cut out the films that will get a general release, using information found on the Melbourne Gastronome blog.
2. Organise a posse
Even though you’re going to be sitting in silence for most of the time, going to MIFF is so much better with friends – if only to debate what really happened at the end. I emailed my picks to like-minded friends, who in my case were into horror and documentaries.
After a flurry of interest we decided to meet face-to-face in Con Christopoulos’s newest wine bar-cafe – Neapoli. This is the man who has created some of Melbourne’s most iconic cafés and restaurants such as Self Preservation, Journal and Gills Diner. Neapoli has ‘classic modern’ written all over it. In fact, if you’ve seen Tom Ford’s film A Single Man, this restaurant design seems inspired by the mid-century style home where the main character lives… but I digress.
3. Book your tickets – fast
Some sessions are already sold out, so summon up www.miff.com.au on your electronic device of choice – fast! For the undecided, there’s a wish-list option you can use, but more importantly you can book your tickets here. It will even tell you what’s selling fast so you know when seats are limited. Or if you prefer the personal touch, you can always head to the MIFF box office at The Forum Theatre to buy them in person.
4. The day has arrived!
Going to MIFF can be like preparing for a marathon; you need to make sure you have plenty of fluids and fuel to sustain you over the next two weeks. And if you’re watching two or more films in a row, you need to know where you can go for snacks along the way. I found this blog most useful.
So there you go, that’s my approach to MIFF. See you in the dark or in the queue.