In this short blog series, get to know some of your friendly AFI staff members through their eclectic picks from this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival. In Parts 1 and 2, Lia McCrae-Moore and Simon Elchlepp shared their MIFF 2011 highlights so far. Here’s the third installment.
Tanya Tribuzio is the AFI’s Marketing and Events Manager. In this role she organises member screenings, special events and sponsor management. Tanya has worked in the entertainment industry for over ten years, both in Melbourne and London. She’s wined and dined with the stars working in marketing and publicity roles at Universal Pictures in London, then Paramount Pictures in Melbourne, and now she’s enjoying the more personal aspects of working with local Australian filmmakers and talent at the AFI.
“I eagerly await the launch of the MIFF program every year, though when I first look over it, I’m instantly overwhelmed and panicked …. ahh, what will I see? When can I fit it all in? Too many fabulous films! This year, as in most years, I have focused my time on the wonderful line-up of documentaries. I love watching a good doco in a packed out cinema, eavesdropping on all the debate and discussion that start as the credits roll.
I began with The Triangle Wars, which tells the story of the St Kilda ‘Triangle Development’ project and the uproar that it caused amongst the residents. It is a great local Melbourne story, exposing the questionable antics of local council governments and demonstrating how the power of the people can prevail. Candid and informative interviews make for amusing viewing, and much humour is added by charismatic Frenchman, Serge Thomann, who led the group, Unchain St Kilda. Directed by Rosie Jones and produced by Lizzette Atkins and Peter George, The Triangle Wars is a great watch.
Next up was Page One: Inside the New York Times. This great documentary takes you behind the scenes at the New York Times as it struggles with the decline in newspaper sales and advertising revenue, and addresses the question – are newspapers really dead? Whilst many people now consume their news online for free, the documentary very rightly points out that the source for this ‘free’ content is nearly always a newspaper journalist…and in the US, often a journalist from the New York Times. There is no doubt that there will always be a need for good, investigative journalists, those who put their lives on the line in combat zones, to bring us the stories, but in the currrent world of new technology, a newspaper such as the New York Times, with such rich history and prestige, is needing to reevaluate its business model in order to survive.
Finally, I went on a tour of the infamous Spanish restaurant, El Bulli, via the delicious documentary, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress. When the opening scene has a chef standing in the dark, sucking on a lollipop made from ‘glow in the dark’ fish, you know you’re in for a fascinating ride …. much like the food served at El Bulli. As with the recent observational documentary, La Danse, El Bulli does not have any overlaying narrative, relying solely on very intimate camera work and the colourful dialogue from the chefs themselves, which encourages a very intense, fly on the wall viewer experience.
This is definitely a film that will thrill food lovers. The film follows the chefs as they close down the restaurant for their annual six month research break, where they experiment with new techniques and textures to wow their guests in the summer, when the restaurant reopens. We left the cinema satisfied but feeling very hungry, and pondering how we could get a reservation!”
Stay tuned for more AFI staff picks from MIFF 2011.