Day six – MIFF survival guide

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Another five star film today Gayby Baby (warm, engaging Australian doco about children in same-sex families). I also saw Phoenix (German post-WW2 drama) and Sleeping with Other People (a crowd pleasing US romcom). Click through for the reviews.

If you are ever thinking of coming to MIFF, here’s my survival guide.

Wear flat shoes.
You’ll do a lot of walking from venue to venue. Some are close – Forum and ACMI, Kino and Treasury – but then there’s Hoyts in Melbourne Central and sometimes there’s only 45 minutes between sessions. Thank goodness for the free tram zone.

Buy a MIFF membership. 
There are perqs that come with membership – you get to book films two days before everyone else, you get discounts on stuff – but the real benefit is member priority queuing at each session. You get to go in before the general public and this usually means no waiting and your pick of seats.

Charge up your phone. 
The MIFF app has everything you need, including your ticket barcodes. If your phone dies, you can go to the counter and get a printout but save time and trees.

Bring quiet food. 
There is time between films to grab a snack but better to pack your own lunch box and water and save money to spend on good coffee and the occasional cocktail.

Make friends.
Talk to the people sitting next to you, behind you, three seats away, in the member queue. Find out what they’ve seen that they’ve loved and see whether you can fit a few more into your schedule.

Keep warm.
Bring a shawl or a coat or a scarf. The older cinemas take a while to heat up and can be cold until the evening sessions. And you never know what the weather will be doing while you are busy watching films, it is Melbourne after all.

Sit near the aisle.
Just in case it’s a dog of a film. It might be tempting to sit in the middle, and at some venues, the middle and the aisle are only a few seats apart, but there is nothing worse than being trapped in a mediocre film and having to climb over twenty people in the dark.

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