Canberra International Film Festival (CIFF) has a longstanding history with University of Canberra (UC), its staff and students. The festival was initiated by the institution over 20 years ago and managed many aspects of CIFF such as artistic direction, event management and promotion. As the festival grew, the decision was made to become an incorporated entity and continues to run to this day as a non-for-profit organisation overseen by a committee of dedicated volunteers. UC continued to support the festival after this transition as the Founding Partner of the festival.
In recent times the festival and UC have partnered to provide students with the opportunity to incorporate CIFF into their coursework. In 2015, Public Relations and Journalism students reported on the festival and also submitted film reviews as part of their assessment. This year we continue this educational relationship and have begun working with final-year Journalism students.
Last week I was invited by course convenor Bronwyn Watson to speak to the students and give them a general overview of this year’s festival, as well as canvassing questions about potential angles which could be developed into articles. Although students are allowed to choose from a variety of events to cover, there was a resounding majority which expressed interest in CIFF after the talk – what a fantastic result!
I will be returning to the university to hear the students pitch their stories and also provide feedback alongside Bronwyn. The enthusiasm from these students has been incredible and I can’t wait to hear to what’s in store from these budding journalists. The best articles may very well find themselves on this blog.