what I got for the entry fee from the Chicago Underground Film Festival

From: Christopher Harris (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Mar 12 2006 - 20:43:12 PST


Hello all,

To filmmakers who have submitted to or who are considering submitting to the
Chicago Underground Film Festival you might be interested to know that when
my film screened there last year my print stuck in the gate of the projector
and burned. This information was not relayed to me by anyone connected to
the festival but instead by a third party who was in attendance at the
screening. The print had been struck a few months before the screening and
projected twice before the show at CUFF, once for inspection purposes when
it came back from the lab and a second time for a classroom screening at the
School of the Art Institute of Chicago each time without incident. In
short, the print was virtually new and in pristine condition however the
projectionist claimed that a torn sprocket hole was the cause of the
problem, a claim that is, frankly, nonsense.

In any case after I contacted the festival organizer who accepted
responsibility for the situation I was assured that I would be compensated.
This was over six months ago and despite repeated attempts on my part to
follow up by phone and email I have never heard from them again.

To be clear I am not calling for a boycott of this or any other festival but
I do want to make other filmmakers aware of this particular incident in
light of the recent series of posts regarding festival entry fees and the
relationship between filmmakers and festivals. I also, of course, donít
think that this incident is indicative of anything regarding film festivals
generally as I have never experienced anything like this before or since.
This is one case where the $30 entry fee was certainly not worth the grief.

CH

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