Re: judges' statement - gender representation in exp film

From: Pip Chodorov (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Jun 24 2006 - 03:27:40 PDT

>This is such a crazy dialogue for the year 2006. How many
>filmmakers working in film are there? How much longer will they
>work, no matter what their gender, etc. It is just hard to make
>films and get them shown, no matter who you might be. Even if all
>of the above was not the case, then as Standish Lawder recently
>queried, why is that film and filmmakers are so quickly forgotten no
>matter how significant their accomplishment. This only seems to be
>the case with film not the other arts.

There are more and more filmmakers in 2006; it is not hard to make
work, no harder than it was in 1996 or in 1986; there are more and
more venues and ways to get work seen than ever before.

In Paris in 1986, there was one group holding weekly screenings,
Tuesdays at midnight. Now there are screenings almost every day of
the week organized by many different groups and institutions. Half of
the groups currently active were created within the last ten years
and are run by people under 35. All the groups make and show work on

On a global level, acceptance of experimental film has risen
tremendously over the past ten years. When I started Re:Voir in 1994
it was difficult to convince even specialized bookstores to sell our
tapes. Within five years they were in Virgin Megastore. In the past
five years a dozen new publishers have sprung up, all making a living
distributing experimental films to the home video market. Major
festivals show avant-garde films now, not only Rotterdam but Venice,
Cannes, Tribeca, London, Berlin, Montreal, New York, much more now
than 10 or 20 years ago. Through cable, satelite, internet and other
new technologies, the past ten years have seen an explosion of new
and specialized television stations around the world, many of which
show experimental film. Ipod, UMD, Blu-Ray and other cutting edge
developments will only broaden access, interest and educational uses.
Stan Vanderbeek could only dream in his day of such global accecss
and interconnectedness.

Universities, whose course descriptions have become more and more
abstract and less and less practical over the years, have offered an
ever-growing number of experimental film courses. It has become part
of cultural literacy to know about avant-garde art. Museum shows have
included early film work, and the past few years have seen major
shows featuring experimental films: Sound and Light, Dada, Le
mouvement des images, Into the Light, the Whitney Biennial, etc. How
many tens of thousands of people were introduced to experimental film
through these exhibitions?

The only reason filmmakers are forgotten is because there is no
commercial value in their work, neither in the film industry nor in
the art market, but this is already starting to change.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with gender.

-Pip Chodorov

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.