Re: Anthology Film Archives and Newfilmmakers Series and Withoutabox

From: Ken Bawcom (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Aug 26 2006 - 16:42:22 PDT


   I sent my previous reply before I read this message of yours. I was
not in on the decision to accept WAB, but have heard some discussion of
it from those who were. It was controversial, for many of the reasons
you have mentioned. I think a large part of the decision was that the
AAFF began accepting video, and opening to WAB entries gave us a new
source, that would include many videographers, where as our existing
mailing list, to whom we send our entry forms, was mainly filmmakers. I
won't go off-topic, by discussing my feelings about accepting video,
which are mixed.

   My main criticisms of WAB are from the viewpoint of someone who
watches those submissions, not from the filmmaker's viewpoint, which I
will leave to others to express. First, the unevenness of the quality
of submissions. As I said, some are excellent, and as good as the some
of the best we get from VDB. I mention VDB only because that is another
source that is not directly from the filmmaker. But, many are
amateurish student films. So, I assume that WAB does no screening based
on anyone's idea of quality film making, probably due to their
commercial interests.

   The other criticism I have is that many they send us aren't
appropriate for an avant-garde, experimental film festival (whatever
that means... ;) ,) and as such are a waste of the filmmakers money,
and our time. But, I hasten to point out that we also often receive
films, directly from the filmmaker, that are trite and formulaic
Hollywood wannabe narrative films, labeled "experimental" on their
entry forms. So, I can't say WAB is exclusively to blame for such
inappropriate submissions.

Ken B.

Quoting Freya <email suppressed>:

> Forgot to ask you Ken, but would love to know what
> made Ann Arbor decide to use withoutabox in the
> first place.
> Perhaps that's something you weren't involved in but
> it would be interesting to know if you have any
> information in that regard.
> I would also welcome a few of your own criticisms that
> you suggest you have for withoutabox too! ;)
> love
> Freya
>> I'm certainly not going to defend the business
>> practices of WAB, I
>> agree with many of the criticisms that have been
>> posted, and could add
>> a few of my own. But, the above statement is utter
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