Re: festival responses

From: Bryan McKay (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jun 14 2009 - 21:31:35 PDT

As a director of a [redacted] Underground Film Festival in a big city,
though maybe not the same you're thinking of, venue costs are
enormous, when we can even get venues to cooperate with us in the
first place. The money we raise from submission fees covers some of
our operating costs, but we still bring in a lot of additional
sponsorship money to pay for the festival. If we chose to do away with
submission fees (which I sonetimes wish we could) running a week-long
film festival would no longer be viable.

And for what it's worth, we do waive submission fees for any artists
who had films in the festival in the past, and of course for any
filmmakers we invite to submit.

I'm not saying submission fees are great, and as a filmmaker I
certainly don't look forward to them, but they can be a necessary evil
when it comes to putting on a fringe film festival of any substantial


Sent from my iPhone

On Jun 14, 2009, at 11:17 PM, atrowbri <email suppressed> wrote:

> I'm responding late to this (for the internet 11 days is late) but I
> find it totally inexcusable to fail to respond to people who send you
> work (unless you did try to respond to everyone and simply missed
> someone through an error).
> I'm relatively inexperienced in this but in 2005 we put together the
> Polymer show for the Hunter Museum of American Art. I am still
> ambiguous about having charged money for submissions. It was only $15,
> we had NO other budget, and the money went towards costs and
> programming, but I still feel a bit ashamed of having done so. It was
> sort of disturbing how quickly and easily we raised over $1000 in
> doing so. I cannot even imagine the sums that the big "experimental"
> film festivals make. (Not to pick on anyone, but how much does
> [redacted] Underground Film Festival rake in? I've gotten a huge
> number of reminders from them this year. Send us your work, big city,
> $35!!!) So the charging money part, which I defended here in the past,
> really alienates me now. Charging money to artists hoping to connect
> to people? Charging ARTISTS who just need to score lines on a CV in
> hopes of making a living in academia because ways of living as an
> artist are slim? Charging artists to maybe show their work? It's
> pretty vile. I only paid a few entry fees since then and stopped
> completely within a year of that. I apologize to anyone here who we
> charged, whether we showed your work or not. Ultimately I'd say refuse
> to pay anyone, ever, for any reason, to show your work. Yes, there are
> some good shows you can score with but ultimately the best location
> for your work will be those venues that WANT to see new work, who
> understand that the PRIVILEGE of seeing new work is paid by watching
> the many, many mediocre or bad works that are submitted. Thank you to
> every festival that's reviewed my work, whether you showed it or not,
> without trying to take my money. I know the counterarguments about
> time and effort, cost of putting something together, etc and I reject
> them. The second showing of Polymer was all curated from work we saw,
> scouted on youtube, friends we knew and it didn't feel gross at all. I
> specifically sought out work from people I respected or knew would
> benefit from a show. I hope to re-implement open calls, no fees, for
> the next show and see even more work. (And if it's terrible in the
> first 30 seconds? I can shut it off without feeling someone paid me to
> watch it.)
> So, back on topic, if you ask something of EVERYONE you owe a response
> to everyone who responds. If not, you are rude and deserve the
> reputation to cultivate.
> Love,
> Adam
> On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 8:01 AM, Caryn Cline<email suppressed>
> wrote:
>> Dear Frameworkers,
>> I’m submitting my experimental films to festivals again, after a h
>> iatus of
>> several years. When I submitted before, in the early 2000s, I always
>> received a response from the festival, whether my work was accepted
>> or
>> rejected. Now, I find that festivals that reject my work rarely
>> contact me
>> at all.
>> I wonder why this is the case? I’ve paid a fee to enter, usually,
>> and it
>> seems to me that the very least the programmers, or their interns,
>> can do is
>> to send me a form letter letting me know that my work didn’t make
>> the cut.
>> It would be even better to receive a thoughtful response with some
>> feedback
>> about my work. I realize that programmers often have a lot of
>> entries to
>> view and judge, but shouldn’t a response, even a canned response,
>> to each
>> and every filmmaker, be a standard of professional courtesy?
>> I know that there are curators and programmers on this list. I will
>> appreciate hearing their perspectives, as well as those of other
>> filmmakers. I would also be interested to hear about festivals
>> that do
>> respond to all applicants.
>> Thank you,
>> Caryn Cline
>> New York City
>> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info
>> on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> --
> Adam Trowbridge
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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