[Frameworks] Current situation with Film Festivals

From: DOMINIC ANGERAME (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Feb 16 2011 - 08:38:12 PST

I am noticing an alarming trend these days with experimental film festivals
throughout the world. I received a notice from the Images Festival in Canada
that they received more than 1,000 entries for exhibition. I am sure that Ann
Arbor Film Festival received far more entries than the 150 films they are
viewing. Since is seems that almost everyone is a filmmaker these days that the
structure and procedures of the major experimental film festivals should be
changed in major ways. Virtually all festivals charge an fee for entry. 1000
entries can mean $25,000 going to the festivals for admin/pre-screening, etc.
This does not include the donations, governmental grants, and other sources of
income. I used to run a couple of festivals and understand the purpose of entry
fees to help defray costs. However, since the number of entries for many
festivals has risen more than 3 or 4 times the amount the festivals need to
consider extending their exhibitions to accomodate the amount of entries. Most
filmmakers are now facing a 1 to 20 odds of having their films shown in major
festivals. This is less than playing the lottery.

It is distressing for me, having been making films for more than 40 years to see
the festival situation become so debased. The volume of work being entered is
drowning these festivals in both admin, and creative decisions. I have served on
juries in many festivals and noticed when I looked at the list of the films
rejected by pre screeners that many great films had been rejected. As a judge I
requested to view those rejected and found most of the films selected by me were
shown at these particular festivals. Since the volume of entered work in most
well known festivals far exceeds the festivals ability to manage this volume,
that a new structure needs to be put in place. This would be a great service to
the filmmakers entering their works into these festivals.

Dominic Angerame


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