Re: [Frameworks] Current situation with Film Festivals

From: Matt Helme (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Feb 17 2011 - 12:04:05 PST

Sound's good to me.

From: Isabel Fondevila <email suppressed>
To: Experimental Film Discussion List <email suppressed>
Sent: Thu, February 17, 2011 2:05:55 PM
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] Current situation with Film Festivals

This is indeed a big conversation. Thank you for sharing.

At ATA we have film screenings, including many experimental ones, year round.
The ATA Film & Video Festival was founded to celebrate and promote a different
type of film and video experience. We hope that inspires people to get out
there and discover more unconventional, un-dependent film. If they do this at
home in front of their computer, or at ATA or their local Microcinema
(recommended), that is another story.

Like Experiments in Cinema and Basement Films the whole grassroots operation is
run by volunteers. We already pay rent for the venue so our costs are low but
still, our budget depends on the submission fees. We luckily don't receive 1000
submissions and so far we are able to manage it. The Festival staff watches
everything, and preselects around 60 pieces that will be shown to a selection
panel. From the panel we put together two programs of shorts, and that seems to
be just about right for us and our audience.

Now, when Dominic says a new structure needs to be put in place.. what if a
"Frameworks" film festival or an exhibition network was organized? With all the
venues and filmmakers in this list alone..who knows what could happen?


On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 8:38 AM, DOMINIC ANGERAME
<email suppressed> wrote:

>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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