All posts tagged: film festivals

Satisfying the Client: Meeting the Demands of Film Festivals and Funds

For an aspiring, up-and-coming, or just any independent filmmaker, film festival grants and film funds are often the only hope to get films made, let alone distributed and seen by audiences who can contribute to the filmmaker’s success. It is indeed this funding that gives an extra boost to filmmakers that may never otherwise find the resources to create anything at all. In this way, festivals and funds certainly promote and engage with the creative process of filmmakers who need encouragement during the early stages of what may become a successful career. However, it may be difficult to discern when film festivals and funds cross the line from helpful encouragement to harmful guidance. Using guidelines that exclude certain filmmakers from receiving help via funding indirectly, and perhaps inadvertently, causes these filmmakers to create a different product than what would have been made otherwise. Then, this behavior is reinforced through positive encouragement and praise from the same festivals and funds. While festivals and funds do help create success for unknown independent films and their makers, the …

Positionality of Film Festivals: Hierarchies of Attendees and Ranking of Importance

According to John Goldstein, managing partner of the Maple Theatre in West Bloomfield, Michigan, “Consumer habits are changing and the experience is becoming a bigger part of the equation.” The experience meaning the tangible perks audiences can engage with at a cinema aside from the film: reclining chairs, larger screens, alcoholic beverages, restaurant quality food and live music in the lobby, among other perks. Goldstein shared this observation during a cinema studies master class he gave at Oakland University in early 2015. Goldstein’s statement points to the constantly evolving film industry where its once highly anticipated and much talked about event, the midnight premier, has been eclipsed by the ultimate cultural experience for cinephiles: the film festival. According to Andy Swinnerton, Movie Pilot critic, “For as long as I can remember, a midnight premier was the ultimate litmus test for whether or not a movie could be counted as a ‘big deal’.”[i] More recently, the importance of a film is recognized by the buzz of its bootlegged festival screenings or the stamp of the Palme …

Film Festivals as Cultural Proxy of Cold War Ideology

Since their inception, film festivals have been a vehicle for nations to display both filmmaking merit as well as political ideologies. The post war film festival boom in Europe initiated a festival culture that praised nationalism and acted as an “Olympics of Films” for countries to gather and celebrate their national cinemas. [i] These newly founded festivals served as perfect stomping grounds for Cold War powerhouses to flaunt their cultural and political prowess and acted as small scale, cultural proxy wars during the height of the Cold War in Europe. This paper will examine the role that film festivals played in Cold War conflicts by examining the festivals that occurred in Cannes, Karlovy Vary, and Berlin. These three festivals act as a cross section of Cold War era festival culture in terms of the geopolitical forces at play in their cities; Cannes being solidly rooted in the West, Karlovy Vary being the major film festival of the Eastern Bloc countries, and Berlin smack in the middle of heated Cold War conflict. Studying film festivals as …