Film Essent Archive for February, 2010

Your World in Two Minutes

The BBC has this pretty cool thing called My World going, where they are inviting filmmakers to submit two-minute short films about where they live. The shortlist will be selected by “well-known documentary filmmakers from around the world” and the top ten shown on BBC World News.
You can check out some of the films already submitted or enter your own film right over here. Some of the entries are surprisingly good; it made me think about what some of my talented filmmaker friends could come up with to show their world two minutes. If you make and submit a short to this competition, let me know so I can check it out.

Oxford Film Festival: It's a Wrap!

This was my third year at the Oxford Film Festival, and I have to say this fest just gets better and better every year. Other small regional fests take note: If you want to grow your small-town-fest-that-could into a small town fest that can and does have a reputation as one of the go-to fests for your region, take some notes from the folks who make this fest happen. As at any fest, there are countless volunteers who make it happen, but I have to give a shout out to the fest co-directors, Michelle Emanuel, Molly Fergusson and Micah Ginn, and Assistant Director Melanie Addington.
My fellow fest circuit junkies — not to mention all you indie filmmakers out there looking for a great fest to showcase your hard work — should add Oxford to your list of fests to check out; If you’re ever fortunate enough to be invited to attend as a filmmaker, juror or panelist, do not turn it down.

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“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch

To me, Hunter S. Thompson was a hero. His early books were great, but in many ways, his life and career post–Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail is a cautionary tale for authors. People expected him to be high and drunk all the time and play that persona, and he stuck with that to the end, and I don’t think it was good for him. I always sort of feel mixed emotions when I hear that people went and hung out with Hunter and how great it was to get high with Hunter. The fact is the guy was having difficulty doing any sustained writing at all for years probably because so many quote, unquote, “friends” wanted to get high with him … There was a badly disappointed romantic there. I mean, that great line, “This is where the wave broke, the tide rolled back … ” This was a guy that was hurt and disappointed and very bitter about things, and it made his writing beautiful, and also with that came a lot of pain.
~ Anthony Bourdain