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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Two Days at the Whittier Film Festival

As I stated yesterday, I did want to write a review on the Whittier Film Festival. A film I produced, I Saved the World from Global Warming, screened at the first annual fest. Let me just say that I gave a hard review on the Boston Film Festival and I'm going to give this festival the same treatment.

The festival was two days long and I thought the length was perfect. I don't know how many submissions they got, but it felt like they were desperate for submissions. I wasn't very impressed with the selection of films. I found most of them to be mediocre. They did have some quality ones in there, but it was a very top heavy festival.

We saw a film on Friday night called Journey to India. What a piece of shit! It was like watching a home video for a little over an hour. It was an amateur film shot on mini dv and edited on iMovie. They used copyrighted music that they didn't have clearance for. The audio levels were horrible. Most of all, it was not interesting at all. It had no structure or point. It was torture to the extreme. I hate to sound like an ass, but if you're going to show something in public be prepared for a review. And my review is real simple. Never, and I mean never, watch it.

A couple of the short films there were good. Although, most were average. Nothing special to brag about and nothing that caught my attention. I liked an animation short called Gecko and another Chapman short called Negoitations. That's all I'll publicly admit to liking.

I also found some of the volunteer staff to be somewhat rude. I went with one of the co-directors of the film and the volunteers were giving us a hard time. The festival refused to give out passes, so we had to keep persuading people to give us tickets to watch the films. I found this very unaccommodating. The guy who ran the festival was nice and that's the most important thing. Volunteers come and go, but the organizers are the ones that are in it for the long run (I hope).

Here's the thing that Whittier has to remember. We're the filmmakers and we're attending the festival. It would be nice to get some special treatment. Filmmakers make film festivals succeed and without them, then it is just like going to the movie theatre on any given day. As a filmmaker, I shouldn't have to pay money to attend a party when my film is in competition.

Whittier reminded me of Boston in a lot of ways and it's funny. It made me realize that Boston was run like a first year festival. Sadly, Boston just had its 23rd festival. Thinking about it in that perspective makes Whittier look promising and I look forward to what the festival does in the future. It can only improve.

Oh, and the film I produced won Best Short at the fest. Does that make me an award winning filmmaker?


Fletch said...

It most certainly does. Congrats on your win. Sorry the rest of the festival was a disappointment.

soundtrackgeek said...

Congrats for the win! Academy Awards next!

soundtrackgeek said...

Oh, I was at a film festival once and it wasn't my cup of tea, but I think I was too young (or maybe the movies were just crap). That was 20 years ago and I haven't been to once since...