This week I shall step away from actors and internet virals and return back to festivals. I have buy cialis 20mg recently expressed my dislike of the Academy Awards and instead stated my respect for the film festival circuit. Well the awards season is now dead and the festival season is just beginning. I have always felt that the festival circuit develops a greater sense of the artistic community, and acts as a time to truly praise the year’s achievements in film. The clear and evident divide that exists between film festivals and film awards is what (obviously) separate them apart from one another as either a serious appraisal of film or an excuse to push your latest film.
Film awards are all good and fun. Nearly every A-lister appears on the red carpet and a long (and sometimes tedious) ceremony begins. Now don’t get me wrong, I would never turn down an invitation to attend the Oscars. No matter how much I dislike them and see them as more materialistic than prestigious; I would still attend if ever given the chance. This is more so because of the ingrained nature of the Oscars. They have been around in the mainstream of culture for such a long time that they do have a sense of glamour about them; even if you don’t like them you can’t help but like them to some extent. So back to the festival circuit. Simply by these being festivals they run for more than a single night plus the after party. They usually run for a few days so a
larger variety of films can displayed. The most obvious is the art-house, independent and foreign sector which normally don’t get mention at the Oscars, and if they do then they get minimal mention and it’s just brushed over as it doesn’t match the same league as the blockbuster, Hollywood made films of the year. The festival circuit was more honed in to this sector which was otherwise ignored from the mainstream awards ceremonies. Sundance film festival obviously began as a salute to American independent film back in the mid 80′s (and subsequently nearly fell apart on several occasions as the festival attempted to establish itself and compete against the larger festivals and awards ceremonies).
A major reason why the film festival circuit runs as a festival and not simply an awards ceremony is that studios or filmmakers will attend the festival to try and secure a distribution deal. The festival circuit is a great place to have your film sold; having financing to make a film, doesn’t necessarily mean that once it’s made it’s guaranteed to be shown to anyone. Films like ‘Reservoir Dogs’ and ‘Clerks’ went to Sundance without distributors and left with Miramax to release their films. Now this form of distribution market has somewhat dried up within the festival circuit simply because distribution isn’t necessarily as costly as it used to be. With the internet being able to provide mass amounts of cheap advertisement, technology that allows people to create high quality DVDs in minutes and the trend of cinemas showing digital copies of films; all of these allow films to be distributed at greater ease. It therefore becomes quite clear that if you have the money to finance the production of a film then the distribution is more tied in with it (of course that are exceptions and this is just a general over view). Film festivals can also offer producers a place to get financing for a film in the first place. Some take advantage on so many studios being present in one place to play them against each other. The producers for ‘Red 2′ for instance are going to be playing the market in Cannes this year. The film has the support of the original screen writers from the first ‘Red’ film. Many of the lead cast are up for the sequel, Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich included. But why go to one studio who may turn it down and wait ages for your next meeting with the next studio when they are all going to be present at Cannes. They can skim through the studios and pick the best deal within the space of a week.
Now the main reason I decided the write this blog based on film festivals was simply by seeing the line up of jurors for this years Cannes. This is the main element which makes me truly respect Cannes. The Oscars has a panel which decide on who wins what, this makes sense, however who the hell are these people on this panel? It becomes evident that this is an event for Hollywood to pat itself on the back for another good year of films. Where as Cannes is completely different. Their jury changes every year and instead of using people who are never know they actively let the public know who is judging the festival’s film entrants. They also pick a range of jurors from film directors and actors to artists. This I feel is highly important as I still still film as an art form (I have previously remarked on this in one of my previous blogs a few months ago). For instance this years jury comprises of: Nanni Moretti (director), Hiam Abbass (actress), Andrea Arnold (director), Emmanuelle Devos (actress), Jean-Paul Gaultier (fashion designer), Diane Kruger (actress), Ewan McGregor (actor), Alexander Payne (director) and Raoul Peck (actor). Now this list is mainly composed of actor/tress and directors however the range in them alone is quite extensive. These people are peers and highly respected within the film community, previous jurors include Robert De Niro and Quentin Tarantino. With this simplicity of having people who know film as they eat, sleep and breathe it, a greater respect for who wins what can automatically be given, and with the jury being changed every year then fresh blood and new taste is added into the mix, this then stops the same sort of films winning the same prizes every year.
So I shall close this blog suggesting that you look into any film festival that may be occurring any time soon, whether it be large or small, international or local. It can be great experience to volunteer at a film festival, much like a few focus members do at the Encounters films festival down in Bristol. Festivals are a great place to network and meet other like minded people. You never know you might meet someone who shares the same passion for film as you do and start making films together. Certainly check out the Cannes film festival which began yesterday and runs until the 27th. Obviously it would be great to go there in person but as Cannes is a bloody expensive place to go in the first place (along with all the malarkey of not having passes for the festival) it creates a dilemma, but thanks to the wonderful invention of the internet daily updates can be seen online about the goings ons at Cannes.