The Importance of Film Festival

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End of the time is a good time where students reflect what they have learned throughout the semester and celebrate. In addition, the end of the semester is a good time to organize for such events such as film festival since most students have the free time and to spare in taking part in such activities. When people hear about films, they often imagine of horror movies, comedies, and movies that reflect the culture and life of a particular group of people. However, this film semester’s festival season would be quite different since I want people to focus on one particular controversial topic reflected in various movies, the topic of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender LGBTQ community. I know many people would not want to talk about this, but definitely, we have friends and relatives who are already embracing this form of lifestyle and we need to accept that. Organizing this event at the end of the semester will ensure that students come in order to get the message and enjoy themselves without having to think of exams or assignments.

School festivals are not quite different from the bigger festivals. In fact, the organization of is quite similar. However, bigger festivals often take time to organize and require many resources in terms of manpower, the budget and time. Basically, both the major and minor festivals like the school festival provide an opportunity for the filmmakers and producers to expose their films to the executives and hopefully sell the film to many customers, it also gives them a chance to win different awards, and to get viewed and interviewed by various media groups to create a buzz. Ideally, bigger festivals attract the attention of filmmakers and filmgoers because of the availability of resources and the marketing that is made about such festivals.

Good event planning requires that one knows the upfront what they are trying to accomplish and the resources that are needed to make the event successful.  Notably, having a clearly defined and goals and objectives of event help the organizers keep on target up-to the end of the event.  Having goals and objectives also help one to avoid wasting resources since every decision involving money, time, and other resources can be traced back to the guiding purpose (Craig, 2018, 85). Some of the objectives of the event include awards, the creation of networking opportunities, exposure, theatrical distribution, and sales to the highest bidder. Having answers to these objectives helps in formulating strategies on which to submit the festival and within the budget constraints.

One of the first preparations required is to name the festival so that it gets an attractive name that can get more people to attend. Every film festival must have a name and the more the interesting the name sounds, the more people will look into it. Ideally, a festival should attract the targeted people and provide people with a chance to watch the film and meet people. In this regard, choosing the best name for your festival plays a critical role in marketing the event. Another preparation needed is to get the venue where the event will be taking place. The venue needs to be booked well in advance and the status checked so that there nothing fails during the event. In addition, other useful materials such as the projector and smart Board need to be in place as alternatives to the expensive theatre that could cost thousands of dollars.

Another preparation that is required is the budget since organizing the festival will come with some cost. As this is not a bigger event, money can be got from the creation of entry fee and collection from sponsorship.  Having a ticketing deadline is also necessary for the planning. The tickets could be categorized into early bird deadline, regular, and late and extended deadline, each category with its own entry fee. Since this event is a small scale, it is important to make the entry fee affordable to the targeted people. In addition, a catering organization could be called upon to offer catering services. The guest and the movie makers will also be allowed to carry their own food to supplement the available. In addition, there is also need to have a schedule that could help in planning what movie will be seen and at what time (Iordanova, 2013, p 12). Notably, setting your targeted audience such as the directors, producers, actors, and the general audience is crucial in the preparation process. Knowing your audience can help you in selecting the films that support your theme topic.

A crew is needed to help in running the festival, and these are individuals and professionals who will ensure that everything is kept running to the last minute. Crews are very important part of the film festival and one is free to choose friends and other class members. They will include people who will work on lights, projectors, food, bouncers, doormen, and other areas. Another preparation is the promotion of the event. Putting up posters of movies and giving descriptions of each will ensure that people have a rough idea of what to expect on during the event.   In addition, the posters should be very creative in order to generate a lot of hype for the event.  These posters should be evenly distributed along the areas near the venue such as the walls so that everybody will be able to see them.  Lastly, the location of the event needs to be carefully chosen. One needs to be aware of the location of the festival they submit to and think about whether they are willing to travel to attend the same. Ideally, choosing the location also ensures that you get your targeted audience closer (De Valck and Loist, 2009, p 182). One also needs to plan on the possible questions for criticism and the awards if any that is to be given to different people.

Time has changed and everybody within his faculties has the freedom to choose their lives and live happily. Back in the older days when movie production was not very common, people who had quality characters being portrayed as homosexual went unnoticed. In fact, people often thought it was a fancy way of life. People often thought that these community played dreamy characters or unusual characters in these movies. This characterization led to the decline of theatergoers as most people had not been pleased and had not embraced this way of life (Elsaesser, 2005 p 93). In addition, other controversial themes such as prostitution and street violence came up creating a demand for an alternative way to life such as homosexuality. This community is no-longer hiding and the filmmakers and filmgoers have started accepting these them. I will use the topic of the LGBTQ to select movies that depict this alternative way of life.

Here are the few examples of the movies that I have selected for my film festival. These films are well known and they show the community in a different way to help individuals understand and accept this LGBTQ community. Some of the films that I have chosen include Brocken Mountain (2005) which is about two young men who meet together as herders and with no alternative, they start developing affection towards each other. Another film is the Milk (2008) which is a story about Harvey Milk and how he fought for the rights of the LGBTQ community. Another film is the Philadelphia (1993) which is about a gay guy struggling with HIV/AIDS and the frustrations he goes through in his place of work. Watching these films during in this festival will be a good student and other audience the chance to understand the suffering that the LGBTQ undergo and I hope that the knowledge gained will help the audience understand that we live in a free world where everybody chooses the kind of life they would want to live.

Film festivals bring about opportunities and one need to be ready for any opportunity by inviting the right people to the festival. In addition, festivals are known to create opportunities for networking, making deals, and forming a strong working relationship. In this regard, I intend to invite industrial professionals and potential employers. Such would include film directors, writers, producers, critics and the judges, and the general audience (Laing and Mair, 2015, p 258). Notably, every invited person will have his own film in preparation for the day so that everybody’s interest in taken care of.

For every film festival event, creative content is crucial to its success, in addition to the contractual and supporting page to match the event. Festivals require both long and short synopsis, bios of important players including directors, actors, talent, producers, writers, and other players. In addition, there should be a catalog of questions targeting press and professionals for future improvement (Laing and Mair, 2015, p 262). In this regard, there is need to obtain updated bios early enough so that people are not frustrated when running up and down to secure them. A Public Relations (PR) is set to benefit the festive premiere and even beyond. In order to ensure that the DIY outreach is backed up with solid assets, most organizers use higher resolution film stills and behind the scene imagery, they also create digital film posters, create an electronic press kit, and a press contact on the film’s team is created.

The festival organizers are also concerned about the distribution since the festive premiere is can be the first and the important step in the distribution pool (Duran, Hamarat, and Okul, 2014, p 179). This calls for proper planning of the event so that the event runs smoothly without inflatable armbands.  In this regard, documents that address the massive information that could be needed by the distributors is created. Some of the activities that relate to distribution include establishing a proper chain of film titles other chain of titles such as copyright, and certificate of recordation, and showing screenplay purchase agreement. Premiere festivals act as a springboard to other future projects since one gets a chance to socialize with professionals such as filmmakers, distributors, potential distributors, and investors. Ideally, having a clear for the event enhances the chances of getting potential investors.

Having an idea of how festivals are put together ensures that there is a proper planning for the event and that all the required resources such as money, manpower, and other resources are put in place. In addition, for the preparation ensures that all the interested parties get a chance to join the event. Last minute buffer tickets are created to cater for the possible last-minute attendees, especially for the press and the distributors. Another tricky part of the film festival involves the securing of the Digital Cinema Package (DCP) that most festivals require for screening. The DCP is costly in terms of hiring, creation time, and it also requires a post-production house to complete. This calls for the organizers to work in collaboration in order to make the event a success. With this information, one is at a better position of organizing a colorful film festival.

Each act has to take a specific duration of time and these calls for preparation and coordination with all the other teams. There is need to create a balance between the narratives, the documentary, and animation so that everything is encompassed in the acts. Ideally, I would not wish to slam people in the first act and that is why I would go for two and half hours per film so that people get to understand the theme of the festival. In addition, I would ask the attendees to send me the excerpts and specific sections of the films that they would like considered so that their views are put into consideration.

I will definitely need a crew to help me run the festival. The crews are important part of the film festival since they are in charge of keeping. During this festival, I intend to use friends and some of my classmates. They will be categorized into different groups and some of they will be in charge of lights, screens and projectors, food, and security. In addition, there is need to create a strong marketing team who will be in charge of PR, advertisement through social media, Designing of posters, creating a dynamic mailing list among other duties. Screening and curation team will be in charge of selecting films for our various programs. They will also be in charge of assigning films and judging criteria for the films that have been selected. External screenings and touring team will be in charge of expanding relations with other institutions and exploring new partnership. It is important for these individuals to coordinate and work as a team to ensure the success of the event.

Film festivals are full of new ideas and fresh talents, and through organizing festivals, individuals have built up reputations for themselves based on their programming. In addition, different festivals make unique programs that distinguish it from the rest (Duran, Hamarat, and Okul, 2014, p 182). In these programs, I have a lot of hope that I would meet some of the professionals and potential employers from various organizations. In addition, most of the films that I have chosen for this film festival are to enlighten people to accept the LGBTQ community. This has become an alternative life for some people and giving them the opportunity to exercise their freewill and accepting them in the community is necessary towards establishing a true democracy. It would be my wish that I achieve this aim besides establishing a working relationship with various people such as directors, filmmakers, investors, and potential employers.

Many universities and colleges are holding their festivals this term. Some of them include the Choral Music Camp and Strings Festival at Chapman University, Drexel Writing Festival at the Drexel University and New Play Festival is also to take place at the Quinnipiac University.

In conclusion, end of term is a good opportunity to reflect on the activities of the semester and give people time to relax and attend festivals. Ideally, a successful film festival requires proper preparations and setting achievable objectives. In addition, organizing this event provides opportunities to meet professionals in the field of filmmaking, directing, writing and other investors. Programmers also get credit for their work and they can land their dream jobs. Working within the budget constraints ensures that the project achieves its success. Having an idea of how festivals are organized enables one to be a better programmer and organizer.

References List

Craig, B., 2018. Cannes-A Festival Virgin's Guide: Attending the Cannes Film Festival, for Filmmakers and Film Industry Professionals. Cinemagine Media Publishing.

De Valck, M. and Loist, S., 2009. Film festival studies: An overview of a burgeoning field.

Duran, E., Hamarat, B. and Özkul, E., 2014. A sustainable festival management model: the case of International Troia festival. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 8(2), pp.173-193.

Elsaesser, T., 2005. Film festival networks: The new topographies of cinema in Europe. European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood, 82, pp.82-106.

Iordanova, D. ed., 2013. The film festival reader. St Andrews Film Studies.

Laing, J. and Mair, J., 2015. Music festivals and social inclusion–the festival organizers’ perspective. Leisure Sciences, 37(3), pp.252-268.

August 01, 2023




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