Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Seule Tod's Festival Progress - A Learning Curve (evolving discussion)

A learning curve, for certain -  the film I completed in October of last year, Seule Tod, has been making the rounds of Film Freeway online, and the results are mixed, but I'm learning a lot about the process.  It has been since 2007 since I've had any real connections with festivals (the truly delightful KAFI experience in Kalamazoo being the last, helmed by the indefatigable David Baker, now of FSU), whether contributing to or serving as judge or presenter (oh, the powerpoints!).

Nonetheless, Seule Tod is being seen,  I believe, and has been earning "laurels" (those leafy things one sees frequently at the start of many independent bits of animation) on occasion, even if they can give the impression of a participation prize ("Hey, his Paypal came through, better give him something or he won't submit things again!").  

It has been entered in over 40 festivals so far, and yes, that's a bit of an overkill, but again, it's a learning curve.  I'm summarizing my observations for a future issue of the ASIFA Central newsletter.  Some of these online festivals stand upon a very questionable foundation.

So far - 


I have found this particular competition to be about the most honest experience so far - they get 100 or so entries, assign each one a number, throw the numbers into a bowl, and pull out 10-11 for the showing.  Sight unseen.  The audience becomes the judge, and at three or four minutes into the showing, you get to let it continue or "Scream It Off Screen."  And if it's a scream, they go to the next film.  It's raunchy, rowdy, frequently funny, and occasionally a very good film appears - overall, it's reminiscent of a frat party where there is beer and extremely cheap pizza.  I was lucky to share screen time with two excellent short films, "Housecat" by Kate Costello and "Oldboy's Apple" by Brad Hock.  It's nice to read the "live commentary" to see what does and doesn't work, and if various references are recognized.  It was a pretty savvy audience.  When it is over, the video of the evening is on Youtube for a while - ie, for January 14, 2022 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfVUnDuw2Lg  (Seule Tod is #10 at about 1:35 in)

This is the first one I sent the film to, and it was pretty disingenuous with its name - it is not in Phoenix, Arizona, but someplace on the outskirts of Ottawa, Ontario. 

I notice that the website for this film award program has not been updated for a while - Twitter notices seem to have ended in 2019.  But it is a cool name.  

But wait there's more!  In 90 minutes, it went from "Official Selection" to "Finalist" to "Winner." 


The one at CMU is nearby, with the possibility of attendance, but 60% of the inhabitants around here are just mutating petri dishes, so it'll likely be virtual again - an adventure for February:

I'm thinking of making a film with a lot of these laurels for the opening credits, then have a two second bit of "Boogie Boogie Boogie" and the end title.  I wonder if that would win an award?

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