Thursday, March 08, 2007

You're welcome, but your film can f**k off

Last month I submitted my short film "No Circulars Please" to the East End Film Festival. I didn't much fancy my chances of getting in -- the film has the kind of production values you'd expect from a £200 budget, and while it was eligible by virtue of being shot in Tower Hamlets, it has absolutely nothing to say about east London or anyone living there. So I wasn't too surprised when I got an email yesterday saying my application had been unsuccessful.

I was, however, surprised to find attached to the rejection letter a free ticket to the closing night screening and party. Huh? Don't think I'm being ungrateful, it was nice of the festival organisers to offer me a consolation prize, but it does strike me as akin to inviting a jilted lover to your wedding. I can just imagine the networking conversations I might have:

Producer: "So, which film was yours?"
Me: "Er, none of them. They didn't want my film."
Producer: ...silence...
Me: "But they invited me to their party. I must be lovely and clever if they did that."
Producer: "Yes, I'm sure. Bye, have a nice career."

So I don't think I'll be using that ticket. But I did learn a valuable lesson -- if I'm ever in need of an instant social life, I'll submit bad films to a lot of festivals.


Blogger Lianne said...

If it were me, I'd still go. A freebie is a freebie. I have no shame!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Piers said...

I'm with Lianne on this one. Free booze and networking!

1:00 PM  
Blogger Phillip Barron said...

Yeah, go. Make loud noises about how poor the film is and then tell anyone who'll listen about much better yours is, if only the judges had some vision.

Get pissed, start a fight, get thrown out. Honest, it's the way forward.

I give this advice to all my competitors.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Ben W. Brumfield said...

I can't speak for the UK, but in my own limited experience, there's a large contingent of people at such parties that have nothing at all to do with the film.

I went to a similar party for a film some friends of mine produced. At said party, I had some of the most bizarre conversations of my life. At least until I figured out that the strangers who were so chummy with me were actually looking for work.

5:11 PM  

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