The 30th Munich Film Festival is going on and we are attending it. Trying to see as many films as our limited accreditations allow us. It’s always a marathon to attend film festivals. You either have a film in competition (or to be screened) and you tend to press, networking, premieres and eating out, or you are an industry professional networking, going to events, maybe pitching a project, maybe selling or buying, and if you are just an enthusiast, than you are probably trying to watch as many films as you can. Either of those options is exhausting. This year we chose for the latter since we are in the middle of post-production and I have a few screenwriting deadlines aligned.
If you attend a film festival you’ll notice that usually films in festivals will not hit the theaters or even DVDs, for that matter, and vice-versa. Though a film festival gets you seen as a filmmaker and helps you get distribution for your film, not every film appeals to mass distribution or specific niche distribution, so it runs at festivals and if they don’t find other independent forms of getting themselves out there to you, they cease to exist all together. Painful considering that it may take an independent filmmaker five to ten years to make one single 90 minute film.
Anyway, films at festivals come in a number of shapes and sizes. Some make you reflect, like Little Thirteen by German director Christian Klandt or laugh and relate, like French actress-writer-director Julie Delpy’s Le Skylab, or simply give you a different interpretation of something you have already seen, like actor-director James Franco’s Idaho and My own Private River (based on My own Private Idaho by Gus van Sant). But I do admit, you will occasionally run into films that don’t make sense at all or that rub you the wrong way. There are no guarantees.
A film festival is definitely like a box of chocolates, as Forrest Gump would say, you never know what you are going to get. In any case, if you have the chance to see films at any festival I would urge you to do it. You won’t see The Dark Knight Rises, nor will you weep through Sleepless in Seattle, but a complete unknown film that you would otherwise never get the chance to see might pleasantly surprise you.
So that said, I mean written, I need to get back to the festival to watch the last film of the day for us: Safety not Guaranteed directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Derek Connolly.
How appropriate. 🙂