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What I want to know is are festivals really important and who goes to them?

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  • Comment number 61. Posted by Rosko

    on 5 Jun 2012 10:54

    There's various different ways that a festival can be run and each have their merits. I've read about lots of festivals but the only one I've actually been to is my local one in Glasgow. The approach they seem to have is just to show two screenings each of a selection of the best films chosen by the organisers that have been sent in to them over the last few months - there does not appear to be any particular emphasis on premiers or brand new films, just a sort of world cinema select divided into a few different themes like youth, horror, music, obscure, asian, documentary, local and then they focus on a particular country each year like Germany. It's generally pretty well run, the film guide booklets they produce are brilliant and rather than being 'snobby' or overly commercial, it seems to be mainly appreciated by ordinary punters like myself and big crowds come to many of the main screenings. In fact I can remember hearing Armando Ianucci saying it was his favourite festival because he could get a genuine audience reaction to an early screening of his film that would be a good, broad representation of the audience reaction that would come from the general public. There are also so many festivals now that it is becoming like an alternative distribution network for films that will not be otherwise shown widely, even in art-cinemas e.g. I saw a brilliant quebecian native american interpretation of Hamlet, called 'Mesnak' and have not seen it appearing much elsewhere online, other that a small number of european festivals. It does not appear to be on DVD yet, so this may not be a 'repeatable' experience as someone above claimed - and in the case of the Glasgow festival it's actually far cheaper (not to mention a better experience) to watch it in the cinema - I bought a block of 8 tickets online and paid 4 or 5 pounds for each. Many of the less well known films were also free. I went to see about 14 films and only two of them were bad, 6 of them have become some my favourite films.

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  • Comment number 60. Posted by Duncan McCurdie

    on 3 May 2012 10:23

    I've not been to any of the big festivals but there is a need for them as they are a good way for films to be sold to distributors and industry people to see them. Would Iron Sky have been made without festivals, probably. Would it be getting so much publicity without festivals, doubtful.

    For your average fan of cinema I'm a huge supporter of local film festivals that are easily accessible to the wider public and are often run purely for the interest of cinema patrons. In fact I actually helped to start up a Horror Film Festival at my local independent cinema in Dundee.

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  • Comment number 59. Posted by Mr Blonde

    on 2 May 2012 21:27

    I've never been to a film festival (although I certainly would like to at some point), but I do feel that they have a place in raising awareness of smaller, independent films that would not receive as much attention were it not for the interest generated by festivals.

    For me the prize winners at film festivals are usually a better indication of quality that the Oscars too.

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  • Comment number 58. Posted by Mirkady

    on 2 May 2012 11:14

    I enjoy movies. I go to see them regularly at the cinema, I also watch plenty on TV or DVD. I probably see far more than the average man or woman, albeit probably fewer than the average poster on this blog.

    I have never been to a movie festival, however. I imagine that the vast majority of people who really enjoy movies haven't either. The fact is that I'm not so film obsessed that I generally want to go to one to see films I know nothing about. I go to other festivals and might be tempted to catch a movie whilst I'm there but my experience is that the music at a summer festival or live plays at Edinburgh at more of a draw - they offer experiences that are not capable of being replicated again (whereas a movie can always be watched at a later date). For that reason I'm not sure what the draw is for those outside the world of the film industry.

    Events such as the live accompaniment to a silent film that you did recently are the only sort of thing that might draw me to a film festival. That is a chance to see something unrepeatable - film and accompaniment and audience - with a chance for some interaction, more like the dynamic between actors on a stage or a band and their audience.

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  • Comment number 57. Posted by Stuart Findlay

    on 2 May 2012 09:48

    For me, one of the best things about festivals is that you get to see more niche films in front of bigger audiences than you'd sometimes get in a art-house cinema. I saw Dogtooth in one of the biggest screens in Dublin which was almost full. The shock and bemusement of such a large audience at the end of the film and as people filtered out, trying to digest what they'd just seen, was pretty unique and hard to replicate outside a festival.

    I wouldn't take much notice of the awards and hobnobbing at the dublin film festival but it is a great chance for me to see things I wouldn't see otherwise.

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  • Comment number 56. Posted by teamzizzou

    on 29 Apr 2012 17:27

    I care and follow Film Festivals progress,specially the main ones.i just think tickets are too hard to get hold of and maybe they need to reach more Rural places

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  • Comment number 55. Posted by Connor Macgregor

    on 28 Apr 2012 14:38

    Mark

    instead of going to film festivals, this year I manages to co curate one with a large group of people. It was this year's Glasgow Youth Film Festival which was apart of the Glasgow Film Festival this year. It was my first time and as well as just screening films, we also organised workshops and special events to appeal to a young audience of film goers. This included turning a local cafe in Glasgow into a french early 20th century cafe and screened the film The Triplets Of Belleville. Each member of the group each introduced certain films. My one was a small well known film called Simple Simon (2010) A Swedish film about a teenager with aspergers syndrome and it was a film very close to me as I also suffer from the syndrome. Our opening & closing galas were The Muppets & Being Elmo, which were both fantastic films and the atmosphere at the festival was wonderful.

    I will be doing it all again next year and I applaud the Glasgow Film Theatre for attempting and succeeding what so few festivals do these days, which is appeal to all possible audiences with well known but terrific films to show.

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  • Comment number 54. Posted by Paul

    on 27 Apr 2012 22:05

    I personally love the !Viva! Spanish and Latin American Film Festival at Cornerhouse in Manchester. They always have a cracking selection of films I've never seen nor even heard of and they couple this with lectures and debates so that you can gain a greater understanding of the films and the contexts of their stories. And all this at a nice price! That's what I want in a film festival - good films I wouldn't have otherwise seen coupled with no pretension.

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  • Comment number 53. Posted by 6oclockman

    on 27 Apr 2012 16:11

    I want you to speed it up and stop chattering, cabbie. I've got to get to my wife's apartment.

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  • Comment number 52. Posted by lostInthedetails

    on 27 Apr 2012 11:32

    I love film festivals and since I live in Edinburgh, when I'm not at Uni in Aberdeen, I am so spoilt for choice when it comes to seeing so many new and interesting films.

    I remember seeing Black Dynamight about a year before anyone else could see it in the UK, seeing Monica Vulure and the star Kim Catrall surprised everyone by having a Q&A afterwards, I saw Bob Marley: The Making of a Legend and afterward the filmakers including Esther Anderson and Gian Gody had a drink with the audiance and spoke about the film and how and why the made it. But it isn't just things like that that were amasing but seeing films that otherwise you can't and won't see in Scotland.

    I know EIFF has had a bad rap in resent years but by showing films that often don't even get a DVD release over here they arn't just helping new filmmakers with there careers but giving there audience special experiences. I know I would have never even known about 'Northen Soul' if it wasn't for there showing of Soul Boy.

    But it is just as important for small films to be shown outside of film festivals and sometimes having festivals about seems to mean that art house cinemas don't dig out old gems or show new but small releases as much. The closest I've gotten to an interesting screen in outside of a festival was when once for University get to see a rehursal of Graeme Stephen Quintet doing there orginal score for Sunrise: A Story of Two Humans and it thurley ruined the film for me because I now can't watch that film without wanting their amazing score to be there in place of the filmtone one.

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