The Waiting Room

June 24th, 2011 § 0 comments

Nandan here. I hate this game. About a month ago I submitted The Men of Dodge City to a festival. About a couple days ago we submitted that film as well as The International Sign For Choking to another festival.

If there is anything I feel confident that I’ve learned from our festival running-around with Bummer Summer, it’s that you should submit slowly, to good (i.e. “important”) festivals, and preferably ones whose programmer you can contact directly. As soon as we got into this game I know we have both been extremely frustrated with how political the festival game is. It’s incredibly frustrating. Frustrating. But the only thing I hate more than playing dumb political games, is trying to push a film. And if you play the festival game right, your film gets seen without you needing to hustle it.

Both of these festivals to which we submitted are in August. They’re good festivals. Chances of actually getting in are crazy slim. But if you do get in, you want to attend. And if you do get in, you need to get the film ready in time. This means printing tapes (expensive, time-consuming, and the only place I know that we can do it ourselves is by sneaking in to NYU), as well as getting the actual movie finished. And festivals usually seem to announce their program about a month before the actual festival.

So what this all means is that literally, in addition to psychologically, your life is just on hold. Not that I know that I actually COULD attend the festival if a film got in, but I’m still hesitant to make plans that would stop me from being able to go. And I guess what’s crazy is how it affects you, or me at least, on a basis of just feeling confused. Because one moment I’m thinking, yeah, I made something, these “important” people are willing to look at it, that justifies me. But the next moment I realize that it means nothing, because if the film doesn’t get in I have to keep going to the next festival, and the next festival, until it does get it. And every time there is a waiting period, and every time, despite my knowledge that I just need to forget it and pretend it doesn’t exist and get on with my life, I have some stupid, inextinguishable hope that maybe it will get in, and wouldn’t that be great, wouldn’t that mean I’m important.

I’m making this out to be some sort of negative experience. Forgive me. I’m hyped actually at the possibility of both of these films getting into festivals, getting played in theaters in front of audiences. It’s crazy. And the fact that it is, despite the complete mystery about what the chances are, actually a possibility is sick.

Anyways. In other news, I saw Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer a few nights ago and wrote an essay that compares some formal techniques of that film and Bummer Summer. You can read the first draft HERE .

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