Comments on The Film Festival Project
On the whole, your film festival project was successful. You programmed a two-day, four-program festival with two feature films, and two shorts programs consisted of documentaries, short narratives, and experimental works from a pool of twenty titles. I will divide my comments below corresponding to the different stage of this project: programming, promotion, festival execution and logistics, and a few brief comments on our assessment of the project:
Your programming choices were interesting. As a group, you were able to apply some of the histories and theories we have studied in this class to the selection of the films and videos, and in the manner with which you grouped them into screening programs. After watching the programs, and even though I pre-screened the films, I was surprised and delighted by some of the connections that were made between the works, and the dialogue that occurred between different races, gender identities, generational experiences, and cultural backgrounds. The range of the works you selected, and the issues covered are quite remarkable for four programs.
As we discussed in class after the Festival, the two-day festival format made it difficult to have all the filmmakers present. Also, our decision to have the Festival in early November also did not give us much time to promote it. Your suggestion on starting the promotion process early and before the programs are finalized is a good idea, and probably something we can try in the future. I believe this will be especially beneficial to creating the community connections, especially off-campus, that we desire for each program.
In terms of the Festival itself, I thought everybody worked very hard and did a beautiful job. You created a welcoming atmosphere for the visiting filmmakers—who all reported that they had a good time at the Festival—and members of the audience. You introduced the screenings well and asked good questions to prompt discussion after the screenings. Galen did a wonderful job coordinating the Festival Reception, and Jonathan was above and beyond in documenting every event on video, making the screening programs, and playing projectionist at the two Broad Performance Space screenings!
You learnt from the audience survey that our audience is predominantly from the Claremont Colleges—no surprise given the short time we had to promote the Festival—and that a lot you have very supportive friends! However, it is also interesting to note the significant presence of off-campus attendees and a demographic older than college-age young people. These are audiences that could be cultivated in the future festival screenings. In addition, we confirmed that there is indeed a need for Festivals like this one at the Claremont Colleges, and contemporary media representation of Asian Americans can be empowering, complex, and stereotypical… all at the same time!
Grade for Project: A