There doesn’t really seem to be a way other then by means of a group process to tackle a film festival. Dividing the program into four separate themes (or two separate themes and two feature films) very much funneled the effort nicely. The film festival did remind me however, that no matter how the work is divided a select few will invariably turn into the true workhorses. In are case we were lucky that they were Jonathan, Galen and Prof Ma who each used their particular expertise well. I do worry that the opinions amongst the group or class were not as uniform as everyone would have let on but rather conformist. It’s tough to believe that the movie selecting process was as easy as it was if everyone was really honest. However this agreeableness most likely did not detract from the festival, the films although a compromise amongst members of the group, still varied in theme, tone, and subject
What did I learn?
Festival planning is a creative process. Therefore it is fundamentally not going to be a linear one. It’s wrong to assume that each day you will be one closer to a better festival. I also learned that in media it is especially easy to overstate or exaggerate how long something will take. It’s hard to gauge effort in a creative process but I don’t believe that planning the festival was particularly hard with the help of Prof. Ma, the IT from Pitzer, and a resourceful class.
Learn anything new about Asian Americans in Media?
I learned that when talking to a filmmaker its wrong to purpose them for my own ends. In other words, I question the morality of pigeon holing their film ethnically rather then by the merits of its own worth. I learned that race shouldn’t be part of genre and the diversity of the film’s shows how impossible that has become. “People I’ve Slept With” and “Raspberry Magic” couldn’t be more different. There should be less focus on who is making the film. I even started to wonder whether having an “Asian American” festival was appropriate. Doesn’t this just create a starch divided and assume ownership of the stereotype. In other words, maybe its wrong to create something and triumph it as a product of a particular race or culture. If nothing else, it cheapens what should stand on its own feet. Its easy and very Pitzer-like to say that these events are a chance to re-contextualize stereotypes but I don’t believe that to be true. Anything under that guise is simply a cop out for not only allowing but supporting things to be sorted by Race.
Anything surprise you?
I think its important to hold the festival during one free weekend and in one space. I imagine that localizing the event would create more of magnet for interested students. I don’t think Posters are good enough for an academic event. I think it is fitting that we ask professors to maybe talk it about in their class. I hope that we never use Skype again. Although that sort of presentation may one day be the future, right now, we may have been a little ahead of our time.
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