Are festivals worth attending?

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Dave Watterson

Are festivals worth attending?

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:50 pm

What is the point of spending a lot of money to attend one of the three major
festivals in the British Isles: BIAFF, The Cotswold and The Guernsey Lily?

-----

Jan and I have just booked for BIAFF in Tunbridge Wells - which with three
night's accomodation, all the meals, banquet etc came to £444 for the two
of us. There will be travel costs on top of that.

The Guernsey Lily tends to be cheaper once you are on the island, but getting
there and back is a major cost.

The Cotswold being limited to two evenings of films and with no extras is
cheap enough - just add in your choice of accomodation, meals and travel.

-----

You can do them all cheaper:

e.g. after BIAFF 2007 we don't want to race home on Sunday bight so we have
chosen to stay over but many people stay just 1 night, skip the extras, get
day tickets and stay in alternative cheaper accomodation ...

Scouring the net for travel and accomodation bargains can bring costs down
a lot.

Finding a friendly film-making type to put you up near the event makes it
cheaper still!

-----

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- Dave Watterson

Michael Slowe

Re: Are festivals worth attending?

Post by Michael Slowe » Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:04 am

The point of attending (this is for others, not Dave, who knows the answer)
is to see in one location the best amateur films currently being made, both
here and in Europe. As film lovers we want to enjoy them and as film makers
to learn from them. Unless you see the best you can't know what you are
aiming for and what can be achieved. We may not like much of what we see
but it is all part of our filmic education. I am nearly 72 years old but
am still learning about the art of film. There is the social aspect of festivals
as well but that isanother matter altogether. Expensive? Yes, it can be
but these things are relative and difficult to comment on, more perhaps a
question of priorities.


"Dave Watterson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
What is the point of spending a lot of money to attend one of the three
major
festivals in the British Isles: BIAFF, The Cotswold and The Guernsey Lily?

Willy van der Linden

Re: Are festivals worth attending?

Post by Willy van der Linden » Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:41 pm

"Dave Watterson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
-----

Jan and I have just booked for BIAFF in Tunbridge Wells - which with three
night's accomodation, all the meals, banquet etc came to £444 for the two
of us. There will be travel costs on top of that.


£ 444 ! That's very expensive, Dave. I have not booked yet, but I will certainly
attend the festival in Tunbridge Wells. I will stay in a B&B. I know that
there are many fantastic B&B's in the "Garden of England". Some are even
oast houses. The price of a double or twin-bedded-room is about £55. Next
weekend I will stay in my favourite B&B in Biddenden. "Heron Cottage" is
a heaven a earth ! And it's not too far from Tunbridge Wells.

Yes, you're right, Michael, socializing at international festivals is an
important aspect. The Cotswolds festival is perhaps the cheapest festival,
but you don't get the opportunity to talk to friends. The gate opens at 7.30
pm and the show is finished at about 10 or 11 pm. Then it's time to go home
or to your hotel or B&B. It was like that some years ago.

I remember that Dave once said that perhaps friends think that gala dinner
is not necessary. I think that the other evening meals which are cheaper
are perhaps better than the gala dinner. This year the evening meals in Bedford
were excellent.

Don't forget that foreigners - I don't want to say 'Europeans' because in
my opinion the British are also Europeans - also have to add the price of
the ferry or flight to their "bill". 8-9 years ago I asked some Belgian friends
to go with me. We stayed in a B&B 10 miles east of Buxton. It was a pub just
opposite a village church. That was England at its best ! I enjoyed it very
much. To be honest : I always enjoy the atmosphere of the festivals in hotels,
but in the evening or in the morning I also enjoy the different atmosphere
somewhere else. In Guernsey "Bel Air" is very nice. The B&B is only 1 or
2 miles from the hotel where the festival takes place. I can understand that
the organizers prefer their friends to stay in the hotel itself, but I also
think that we must try to keep the costs as low as possible. There is one
thing about Guernsey : the organizers are not only very friendly but also
very generous. Winners should always attend the festival ! It would be unfair
not to attend their festival.

There is also an other aspect. I always enjoy watching films even when the
sun is shining. But it doesn't mean that my friends are not like me. Thank
God ! They also want to make trips. In April the daffodils are blooming and
"the Garden of England" is wonderful at that time of the year.

It's good that you ask us what we think about it, Dave. Let's say : the ideal
festival would be a mixture of the Cotswolds Festival and the other ones.
Films are screened on Saturday in three or four different hotel rooms. The
number of films is reduced with 30 percent. Why not ? Not more than 1 film
per filmmaker. But longer intervals. Then there is more time to socialize.
No gala dinner. The organizers give enough information about accommodation
in the hotel itself, but also in B&B's or guest houses in the area. So this
year in "The Heart of Kent". You can also find enough information if you
type the word "Kenttourism" in Google for instance. The organizers help people
to book rooms in the hotel or even in B&B's. I'm used to book rooms in British
B&B's, but my other Belgian and Dutch friends don't know how to do it. Winners
show and speeches on Sunday. I agree, Dave, everything should be done to
create a friendly, but also a cheap festival. Filmmaking is not a hobby for
the "happy few".

Ian Gardner

Re: Are festivals worth attending?

Post by Ian Gardner » Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:02 pm

"Dave Watterson" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
What is the point of spending a lot of money to attend one of the three
major
festivals in the British Isles: BIAFF, The Cotswold and The Guernsey Lily?

-----

Jan and I have just booked for BIAFF in Tunbridge Wells - which with three
night's accomodation, all the meals, banquet etc came to £444 for the two
of us. There will be travel costs on top of that.

The Guernsey Lily tends to be cheaper once you are on the island, but getting
there and back is a major cost.

The Cotswold being limited to two evenings of films and with no extras is
cheap enough - just add in your choice of accomodation, meals and travel.
- Dave Watterson
Hello David,
You know me David, the subject was brought up last year of the cost of the
BIAFF. This is a BIAFF run forum so I will be a bit nicer with my comments
then I should do!
To be honest, I do find that the cost (to me personaly is way over the top),
sorry BIAFF! You can get cheap traveling and cheap accomodation elsewhere
but the entry tickets are really dear. You would think that if you hire a
hotel, you would get a REALLY good price for the rooms. It depends how much
money the BIAFF want to make for the event. I will go one year, but to afford
it i`ll bring a tent! When you can spend the same amount of time on holiday
in Paris for half the price AND get there FIRST CLASS by Eurostar, then the
price looks a bit dogie.
I love watching films that fellow friends on here have made, but a holiday
to Paris would always win. Both David and his good wife are maybe more into
the films then me so they might not mind spending a bit more on the part
of our passtime.
Also, spare money comes into it. I may have about £10 pounds left out of
my money. To find £444 or even £222 would take alot of time to save and one`s
got to try a save for a new video camera anyway!
That`s my opinion.
Thanks for reading my friends!

Ian Gardner

ned c

Re: Are festivals worth attending?

Post by ned c » Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:59 pm

The restriction for most of us is cost and for a young film maker, student
or someone with a young family or a demanding job the cost will be too high.
It is great to meet with other film makers and to view films together and
discuss them and we need to find some way we can do this without all the
costs of a hotel based festival. If you feel travel is a restriction in Europe
consider the problems we face in N America, I live in the next state to California,
the flight to LA is one hour, to Denver the next State to the East, 1 1/2
hours. As travel/hotel costs have risen the Internet will take over the face
to face meetings and we have to find ways of having Internet Festivals. We
werer happy to welcome visitors to this year's AMPS Festival from Florida
and New York, a 3 1/2 flight, but not many people can afford this. We need
to see as many n-c films as possible and we need to talk to the makers.

Ned C

Dave Watterson

Re: Are festivals worth attending?

Post by Dave Watterson » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:47 pm

OK Here's a challenge.

How cheaply could you attend BIAFF 2007 seeing as many movies as possible?

Give names of any accomodation - and separate off the cost of travel. We'd
be interested in how to get there cheaply but, of course, people will be
travelling from many different start points.

Dave

Willy Van der Linden

Re: Are festivals worth attending?

Post by Willy Van der Linden » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:54 pm

"Dave Watterson" <david.filmsocs@virgin.net> wrote:
OK Here's a challenge.

How cheaply could you attend BIAFF 2007 seeing as many movies as possible?

Give names of any accomodation - and separate off the cost of travel. We'd
be interested in how to get there cheaply but, of course, people will be
travelling from many different start points.

You can find enough names of accommodation on www.kenttourism.co.uk. Take
"Where to stay". Then go to "Royal Tunbridge Wells" or "Tonbridge". 3 or
4 stars, bed and breakfast and guest houses. An example : "Smart and Simple
Hotel". I'm not joking. It's a real name. In that hotel there are 40 refurbished
rooms. It's on 54-57 London Road, tel. 0845 4025744. It's still too expensive,
but already cheaper. From £65. For a double room, I guess and hope. I always
stay in a "bed and breakfast" in Biddenden. "Heron Cottage" 6 rooms. £55
for a double room. It takes about 20-25 minutes to get to Tunbridge Wells.
That's perhaps a little too far. Just opposite "The Red Lion" in Biddenden
is "Tudor House". Susan always thinks that she is still a schoolteacher,
but the service is perfect and the location is wonderful. It's a house with
beams and it has a nice open fire. A very good B&B is "Tanner Farm" in Marden
near Goudhurst. That's not so far from Royal Tunbridge Wells. Also £55 for
a double, but Ian, there is also a camp site. It looks very comfortable and
people are very friendly there. It has a shop. There are also stables. Not
only horses, but also donkeys. There is an oast house surrounded by a moat
with ducks. That's one of the views from your window if you stay in the "B&B".
Maybe you could try "Hawkenbury Farm", Hawkenbury Rd TN3 9AD, Tunbridge
Wells, email rhwright@aol.com. A double room from £44 to £50 ! Tel. (01892)536977.
I have not tried that one before, but I could find it on www.kenttourism.co.uk.
I'm sure that you can find wonderful accommodation in or near Tunbridge
Wells. The more friends we can meet at BIAFF the better !

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