Thorsaa Film Festival

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
Post Reply
User avatar
FILM THURSO
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Thurso
Contact:

Thorsaa Film Festival

Post by FILM THURSO »

Well aside from even more delays caused by a lack of venue, we have also made a change to the rules. A new set of rules numbered 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d have been applied. We reached the decision quite some time ago after receiving a film of a religious theme which caused some considerable concerns when it was checked. In legal terms it was fine but there was an aspect of it which looked like propaganda based conditioning of a child towards a particular religious orrientation. The film did not offer any alternative view point or religion and the child in the film was subject to a one-sided encouragement to become of a faith by the adults around him. The film also conveyed the suggestion that a particular and large section of society was of this faith on the basis of a handful of shots containing images a well known football ground and it's patrons. For this reason the film was excluded from our planned programme and will not be exhibited by Cinema For Thurso.
The new rules are detailed regarding religion but will also be applied in terms of any other lyfestyle themed films. A film which displays aspects of 'conditioning' or 'grooming' even within the law may still be an act of abuse. Please note that the Laws of Scotland are applied in our festival and we actively protect the interests of young or vulnerable individuals or groups in society in accordance with the laws of Scotland. It may be legal in whatever country you come from but if its not legal or infringes rights under Scottish law then we will reject the film.
Love people and protect society!

http://www.thebiggig.eu/entry-rules.html
User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1705
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Re: Thorsaa Film Festival

Post by Dave Watterson »

There are very few films in non-commercial competitions that go too far, but one will turn up now and then. It is your festival, you reserve the right to show the film or not. Whether to exclude it from competition is a slightly different issue. In theory you could want to give first prize to a film you would not want to show!

In practice the few such films I have come across are usually badly made and would not be winners regardless of subject matter.

The closest IAC has come in recent years to that dilemma was with the South Korean film Helping Hand - so beautifully made and touching that it was awarded the Daily Mail Trophy as best in the festival, though some people found part of it repugnant. And yes, you can see it on the main IAC website. click "Watch" and go to BIAFF 2011.

Where do you stop specifying details in the rules?

For example: it has always seemed to me obvious that unless a competition is specifically labelled as for "engineering" films or "wildlife" films or some other specialised topic ... then everyone will understand that entries should be intended for a general audience. Yet now and then I see complaints that this was not specified in the rules.
.
Good luck with the festival - and do let us know when it is happening!
.
Dave
User avatar
FILM THURSO
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Thurso
Contact:

Re: Thorsaa Film Festival

Post by FILM THURSO »

Its definately a hassle when we get films that don't fit the rules but like anything else the festival gets its share of annoying things. In general one would hope the public would excersise common sense but that in itself seems to be subject to austerity measures in these dark economic times! In this case the film was well made, well acted and all the rest but it was also erronously blinkered in its viewpoint. The folly here being that it tried too hard and ended up being subject to very serious objection due to its heavily one-sided view and missleading shots and lines. If the film was identicle yet on a completely different life style, such as drug use or alternative sexuality there would be outrage. If it was an advert for a product it would have breached advertising standards. Essentially the film is deeply missleading and as a child is subject to the core promotion of a particular religion it constitutes "conditioning" or "grooming" which would be illegal in any other promotion of a lifestyle. It is the view of our group that religion is not excused from the rules or laws of protecting children or vulnerable persons and the group wanted to make this very clear.
Ideally with common sense we wouldn't need to apply specific points in the rules but sometimes people need telling unfortunately and even that can go over their heads.

Overall the content we have received in the years has been sensible and good, it has covered a wide variety of subjects with lots of heroes and villians and some very strong themes indeed to light hearted and artistic films. The production qualities have been all over the scale from shakey giggly beginner films to well crafted bigger budget feature films such as the "305" (do look it up on youtube). We also loved the very short "Tron Reboot" films of which there are four. One of our favourite films was a fun superhero film made by local kids which didn't hide the budget nature of the costumes and props used. Spiderman's web in the film was side-splittingly funny!

Our golden unwritten rule is, if it's not hurting or missleading anyone and made with full concent of all participants then it's in the festival no matter how good the production quality. We like films that have an honest heart. After all, classic Doctor Who is not the best made tv but we love it just the same :)

We will keep you informed.
ned c
Posts: 819
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: Thorsaa Film Festival

Post by ned c »

I fear you have opened a can of worms here. Why stop at religious subjects; add politics and sex the other major topics of interest. The best movies have a point of view and present it; it is up to others to present alternative points of view. I think a better restriction would be on the age of children in films; but equally difficult to apply. Rather than make an issue of this just not accept the films your selectors do not like. You do not have to give a reason.

Here lies one of the big differences between the UK movie makers and those from other parts of the world where controversial subjects are addressed head on (vide Dave's example). I suppose it's that old British deference and fear to offend that keeps them back plus the age of the judges and selectors. In another thread we are not surprised that audience age plays a part in the reaction to "difficult" themes and also explains the problem of the IAC and traditional clubs in attracting "younger" film makers.

Every festival/contest is faced with difficult decisions about just what content is acceptable and this will be affected by the locale and the culture.

ned c
ned c
Posts: 819
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: Thorsaa Film Festival

Post by ned c »

Why was s.e.x replaced by "physically meaningful relationship"; a meaningless phrase that was not in my original??

ned c
User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1705
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Re: Thorsaa Film Festival

Post by Dave Watterson »

That is part of an auto-censorship system intended to deal with any blatantly rude posts ... a necessity in the early days when we had a lot of spam to handle and could not always prevent it appearing her for a few hours. I'll remove it from the system.
The auto-word-swops included:
  • hardcore > The foundations for a building
    arse > where the sun don't shine
    sex > meaningful physical relationship
    viagra > I'm a lumberjack
Dave
User avatar
FILM THURSO
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:37 pm
Location: Thurso
Contact:

Re: Thorsaa Film Festival

Post by FILM THURSO »

2d covers everything else! There is NO objection to religion in films and we do have a full length film which is astonishly christian in the schedule for screening. Where it wins is that it is not overtly promoting the faith in any unacceptable way. Our rules do state "any subject" "within the law" ! The film we excluded was exploiting the child's young impressionable mind and our team were extremely concerned by that.
We also do not change any films we receive, they are shown as they are received without changes or censorship. We do add a content advisory before the film starts and restrict age groups depending on content which is also about protecting the reputation of the festival for integrity and this comes down to Thurso being a small town! Standards are very important none the less.
Personally I'm not easily offended but Ned you are right, Britain has developed a fear of offending which is remarkle in the wake of Monty Python! Leuitenant Drebin must be laughing all the way at stiff upper lip Britain. I would love to see more material that deals with difficult topics especially in our area and the festival has had some very strong material before. Caithness can be very backward towards the gay community often painting them as "pedos" simply because the locals don't undertsand what 'gay' actually is. Ethnic groups in our area are extremly low in numbers. For our population of 45,000 catchment there are only an estimated 400 people of different background with exception of Polish people who number in the area of around 500. Even so this is a vast majority white local population.
In a political sense Britain needs to take on an Austrailian approach, "if ya don't like it, bog off!"
Post Reply