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Re: THE BIRMINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:15 pm
by Dave Watterson
Very late response to a comment from Michael Slowe in this thread.
Withoutabox will be operational through the next festival season, but be disabled on September 16, 2019.

The surviving service on similar lines is FilmFreeway.

Re: THE BIRMINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:32 am
by Howard-Smith
To reply to Tim, my perception was that the vast majority of entries were from amateur filmmakers not professionals. There was only one film I saw on Tuesday which appeared to be a professional production, called The Overcoat. The people I chatted to on my table at the awards were all amateurs and I also met a hairdresser from Kidderminster named Fernando A. Maffei who used to cut my hair when I lived there, whose feature length film was shown which he had made in his spare time. Also the woman I sat next to named Elaine Ward had a short dramatic film shown which she directed and starred in, in which her mother was played by a Maura Judges who starred in my film IT’S NOT ME.
One of the organisers of the festival is an actress and film producer named Sophie Canare who I’d already lined up to be in my next film working for just travelling expenses. I found her on Star Now.
No there’s no feedback at this festival but there was a good comprehensive programme/ booklet with details of all the films selected and interviews with some of the filmmakers. I got a buzz from my film being shown at a huge cinema regardless of how few were in the audience. And I thoroughly enjoyed the Awards evening and the suspense of waiting to see if I’d won anything.
Anyway, whatever the entry fee is, I for one will want to send in several entries next year to try my luck again.

Re: THE BIRMINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:30 pm
by Michael Slowe
Howard and Tim, I've often entered these competitions with films that had done well in our limited environment, mainly to see just how we compare. I have been selected for exhibition very rarely and, like Howard, got quite excited - that is until I attended the screening! I regularly found that practically the whole (small) audience consisted of film makers and the crews there to see their films. There have been exceptions, I recall a festival held in the Soho Hotel's excellent cinema, (forgotten the organisers) where there was an enthusiastic attendance generally. The Open City festival organised by UCL here on the Tottenham Court Road campus is great, with about five screens running at the same time. All these events are for pros or budding pros which is why I like to see how my stuff compares to theirs. Not too badly on occasions but the successful documentaries (my field), are all featuring controversial subjects, political, ethnic,social and are generally pretty darn good. Most of us are not being imaginative enough for modern day broadcast requirements. I was told by Channel Four some years ago that they want 'cutting edge' material.

So, it would be interesting to get entries from these young film makers into BIAFF because we may learn something and the whole thing would be stimulated by a wider selection of film makers. As we've seen, films from Europe, particularly the Eastern part, have done very well recently, and some of those people are either in the industry or hoping to be.

Re: THE BIRMINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL

Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:31 pm
by Michael Slowe
Thanks Dave, I already heard. FilmFreeway has taken over as the favourite now, possibly that's the cause of withoutabox's demise.

Re: THE BIRMINGHAM FILM FESTIVAL

Posted: Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:52 pm
by TimStannard
Howard and Michael, thank you both for your comments. I was very surprised to learn the Birmingham was well attended by amateurs. My impression (as you will have gathered) was that these are attended by would-be pros as per Michael's experienece. Indeed my impression was partly formed from previous posts and discussions with Michael.

Well done for waving the IAC/BIAFF flag Howard. Michael, I fear that the young people who attend the festivals you have occasionally attended would not be making films which would be eligible (contravening Rule 1, which is that films should be made for pleasure and non-payment of anyone).