BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
ned c
Posts: 860
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Dammeron Valley USA

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by ned c »

Thanks to Tom for forwarding the comments. I feel the rating and comments very fair; better than I had expected. The other entry was also a solo effort a product of the lock down with my usual film making brought o a halt. I am amazed that David Newman does all this work for BIAFF alone; as this Festival is surely the most important and successful part of the IAC; so big thanks to him.

ned c
User avatar
Howard-Smith
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:11 pm
Location: Wolverhampton
Contact:

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Howard-Smith »

That sounds like another quality film to enjoy over the BIAFF weekend. (Only 2 weeks to go!) Congratulations Ned.

Meanwhile I get back in action next Saturday for the first time this year, making a start on filming ‘FAMILY TREE’, written by the amazing Peppy Barlow. It will be my fourth film to be made from an original script of hers, the first three being LIKE A BULLET (4*), NOBODY ASKED (dare I say, very much underrated at 2*) and HALF EMPTY (one of my 4* films this year). Can’t wait to say “action” again after several months of inaction!
User avatar
Willy
Posts: 661
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Antwerp Belgium

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Willy »

Only the day before yesterday I received the result for "Where Have All My Lovebirds Gone". It's the story of my crazy years. About 55 years ago I had a girlfriend at the Carribean. After that one in Finland, in the USA, in Holland and in Iran. They were all very sexy. That's all fake of course! Finally I found a 'radiant' looking lady in a jazz-bar in the City of Antwerp, in my own country. That's not fake. Some years later Vera and I got married. The film will be screened at BIAFF on Friday, 16th April between 5 and 6.30pm.

The judges wrote: "A quirky, original piece of work", "Lovely, eccentric film", "The story is good and there are a lot of nice close-up shots", "The themes of regret come across very strongly", "An inventive variety of scenes", "The ending is neatly done", "A charming, pleasant and enjoyable film".
The reward: 3 stars.

There were certain issues which prevented judges from awarding an award higher than 3 stars.
1. Sections of voiceover seem distorted and overrecorded, they said. That's strange. I sent my film to some close English friends before entering it. They have a lot of experience. They were judges at BIAFF many times. Also my clubmates who won diamonds and 5 star certificates at BIAFF had seen it before the deadline of 21 December. I always check my audio-line to avoid overmodulation. Everything was picco bello.
2. The judges said that a disppropriate amount of film comes from libraries and the watermarks are visible at times. You can only see this in the USA-sequence. But I only used free copyright shots. 5 times 20 to 25 seconds. It means a little bit more than 2 minutes. The film has a length of 8min 30 seconds. The judges admitted that due to lockdown it is impossible to visit exotic locations for filming.
3. There is a moment when the voiceover refers to one of the girlfriends looking 'radiant'. Somewhat clumsily. This line is spoken while we see a shot of a male saxophonist. We wouldn't describe the saxophonist as radiant! Immediately after the shot of the saxophinist I show my wife Vera in her wedding-dress. The viewer understands immediately that she is the pretty girl. The saxophonist played a jazzy song to create the right atmosphere. Of course I didn't have a camera yet. As we are in lockdown in Belgium it is even now impossible to enter pubs with a camera. At that time I preferred to spend my money on furniture and kitchen-utensils first.

I always respect judges. I have been a judge at the Mersey Ten Competition, the SAM-Competition in Scotland, the Guernsey Lily Festival, the National NOVA-festival in the Netherlands and of course in my own country. I know it is not easy. I don't blame the IAC-friends who have judged my "Lovebirds".

Now I look forward to taking part with "Where Have All My Lovebirds Gone" in other festivals.
Willy Van der Linden
Ken Wilson
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:17 pm

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Ken Wilson »

Just something to say here. It is often mentioned that BIAFF is one of the few and perhaps ONLY competition where written comments are given. I have to say that I have judged at many competitions over the years from small local club ones, to inter-club competitions to regional ones and even national ones and apart from just a couple that I can think of where the judging was "live", I have always done written comments!

Carol and me have judged the Burnley Film Festival competition3 times (it is online via Zoom next weekend) the first twice it was judged at the event and of course it`s not possible to do write ups when live but for this one planned for an actual live event in 2020 but now to be held during lockdown they expected something in writing. The Guernsey Lily (now no more) wanted written comments, also the North Vs South competition, the Midlands Movie Makers competition and always at pre-judged club competitions they ask for critiques. I don`t mind at all if it helps in any way and gives the opportunity to explain the reasons for various decisions on awards. But the UK competitions seem to want and expect something in writing whenever possible.
User avatar
John Simpson
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:09 am

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by John Simpson »

When giving some pupils encouragement before a Christmas presentation I heard a head teacher say to his pupils try to make your presentation sparkle. When judging a film you know if the film has sparked something in you, if it has it is more possible to put into words than if it hasn't; but that is what judges are often asked to do when giving written critiques. With BIAFF the films are initially seen by 3 judges and it is normally the judge who likes the film most who writes it up.
User avatar
Howard-Smith
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:11 pm
Location: Wolverhampton
Contact:

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Howard-Smith »

The festivals that supply written comments, other than BIAFF, seem to be just the IAC related regional and club festivals and competitions. (I’ve just had the pleasure of judging the Potters Bar Film of the Year competition and have just finished doing the write-ups for the 23 entries.) I personally enter many worldwide festivals via Film Freeway and have films selected very occasionally, for events such as the Birmingham Film Festival and the Cardiff Mini Film Festival. Currently there are 4195 festivals worldwide which are open for entries, 317 of which are in the UK! I’m not aware of any of these festivals on Film Freeway providing feedback apart from BIAFF. What happens most of the time is that eventually I receive an email stating "Your film has not been selected". The festival retains the entry fee and there's nothing to show for it.
Michael Slowe
Posts: 690
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:24 pm

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Michael Slowe »

No Howard, you are not correct there. I have just seen that the Oslo Festival, for one, are offering critiques and there are often others doing the same. Mind you, they make an additional charge for doing so!

As to Willy's note that he had shown his film to a number of people and from what they said, expected more than Three Stars. Willy, you should know by now that people always have very different opinions on a given film. I had an entry last year that a well respected IAC member and previous last round judge, really liked, yet it got One Star, I bet you never had one of those in all your years of film making!
User avatar
Howard-Smith
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:11 pm
Location: Wolverhampton
Contact:

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Howard-Smith »

Well Michael, I was actually correct in saying that I was not aware of any of the festivals supplying written comments, but thank you for making me aware that there’s at least one!

Regarding BIAFF first round judging, it’s straightforward when a panel of three are unanimous with their suggested star ratings. But occasionally there are wide differences of opinion. For example, let’s say one judge suggests 4 stars and the other two say 2 stars. The majority opinion probably prevails and the film is awarded 2 stars (unless the first judge is as brilliantly persuasive as Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men and brings the others round to his way of thinking... within the 7 minutes available!) The judge who liked the film most probably does the write-up. That is the person who the filmmaker will probably hold to account for the 2 star award without ever knowing what happened in the ‘jury room’!

Michael, I’m sure you’ve said this yourself... you must be the only person in the history of BIAFF to receive an IAC Diamond award AND a 1 star award. It just goes to show how versatile you are! 😂
Last edited by Howard-Smith on Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:41 am, edited 6 times in total.
tom hardwick
Posts: 875
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:59 am

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by tom hardwick »

Your last two sentences really made me laugh out loud, Howard.
User avatar
Dave Watterson
Posts: 1731
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:11 pm
Location: Bath, England
Contact:

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Dave Watterson »

Working as a projectionist at the BIAFF judging weekend one year, I watched in wonder as Reg Lancaster began by voicing strong criticism of a film, then over a few minutes talked himself (out loud) into the opposite opinion. It was such an impressive display that no one was going to dissent from his final position.
User avatar
John Simpson
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:09 am

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by John Simpson »

In a club when the members are judgeing you get used to the same old same old from the same people!: "don't forget the rule of thirds", "too many jump-cuts", "get the eyeline central", "it was too long", "it could have been longer" ect. At BIAFF judgeing we are more likly to say "What was that all about"? Which can be quite refreshing, as long as the questionable film was not too long!
User avatar
Howard-Smith
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:11 pm
Location: Wolverhampton
Contact:

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Howard-Smith »

While we wait for all the results to be released online, here are some thoughts about BIAFF judging from the late great filmmaker Mike Shaw published on the forum in March 2015. (I loved his film ‘Talking Pictures’ from some years back.)

Mike said this. “ You have to remember that the 'first round' judges are not picking winners and losers, are not comparing one film against another. They are assessing a film purely on its merits, following extremely well laid down guide lines as to which category it should fit into - its 'star' rating. Then the 5 and sometimes 4 star movies go before a further panel of three to assess a) whether they're worthy a diamond rating, and b) are they they're worthy of some trophy.... A film's interest level can belie the 'competence' star rating when shown to an audience. Sometimes audiences can be forgiving of technical boobs if they pass virtually unnoticed and don't interfere with the story line. I think the BIAFF judges do a sterling job. And the crits - when you appreciate they're based on one viewing and three hastily scribbled sets of notes made within a 7 minute time scale - are remarkably observant, in my opinion. I also think the judges' decisions tend to be unbiased, particularly when it comes to personal likes and dislikes: that's why they have three judges at a time, to balance out such foibles. And as I say, the guidelines are well laid down and easy enough to follow.”

Well said, Mike.
User avatar
John Simpson
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2021 12:09 am

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by John Simpson »

What do you think Mike Shaw meant by this? Even if it is boring a film may still deseve a high star rating? I hope Mr Spock from Star Trek does not start making films!

"A film's interest level can belie the 'competence' star rating when shown to an audience."
User avatar
Howard-Smith
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:11 pm
Location: Wolverhampton
Contact:

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Howard-Smith »

No John, I didn’t read into Mike’s comment that he meant that a boring film may deserve a high mark, but I have my own opinion on this. (See below.) What he’s saying is that an audience may well disregard certain aspects of ‘incompetence’ in the filmmaking if they are enjoying the storytelling.

And here's a Dave Watterson quote from July 2010: "Films are made for an audience and what audiences care about is whether they are enthralled, entertained, moved or taught something. Technical issues only matter if a fault gets in the way of that."

You bring up the word ‘boring’ which I think is a dangerous adjective. A great film may be ultra-slow in its pacing and may be described as a ‘boring film’ by some people and as a ‘masterpiece’ by others. (Kubrick’s ‘2001 - A Space Odyssey’ and ‘Barry Lyndon’ are two examples.) I happen to know that there is such a film among the Diamond awards this year which fits into this category. It will divide audiences. I was in on the judging and thought it was a brilliant piece of ‘slow cinema’ ... so much so that I’ve sat through it all over again since the judging purely for my own enjoyment.

By the way, as a tribute to Mike Shaw, here's his clever 4 star winner from a few years ago, 'Talking Pictures'.
It's only 3 minutes 20 seconds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJx3u51ocK8&t=30s
User avatar
Willy
Posts: 661
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:42 pm
Location: Antwerp Belgium

Re: BIAFF 2021 RESULTS

Post by Willy »

Michael, last year you got only One Star for one of your films. That's not normal. Something must have happened. I am sure you were very disappointed. Let's say that 100 people would give your movie 4 stars, but at BIAFF one of the three judges hates your film for one or another reason. Then you are very unlucky. Maybe you made some political propaganda for a party with racist intentions in your movie! That cannot be tolerated my friend. Then you are a bad boy!

I always have my movies checked by clubmates or English friends before entering my English versions at a festival, this to avoid big failures. Knowing that you are technically very skilful, Michael, I don't understand that you got less than 3 stars. But yes, I must admit. I am a bad judge myself. I am always very generous. I would give everybody 5 stars or diamonds because all films are made by hobbyists. If I were being hard I would demoralize these friends.
Willy Van der Linden
Post Reply