THE BIAFF WEEKEND

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
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Howard-Smith
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THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Howard-Smith »

I thought I'd start this new thread for people to voice their opinions on how the weekend went and what people thought of the films and the awards.
For me it was a thoroughly enjoyable exciting weekend with lots of interesting and amazing films.
While Zoom has been very successful in keeping the show on the road, I’m really looking forward to getting back to BIAFF being a live event and interacting and mingling with friends and enthusiasts in person next year.
Last edited by Howard-Smith on Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Martin Evans
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Martin Evans »

I thought it a fabulous weekend of super, enjoyable and varied films. It was also well run and the hosts did a great job with mastery of the zoom interface.

IAC Open screen nights are a great idea and I look forward to the one in May.
Michael Slowe
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Michael Slowe »

Great event, wonderfully organised and the journey back home was a great deal shorter than usual!
Some very good films, although in an attempt to be super imaginative, I felt that one or two were a little too obscure.
Favourites for me were the martial arts one ""The Art of Bakti Negara" and "Iconoclasm", but I didn't see all the films.
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Willy
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Willy »

I had already seen the Belgian film Iconoclasm by Peter Haesedonck and Marcel De Jonghe, Michael. Indeed it was a very good one and it deserved a diamond award. In February it was runner-up in the Belgian national competition. My Scottish film "His Royal Highland Laddie" was the overall winner. Indeed, BIAFF was well organized. The members of the team deserve a pat on the back. Simon was an excellent leader. I was also very happy that my 3 star-film "Where Have All My Lovebirds Gone" was shown on Friday evening. On Saturday the last lovebird that I met in my crazy years, Vera, joined me to say hello to everybody. Actually she has not changed very much after 52 years, has she? Her husband, however, has become a grumpy old man with thin hair. An online festival has also its advantages. You can have a chat with everybody during the intervals. In the beginning I missed two films because I was not familiar with the system, but Mr Watterson helped me by sending all the links of the films and also big boss Simon and Eureka set me up. Apparently dear Michael was proud to see the picture of an old London bus on the wall of my study. I hung it up there about 12 years ago. Michael is a real Londonor and Arsenal supporter, you know. But he didn't know that my desk was in a colossal mess.
Willy Van der Linden
Brian Saberton
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Brian Saberton »

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend including the AV show on Friday. On Friday & Saturday I watched on my TV but on Sunday I saw the films on my home cinema screen which was a much better experience. I thought the event was very well organised and must have taken a lot of work to arrange and present. All the films and AV's played perfectly without any hitches and my wi fi functioned well with no drop outs or buffering. I'm afraid that due to the current situation we at XDL films were unable to make any films for the festival - the first time we've missed entering since we started. We have two scripts ready to go so hopefully we'll have them produced and ready for BIAFF 2022
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Howard-Smith
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Howard-Smith »

The late, great John Astin told me that it would add considerable prestige to our festival if we could pay a professional film critic such as Mark Kermode to watch all the 5 star films and select the Diamond Award winners and the top two award winners... and then hand out all the trophies to the winners at the end of the BIAFF weekend. If we were to stick with the judging being done via Zoom, the money saved on the hotel bill could be used to pay the film critic for his services. Does anyone else also think this is a good suggestion?
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TimStannard
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by TimStannard »

Howard-Smith wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:18 am it would add considerable prestige to our festival if we could pay a professional film critic such as Mark Kermode to watch all the 5 star films and select the Diamond Award winners and the top two award winners...
Agree, but don't forget tha BIAFF is heavily subsidised, so it's not necessarily a saving - just a lesser cost. 168 entries at, say £8, each is less than £1,500 income, out of whuch we have to pay for your diamond!
Tim
Proud to be an amateur film maker - I do it for the love of it
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Howard-Smith
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Howard-Smith »

What I was referring to was the £4000 that it normally costs for the BIAFF Judging weekend at the hotel, the suggestion being that we could use that money to pay someone like Mark Kermode.
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John Simpson
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by John Simpson »

I broadly agree with you Howard, but I think it would be good to somehow agree what genre or type of film production is being judged. If Mark Kermode was judging films against a cinema circuit standard he would probably only have to choose from between 4 or 5 films.

At this time filmaking clubs are not crowdfunding thousands of pounds to make films, but they could do, and then that would be another part of the festival where there was not a level playing field.

With animation, can a normal member really compete with a team filmaking students with professional equiptment spending 3 months, more or less full time making an animation? The answer is no.
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John Simpson
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by John Simpson »

Re. the £4000 on the judging weekend the IAC are not short of funds - what are they/we going to do with the money?
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Howard-Smith
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Howard-Smith »

To be honest I still hope the judging weekend will revert back to the hotel. I know several people disagree but I never minded the long journey and always looked forward to it as a sociable mini break.

Re Mark Kermode, how about if he just watched the Diamond films and selected the top two award winners. With his involvement, BIAFF could be given more publicity, brining it to a lot more people’s attention. He is arguably the UK’s most prominent, popular and respected critic.
Brian Saberton
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Brian Saberton »

The old Scottish International Amateur Film Festival and later the former Scottish 8 competition used to engage a professional from the film/TV industry for the final round judging. All entries were pre judged and categorised by a panel similar to how BIAFF is judged, with the best films going forward. I think that towards the end of the Scottish 8 it was becoming harder to find suitable judges as it was difficult for professionals to commit to a specific date due to possible work opportunities.
Brian Saberton
Geof Caudwell
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Geof Caudwell »

Coming into this discussion a bit late, as I have only recently joined the forum (shame !).
I too enjoyed the BIAFF weekend, not always agreeing with the film ratings, of course. That's the nature of this art form.
One thing that I find does detract from the enjoyment of a film is sub-titles. Also, how can a panel of judges accurately assess a film where their eyes are constantly drawn away from the image to the words, especially at a single viewing ? It can also be confusing (to me) where the sub-titles span more than one shot, and you're not sure whether the words have changed as well.
It would be better, if sub-titles have to be used, for them to be white on a black background. Better still though would be English dialogue dubbed onto the film. It wouldn't matter that it wasn't lip-sync and even a strong foreign accent would be better than written words.
I think it would be a reasonable to make this a condition of entry to competitions. Of course, the same ought to apply to any of our productions sent to competitions abroad.
Well, that's my first contribution. Go on, shoot me down :D
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Dave Watterson
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Dave Watterson »

Welcome aboard, Geof ... and sit tight for the responses!
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Howard-Smith
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Re: THE BIAFF WEEKEND

Post by Howard-Smith »

I can’t agree with Geof about the suggestion that foreign language films should be required to be dubbed rather than subtitled. Dubbing destroys lip-sync and usually sounds stilted. What IS essential with regard to subtitling is clarity (white text on black background or white lettering with a black edge) and also accuracy. The subtitling of the top winning film ABOUT DEATH was poor, riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
If I were submitting a film to a foreign film festival, no way would I want to be required to dub the film into French or German or whatever.
I suspect there will be little or no support for this idea, Geof! We shall see.
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