Film festival as a live event & what is success in film festival
People have certain expectation when coming to film festival, some coming for the certain film, some looking forward to seeing the director, but for most ordinary people, they are simply attracted by the event itself. And the liveness plays an important role in events. As mentioned before, the liveness consists of three sectors, yet there are three more facets.
Festivalgoers are always keen on the ‘surprise’ in a live event, for example, the film viewing in a festival can be a reproduced version or a longer version, and directors may share various information that is not shown in the film. In addition, film festivals provide a social context of the audiences, who share the same interests, especially special interest audiences (i.e. a local immigrant community), they can market themselves as a focal event in the city, and locals (as well as tourists) take vacations around the time of festivals. Film festivals are not exclusively for cinephiles, they provide the opportunity for binging. Last but not least, film festivals create the cinescape for audiences, where they can be released from everyday schedules while film viewing.
What is success in a film festival
Thanks to the guest lecture given by Cerise Howard, the artistic director of the Czech Slovak Film Festival of Australia, I got to think about this topic, which also inspired me of some ideas of our own coming film festival.
From my perspective, a well-organized event should have a reasonable schedule (including various movies, accessible ticketing, handful and friendly staffs, clear brochure and guide, explicit signs for infrastructure and maybe some souvenirs.)
As Cerise mentioned, a room full of audiences is a successful festival, however, festivals have a number of advantages over regular art house screenings (theaters for instance), in that festivals are events. As we currently live in an event-driven culture and festivals are events, they are more likely to have a greater promotional budget to attract audiences. Yet for film festivals, their most significant purpose is to provide audiences with opportunities to enjoy commercially unviable films projected in a communal space, otherwise would not have the opportunity to see. Furthermore, on the one hand, every festival promotes interaction and integration of different cultures and strengthens exchanges and cooperation to some extent, this shows the unique charm of the film festival—culture collision. On the other hand, in some competitive unit of film festivals, Contestants hope to stand out in the competition, which would encourage the film creation and production actively. Thus it is essential that film festivals create the general atmosphere for the appreciation of film as art, and that is the success of film festivals.
Summary on the film festival practice
Running a festival is not easy, it requires a seamless corporation between teams, yet the process of our festival is well under way, and the preparation leaves much to be desired, I’m really looking forward to seeing that, and thanks all our teams for working so hard.