The recent boom in independent filmmaking has been both a boon and an added challenge for aspiring directors. While the chic status of festivals like Sundance makes it easier for a few hot new directors to find major distributors, other worthy films risk being lost amid a sudden flood of contenders. Chris Gore, editor of Film Threat
magazine, has written the Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide
to help the aspiring auteur rise above the tide. The book is chock-full of practical down-and-dirty advice. Every aspect of submitting to and attending film festivals is covered, from an exhaustive listing of festivals and their entry deadlines (the Turku, Finland, Lesbian and Gay Film Festival deadline is in July, so get cracking) to what to wear to the industry party you'll be crashing (big pants with big pockets, the better to stash giveaways and whip out business cards). You can even find a listing for the best bar in the Ukraine (Eric's in Kyiv) and a sidebar of handy tips that will keep you on your projectionist's good side.
Perhaps most helpful is Gore's inclusion of interviews with actual filmmakers who have experienced wildly varying degrees of success; the directors are remarkably candid and very generously try to help others avoid their own mistakes. Those who are still struggling not only illustrate the ongoing process of learning to play industry games, they show an artist's remarkable ability to keep the spirit alive. Filmmaker Joal Ryan memorably describes taking inspiration from the career of Pauly Shore: "The world tells him he's not funny; he says he is--and keeps working." Whether you want to be a filmmaker or just party like one, The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide will help you operate like a true industry player. --Ali Davis
From Library Journal
American independent cinema has skyrocketed in the 1990s, with venues like the Sundance Film Festival launching critical and box-office hits. Gore has covered this emerging market in his magazine, Film Threat, and as a judge at festivals throughout the country. Here, he provides a how-to guide for film festival applicants. The first section covers such topics as publicity strategies, festival politics, and party etiquette. The second section comprises short interviews with festival veterans. The third section supplies entries on over 800 festivals. Each entry is divided into succinct headings, including "Application Process Tips," "Odds of Getting Accepted," "Best Bars," and "Travel Tips." By turns breezy and cynical, jaded and trite, Gore's guide reflects the tendencies of American independent cinema as a whole. And like his purview, it is quite interesting overall. Prospective filmmakers should purchase this title, but the extremely narrow focus of Gore's guide should give libraries pause.?Neal Baker, Earlham Coll., Richmond, IN
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.