Watching a presentation by Brian Newman, CEO of Tribeca Film Institute, I took note of a discussion on the value of having a film screen as a worldwide, nationwide or regional premiere at a given festival. Newman says he believes the social experience of a festival screening renders the requirement unnecessary, even when a film is fully and freely available online, though his colleagues at the Tribeca Film Festival disagree.
It’s been a few years since I submitted a film to a festival, but I remember it being a miserable process. It’s hard enough to deal with deadlines, trips to the post office (do people do that anymore?) and all those fees (a nasty debate in itself), but I found the premiere requirements practically crippling. Since then, I’ve attended many festivals and have even helped program one, so I have a different understanding of how these things work.
Below, I examine the issue from the perspective of different groups involved and see how each is affected by premiere requirements. I encourage anyone with more experience or a different take to post a comment.
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