May 16, 1998
I submitted an application to the Independent Feature Film Market today.
I've never known a lot about film markets; and always assumed that they
were for films more commercially oriented than mine. And opinions
vary about the value of the IFFM in recent years, when so many films are
exhibited that it is difficult not to get lost in the crowd; John Pierson
famously called it "a toxic dump." At the very least, I'm going to be hard
pressed to acquire the publicity skills that are needed to get the word
out. I have a vague idea that one is supposed to put together an
impressive press kit, schmooze as much as possible, maybe come up with
little promotional items--but it's all a big nonspecific nega-fantasy,
like a child's idea of what it will be like to fill out tax forms.
Oh, and did I mention that it costs $400? But I applied anyway.
I'm told that festival scouts and European TV buyers are among the attendees,
so maybe there's a chance that my film won't be completely out of place.
Most important, I'll feel bad if I pass up any opportunity to help the
film, however far-fetched. There's a chance that I won't be accepted,
but it looks as if the number of applicants is only slightly higher than
the number of slots, so it seems much easier to buy one's way in here than
at any festival.
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