Submitted: Insider Insight into Festivals

Business This session explores how festival programmers make their decisions and the role festivals play in shaping the industry

Filmmakers devote years of their lives to a film, send it out into the ether and then wait … and wait. It can feel like being trapped in some sort of cinematic purgatory. So much of a film’s success rides on which festivals it screens at. Do great films always rise to the top or are there other forces at play?

We are all prone to powerful unconscious biases. These biases influence what we see, hear and like. This unmissable session sheds light on the often ambiguous ways programmers make their decisions. How do they tackle subjectivity, diversity and representation in their selection processes? What is the message their festival wants to put out into the world? Do we have to “kill our darlings” in order to uphold a reputation? Is there a conflict between artistic expression and a responsibility towards diversity? And what is the role of festivals in shaping the future of the industry?

Join us for a robust and candid conversation with international festival guests and programmers. Hosted by Maya Newell and featuring Al Cossar (Artistic Director of Melbourne International Film Festival); Madeline Robert (Festival Programmer & Artistic Advisor Visions du Réel); Brigid O’Shea (Head of Industry at Dok Leipzig) and Alex Lee (Director of Doc Edge).