FILM FESTIVAL ACADEMY – inaugural event
Where: Amphitheater, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Lincoln Center, NYC
When: 27th/28th September 2012
As each industry event produced by the Film Festival Academy is specifically curated in light of the requirements of the hosting festival or organisation, the first theme of our event in New York was New York film programming, looking at all the very many different institutions – festivals, cinemas, museums, galleries – involved in programming specifically for New York audiences.
The second theme focused on film festival form, and here again we're looking to kick-start a debate that will run on longer via the Film Festival Academy website and related blogs etc.
The Film Festival Academy held its first event at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, 27th/28th September 2012. In association with the 50th edition of the New York Film Festival, we were delighted to have Executive Director Rose Kuo, introduce the event and welcome the many speakers and attendees, along with a panel featuring their veteran programmer, Richard Peña.
Registration was busy and our volunteers handled everything brilliantly.
Sessions over the two days included discussions on New York-specific film programming, this amzing city's various shades of cinephilia, the organisation and survival of niche or genre festivals, the consideraiton of contemporary academic film festival studies, and an interrogation of film festival form.
The audience were very receptive and welcomed both the topics and the esteemed contributors…
… and as with all our events, the format is informal; no dry powerpoints or 'wait for questions at the end' – we encouraged and got lots of audience participation!
Here are just a few of the many positive comments we received after the event:
'The first Film Festival Academy event, at the New York Film Festival, proved to an invaluable opportunity to gather essential information about programming, operating, and understanding film festivals of all kinds. The variety of panelists and attendees made for some very interesting discussions indeed.'
– Brian Gordon, festival consultant
'The opening event of the New York Film Festival Academy set a strong precedent for audience engagement and candid, critical discussion. These were rare panels in which the participants and audience alike seem to have benefited from the exchange of ideas representing diverse perspectives. Accordingly, as soon as the event went on break, discussion continued in an informal capacity and hopefully will continue to expand.'
– Jon Dieringer, Screen Slate, New York City
'This was an extremely important and highly successful event, and I look forward to attending and contributing to more meetings, discussions, and the exchange of ideas in the future.'
– Peter Belsito, Co-Founder LA NewsReel, IFP NYC, IFP LA, and FilmFinders
The model for the Film Festival Academy is that all our Premium Members are able to freely register to attend any our events; they also benefit from free access to all the archived recordings of each event. But as an introduction to all our activities, services and content, until the end of December 2012, all material from our various events will be freely available online.
Below are the audio recordings of the first event. We warmly welcome any feedback, questions, or suggestions.
1. Mapping the Landscape of New York Programming and Connecting with Audiences
This was a panel of NYC-based film programmers and moving image museum/gallery curators discussing various aspects of their responsibilities programming specifically for NYC audiences, and the various institutional freedoms and constraints they have, ie a general introduction to the practical context of NYC-specific film programming.
– Scott Foundas (New York Film Festival)
– David Schwartz (Museum of the Moving Image)
– Thom Powers (DOC NYC)
– Cristina Cacciopo (92Y Tribeca)
– Jon Dieringer (Screen Slate)
We apologise for the poor quality of this recording, all the others were via the sound desk, this one was from a mic in the room. Thanks to FRED.FM for getting this backup for us!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE AUDIO RECORDING
2. A Detailed Look at New York Cinephilia
A moderated conversation between Richard Peña (New York Film Festival) and Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) discussing in greater depth the theory and practice behind NYC-specific programming and festival programming more generally, from viewpoints that encompass experience in actual programming as well as academia/film history and film criticism. Moderated by David Sterritt (Columbia University).
3. Programming for Niche Audiences
This session focused on the specific issues involved in programming for target constituents, and exploring issues of reach and retention of interest from core communities, whether 'genre' focused or more 'ethnically/culturally' defined.
– Chair: Brian Gordon (festival consultant)
– Lisa Vandever (CineKink)
– Basil Tsiokos (festival consultant)
– Stephen Kent Jusick (MIX NYC)
– Bradford Nordeen (Dirty Looks)
4. Exploring the Nature of Contemporary Scholarly Film Festival Studies
This was a panel of scholars working in the fast-growing area of academic film festival studies, providing an overview of their area of research and shedding light on more theoretical, historical issues, and developing the specific focus on New York City back out to wider considerations. The speakers were:
– Chair: Yoram Allon (Film Festival Academy)
– Toby Lee (Harvard University)
– Dennis Broe (Long Island University)
– Faye Ginsburg (New York University)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE AUDIO RECORDING
5. An Interrogation of Film Festival Form
This was a focus on theoretical and practical considerations of film festival form; instigated by a manifesto on film festival form proposed by Mark Cousins.
– Mitch Levine (festival consultant)
– David Sterritt (Columbia University)
– Ingrid Kopp (Tribeca Film Institute Digital Initiatives)
– Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop Films)
And finally, here is the programme for the event