10 novembre 2011

Future of Cinema (VIFF2011)

Panelists :
  • Simon Field, film producer (eg. Uncle Boonmee), member of the ICA (Institute of contemporary Art, London), former director of International Film Festival Rotterdam, consultant to Dubai festival 
  • Andréa Picard, film critic and programmer, formerly of the Toronto International Film Festival ("Wavelength" section, "Future Productions" sidebar) and the Cinémathèque Ontario 
  • Tom Charity, film critic and Vancity Theatre program coordinator, film critic for CNN, LOVEFiLM 
  • David Bordwell (USA), film critic, academic and author of numerous books on cinema, and a website
  • Alan Franey, director, Vancouver International Film Festival

VIFF 30th Anniversary (website)

The first few chapter headings in a film we did not program at this year's VIFF are: “Technology Is Great”, “The Industry Is Dead”, “Artists Have the Power”, and “The Craft Is Gone.” To which celluloid-loving film festival organizers might ask: Is it? Do they ?  Where on earth are we headed ? And why ?

VIFF has come a long way in its 30 years and never has the future of cinema - and VIFF's future - been more uncertain. Will it be bright and splendid and fair or will it move so quickly that a great deal of what is valuable will be lost before we know it ? There are now dramatically more “film festivals” and “films” being made than ever, yet some fear that the industry may be dead. Filmmakers are acutely worried for funding, yet need to operate on a growing number of fronts. Given that the numbers of hours in a day and the numbers of days in a life remain fixed, what limits should we council for our own appetites ? Why might we miss the Hollywood Theatre and Videomatica ? Given that cultural agencies seemingly have shrinking resources but more new media and film festival applicants every year, will the centres hold or is babble ascendant ? Will VIFF's function as an annual international universalist festival be superseded by myriad niche events ?
Technology is indeed great in that it has put the means of creative motion picture production in almost everyone's hands, but will the best artists be the ones to be recognized ? The entrepreneurial spirit tends to favour change in hopes that it may profit from it, but will artists have the power ? When entrepreneurs benefit, will consumers benefit ? Will cultural institutions that have taken years to build remain viable ? Will cinema, metrics of quality and craftsmanship and, ultimately, quality of life be improved or even be sustainable ? What do you personally care about for the future of cinema to offer ? What should VIFF 2020 aim to be ?

Alan Franey's VIFF statement of purpose :
This is not a panel about filmmaking, film financing. It's not a panel that is going to go into the nitty-gritty of technical issues. I hope that we'll need to get into some of that. And we're not talking really about Hollywood films. We're talking about festival films. I want this to be as pertinent as possible to our own operations here. What's relevant to a film festival in Vancouver now, particularly our festival, a festival anywhere. And most especially, year-round programming. How can movie theatres that want to bring audiences in to appreciate good films. Not that Hollywood blockbusters aren't but it's a completely different model that we're not going to concern ourselves with here, today.
We're also wanting to define what we mean by film, so I just want to say very loosely that in the BC Arts council grant, we've just finished writing, we have to explain this, so I want to read you this part:
"We intent to nurture cross-pollination between various domains and forms of the moving image but our mandate is cinema. We strongly believe in the theatrical experience of cinema. And we know that the membership of our film society expects us to deliver works that is worth their money. This means that with few exceptions, our programs must be made for the large screen, have a movie-like duration, and not be available on the internet (or not generally available). This is the only way to maintain a paying audience that has an increasing number of alternatives." 


1 commentaire:

HarryTuttle a dit…

R.I.P., the movie camera: 1888-2011 (Matt Zoller Seitz; Salon; 13 Oct 2011)