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the future of festivals?

the future of festivals?

I wrote a couple of articles for the upcoming issue of Screen International, looking at the future of film festivals. One of the aspects that I didn’t quite get into is the increasing ways that fests are embracing Hollywood, particularly in the U.S. Anyone who ever thought of fests as places for only indie, foreign or doc films, witness the recent news that the Tribeca Film Festival will stage a day long promotion for Tom Cruise’s latest film (“MI:3”), alongside screenings of “United 93” and “Poseidon” (Ian Mohr summed it up well in Variety). Meanwhile in L.A., Film Independent has sent me a number of emails in the last 24 hours touting the news that George Lucas will serve as guest director of this year’s event and host the filmmaker’s retreat at Skywalker Ranch (indeed, it seems like quite a coup). Meanwhile, Cannes (which last year screened the new “Star Wars” movie) is planning to unveil a roster that will be punctuated by a number of big Hollywood movies.

Are such moves by fest organizers good for the smaller films by emerging filmmakers because they draw greater attention of the festival? Or do indies simply get lost in the mix? Hmmm…

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Sujewa Ekanayake

I think fests hosting Hollywood blockbuster type movies is just a way for the fests to make a boat load of cash fast, which could be good for real indies (so that fests can program them into their event & pay the fest bills too) as long as the fests do not go overboard w/ accomodating Hollywood. And I bet a new crop of real indie fests will spring up as well established fests get cozy w/ Hollywood & lose their relevancy to the target audience of fests – people who are looking for something outside of Hollywood/what’s playing (or soon will be playing) at their multiplexes.

– Sujewa

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