A couple of quotes from attendees:
I really like the informality of the festival this year. Even if the festival as a whole could be described as a PR disaster, it’s a nice break from the star obsessed previous regime so I hope they recognise some of the qualities of this year’s festival, even if relatively few people (other than those directly involved with a film or panel) are here.
A lot of people are going around moaning about money, supposedly that has something to do with programming and content. But the fact is that about 50% of the new films have already screened in the 4 big North American festivals already (Toronto, Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca), of which about 15 of the best are duplicated from Sheffield Doc/Fest as part of their shared programme. It looks like the majority of the programme was compiled directly from meetings with sales agents (most likely at EFM in February), so buyers have very little reason to be here. The festival team isn’t small, so again I can’t see how (loss of) money affected this. Furthermore, it begs to ask what happened to the few thousands of submissions the festival should have received.
To counter the above comments about this year’s festival, here is the blog posted on the official website. Quite nice really.