The Film Society of Lincoln Center will host the Film Festival Academy's first event this September 27-28, at the Elinor Burnin Munroe Film Center on West 65th Street in Manhattan. The event, which represents the launch of the Film Festival Academy, an international network for film festival professionals, aims to focus on programming and festival culture.
Open to festival organizers, academics, critics, programmers, distributors and ley cinephiles alike, the Film Festival Academy intends to provide a space for exchanges of information, vocational training, and general collaboration. In addition to events produced in cooperation with festivals and film schools, the Academy plans to offer online resources including recorded events, industry-specific networking, and daily film festival news. Premium membership, which will grant free access to all Film Festival Academy content, is set at $75; basic membership comes free.
Thursday's inaugural event, which coincides with the New York Film Festival's 50th edition, will host speakers Lisa Schwartzbaum, from Entertainment Weekly; Harvard's Toby Lee; and Scott Foundas, of the New York Film Festival. Their discussion will revolve around New York City-specific programming, and film festival form.
Below is the full schedule of events. More information can be found on the organization's website.
Thursday 27th – Focus on New York-specific Film Programming
10:15–12:15 Mapping the Landscape of New York Programming and Connecting with Audiences
Comprising 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)
1:30–3:00 A Detailed Look at New York Cinephilia
A moderated conversation between Richard Peña (New York Film Festival) and Lisa Schwartzbaum (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.
3:15–4:45 Programming for Niche Audiences
A session focusing 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)
– Bradford Nordeen (Dirty Looks)
5:00–6:30 Exploring the Nature of Contemporary Scholarly Film Festival Studies
Comprising a panel of scholars working in the fast-growing area of academic film festival studies, providing an overview of their area of research and thereby shedding light on more theoretical, historical issues, and developing the specific focus on NYC back out to wider considerations; note, these will NOT be academic papers in any conventional sense, but rather informal accounts given by people professionally engaged in researching this field, providing insight into what, and why, and so balancing the NYC-specific practical considerations above with more theoretical considerations of the nature and role of film festivals generally.
– Faye Ginsburg (New York University)
– Toby Lee (Harvard University)
– Dennis Broe (Long Island University)
Friday 28th – Focus on Film Festival Form
10:00–12:00 An Interrogation of Film Festival Form
A focus on theoretical and practical considerations of film festival form; this will be instigated by a manifesto on film festival form proposed by Mark Cousins that will then responded to by a panel that, again, represents the various interested constituents from festival programming, film criticism, and academic film festival studies, but will very much be an open session.
– Chair: Sean Farnel (festival consultant)
– David Sterritt (Columbia University)
– Ingrid Kopp (Tribeca Film Institute Digital Initiatives)
– Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop Films)
12:00 Closing remarks