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My IFFCON Experience – Saturday 01/11/97

My IFFCON Experience - Saturday 01/11/97

My IFFCON Experience - Saturday 01/11/97

by Sarah Jacobson

[To read the previous entry click here]

KQED building

At every film event you make a few ‘relief friends’ who you can always go to
when you’re worn out from schmoozing, people you don’t have to work to
impress. This time it’s music journalist-turning-filmmaker Matt Diehl (“Blood On The Tracks“), Susan Stover (“Nibble And Bite“), who line-produced “Love God
and worked on two of my favorite movies, “River Of Grass” and “Welcome To The Dollhouse“, and Suzanne Berger, who I had met when she was at Alliance
Pictures, but who is now on the ‘other side’ as a producer.

As soon as I get there I immediately have to choose my roundtables and
panels. I figure that I should meet with the foreign people, since it’s less
likely that I would run into them at an American film event. Talking to Haut
et Court from France, Channel 4 from England, Alliance Pictures from Canada,
Uplink from Japan and Zero Films from Germany, I start to wonder how my film
would play around the world, not just in America. Some of the panels are so
detailed in their discussion of finance that I feel a little overwhelmed,
trying to justify not learning about taxes and foreign sales by telling
myself that someone else will probably do it. But I know in my heart that I
should learn as much as I can and I try to keep up with discussions about
“security exposures” and “equity financing.” I think I finally truly
understand what a negative pick up deal is, after hearing about them for a

There’s lots of breaks and schmoozing time. At IFFCON I never feel like I’m
going to miss talking to someone. I don’t get that I-have-to-meet-that-
person-right-now! feeling. My conversations with people are much more
natural and fun.

There was a great round table with Ira Deuchtman, who gives out information
pretty freely. Maybe because he’s a producer now and not a distributor. He
has some really good points about how no films are being made between $1
million and $10 million and everyone is saying how everything from the
studios is just awful and something’s gotta break. I think about how on Open
Day almost all of the panelists agreed that the best way to do a film is to
finish it yourself and then bring it to a distributor or premiere it at a
festival. It seems so upside-down that the industry can’t develop young and
raw filmmaking.

For more of Sarah Jacobson’s journal from IFFCON 97 please continue

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