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My IFFCON Experience – Sunday 01/12/97

My IFFCON Experience - Sunday 01/12/97

My IFFCON Experience - Sunday 01/12/97

by Sarah Jacobson

[To read the previous entry click here]

Last Day

At brunch I sit with a bunch of producers. We have this great conversation
about films we love that no one else does. Except that all the producers
agree on almost all the films. Someone comments how long it’s been to have a
really passionate discussion about the love of movies, not just the business
of it.

Later there’s a panel “In Search of Elements” which is basically about
getting good actors “attached” (sounds like a disease) so you can pre-sell
your foreign rights or get a negative pick up deal. Someone suggests giving
your script to an actor in a supermarket. This makes sense to me. I got my
actress from a sign in a coffee shop, but other producers grumble about
wanting concrete info. I asked about good casting directors, something I’ve
never thought about before in my life and halfway down the panel people
start to refuse to give names, afraid of the consequences.

Marc Smolowitz, producer/distributor extraordinaire who helped Wendy
Braitman and Michael Ehrenzweig create IFFCON four years ago, hosts an open
discussion as the last ‘panel.’ Almost everyone has stellar things to say
about IFFCON, some people comparing its spirit to the early years of
Sundance. Both film buyers and producers gush about how nice it is to be
able to network with other people in the film industry in such a low-key
setting. And it seems like everyone learned a lot. When I first starting
going to IFFCON, I just kind of assumed that there was lots of events like
this around the world that I just didn’t know about because I wasn’t in the
loop. It was only after the forum that I realize that I’ve been a part of
something special for the last few years and it’s one of the few venues
where the applicants are just as interesting and helpful as the panelists.
Later we all go over to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to see the
film “Koyla” and have one last blow out party. The museum staff literally had
to shut out the lights and shove everyone out the door as people exchanged
surprisingly sentimental good-byes. I wonder if I have a chance at next
year’s IFFCON…

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