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The energy for Out On Film has been great this year thanks to our devoted, creative and energized staff, a dynamic troop of volunteers, and our enthusiastic, appreciative audiences. Read all abOUT it.
Out On Film has benefited from overwhelming corporate and community support–starting with our Presenting Sponsor Turner, as well as Atlanta-based Delta and the Gay Community Yellow Pages, all the way to collaborations with Theatre Decatur, Outwrite Books, the Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and Human Rights Coalition.
Spencer Schilly’s THE HOUSEBOY: The dawn of MumbleQueer?
We’ve also been fortunate enough to host a remarkable group of filmmakers throughout the week–Spencer Schilly and Nick May for the World Premiere screening of Houseboy, Richard LeMay and Jason Brown for the World Premiere screening of Whirlwind, Comedian/Actor Jason Stuart for the World Premiere of Making it to the Middle, Georgians Doug Sebastian and Roy Kirkland with the World Premiere of And, There You Are, Kelly Rouse with the marriage doc The Year of Paper, Christian Lloyd with Getting Lucky and uber-talented Lauren Wolkstein with the Dandelion Fall, a lesbian hybrid of Brokeback Mountain and Midnight Cowboy.
I Wanna Be Your Cowgirl
Attendance for the festival has been impressive–a core group of regulars pacing themselves for the marathon, and a steady stream of patrons filling out the screenings each day.
The feedback we’ve gotten has been exceptional–all credit for the line-up goes to Festival Director Dan Krovich.
Ci Qing, Tattoo You
One parting shot…
Despite my upbeat feelings abOUT the Out On Film Festival right now, I still find the economics of staging an event like this to be daunting. The best experiences this week have been with films we received through the submission process–many of which we World Premiered in advance of receiving distribution deals.
Films like And There You Are and The Houseboy have both been picked up by TLA. Each will benefit significantly from screening here in Atlanta. .
Whirlwind sold out its first show on Friday night, and the word-of-mouth generated a solid second screening. I am confident this film will make the LGBT festival rounds, and like the aforementioned titles has a good shot at scoring distribution.
Pull My Finger
On the downside, we passed on some quality titles because of the financial demands of the distributors.
Of the few films for which we agreed to pay guarantees, I am especially disturbed by the ample price demanded by a renowned prize-winning film.
Even a solid turnOUT was not enough to cover the cost of the print. Factor in venue rental, technical costs, marketing expenses, operations, and you’ve got a model that is doomed to fail.
We will be more than happy to break new talent, debut cutting-edge films from an emerging pool young directors through submissions, and watch young filmmakers thrive as their films make their way into the circuit. (If this year’s line-up is any indication, the future of LGBT film making is alive and well.)
LGBT and specialty companies and distributors that continue to nickel and dime festivals by charging guarantees, will find themselves OUT of the mix.
Smart, forward-thinking distribs will welcome the film festival circuit, and will find ways to leverage fest screenings into marketing opportunities to generate a surefire method to make profits in the far more lucrative arena of direct consumer sales and ancillary markets.