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For some years now Tom Prasek and I have commiserated about the need for a serious networking solution and overview organization about (for lack of a better term) ‘the film festival world’.

I think FFA might be on to something and I am really glad to lend support.  I urge filmmakers, market participants and festival folks and press to pay close attention.

Where: Amphitheater, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Lincoln Center, NYC
When:  27th/28th September 2012

As each industry event produced by the Film Festival Academy is specifically curated in light of the requirements of the hosting festival or organisation, the first theme of our event in New York is New York film programming, looking at all the very many different institutions – festivals, cinemas, museums, galleries – involved in programming specifically for New York audiences.

The second theme focuses on film festival form, and here again we’re looking to kick-start a debate that will run on longer via the Film Festival Academy website and related blogs etc.

Confirmed speakers and timetable:

Thursday 27th – Focus on New York-specific Film Programming

09:30–10:00   Registration, coffee

10:00–10:15  Welcome

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)

12:15–13:30  Lunch (provided, for all participants/attendees)

13:30–14:45  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.

14:45–15:00  Coffee

15:15–16:45  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)

16:45–17:00  Coffee

17:00–18:30  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

09:45–10:00  Coffee

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

Free registration is available to all Premium Members of the Film Festival Academy. Places currently remaining:32

Attendees already confirmed include:

– Mitch Levine (The Film Festival Group)
– Peter Belsito (festival consultant)
– Claus Mueller (Hunter College, City University of New York)
– Jose Augusto Barriga (Boston Latino International Film Festival)
– Goran Topalovic (New York Asian Film Festival)
– Elizabeth Weatherford (Native American Film and Video Festival)
– Michal Chacinski (Gdynia Film Festival, Poland)
– Joe Bateman (Rushes Short Film Festival, London, UK)
– Bryce Renninger (Rutgers University, indieWIRE)
– Christina Marouda (Los Angeles Indian Film Festival)
– Miriam Bale (freelance film curator)
– Ania Trebiatowska (OFF PLUS CAMERA International Festival of Independent Cinema, Krakow, Poland)
– Sylvie Vitaglione (New York University)

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