Does the Vail Film Festival wear furry boots and a Chinchilla coat?
As an independent filmmaker, I found it a little difficult to read “Left of ordinary, right of orthodox; Vail Film Festival celebrates indie spirit.” (In Vail Trail) Bringing a Universal Studios picture to the festival is good publicity for the festival. However, the festival should first and foremost be about the filmmakers who otherwise wouldn’t have a venue to show their film, not big studios with big cauffers. Is showing a big Universal Studios picture really celebrating the indie spirit?I feel as though big studio films like the Universal Studios picture are stealing spots from small-time film makers who are struggling to get his/her picture seen. Do you think a film starring Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Marcia Gay Harden, Willem Dafoe, Chris Klein and Judy Greer won’t have a shot in the theaters? Of course it will. Why give it a screening at all other than to promote the festival’s own image and gain sponsorship dollars? Is the Vail Valley Film Festival more worried about its own image?The other big name film screening at the festival is “The OH in Ohio” starring Paul Rudd, Danny DeVito and other known stars. This film may have independent backing, but what bothers me is that the festival directors said, “I’m excited to see this film, it probably won’t arrive until the day of the festival.” So this film gets a screening at the festival based on what, its budget? The names attached to it? If I make a film that has a three second cameo by Lisa Kudrow, should it automatically earn a spot or should it go through the screening process like all the other film makers who spent countless hours scrapping together money and resources to make their film?I have had one of my films in various festivals, and without that exposure, my film would have been seen by no more than grandma and Uncle Joe after Christmas dinner. Film festivals gave my film a real audience, real credibility and a real chance at recognition that never would have happened otherwise without a huge studio name and/or stars in my backpocket. There are two less “true” indie films being shown at the upcoming festival because big studios with big dollars pushed their way in. Who knows, maybe the two filmmakers squeezed out could have been the next Kubrick or Higgis. But, we’ll never know, because Universal Studios just has too much cash to ignore.Vail, Colorado
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