DC Shorts in Retrospect

September 15, 2011  •  Leave a Comment
So DC Shorts was my sixth film festival in the last year and a half. It was supposed to be the biggest, the fanciest, the most professional. Well, we all know what I think about that… but how was the experience? Not as bad as it could have been. What I do know for sure is that considering the film festival was the whole basis for my trip out to Maryland, which resulted in a tenure of stay with my godparents, it should’ve been the most memorable part of it, and it was not at all. The screening at the Artisphere was sparse in attendance and the presentation was the worst I’ve ever seen at a film festival. In fact, aside from some really nice people I shared a few words with, there was nothing about it that would make me want to submit to it again… except to have an excuse to visit my godparents.
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During the Q & A at DC Shorts
Some local Michigan filmmakers know about Connie Mangilin and her Mitten Movie Project, which I am a champion of–not because I won it last year, but because I think what she’s doing is pretty amazing. I’ve heard some gossip around the campfire that the Mitten, while nice, shouldn’t be constituted as a “real film festival.” Well, I’ve got some news for the people who think that: It is. You’re wrong. End of story.
 
While the Mitten may not award the best of the bunch every month due to its audience award being decided by popular vote, which is as easily swayed in one direction as a drunk who accidentally collides with a coffee table, the turnout every month is staggering compared to what I have seen at other yearly film festivals. And this is a monthly endeavor. Yearly festivals, which have the backing of sponsorship and much more promotion, should always be packed, and yet certain blocks of films are screened that might as well receive the designation “Swept Under the Rug Showcase”–which starts on a late Thursday… or an early morning on Saturday.
Connie Mangilin

The combined attendance for my film when I attended DIFF, DWIFF and DC Shorts did not amount to the first screening which was held at the Mitten. Sorry guys, I know you pride your festivals on being big and “real,” but so far at every turn you’ve been getting your ass kicked by a tiny chick from Detroit who is apparently very clumsy on a bicycle.

 
What I’ll remember from this last trip was the fact that the first three days felt like monsoon season, relaxing conversations over beer and cigars on the porch with my godparents and their family (who I consider to be my own family), seeing Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (one of the best paranoid thrillers I can remember) with the pleasure of good company… and just how flipping dark the projector was at my screening. Balls.

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