Sunday, December 21, 2008

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

I'm finally posting about my "Coda" screening at imagineNATIVE. I wasn't sure what to post initially, because sometimes one screening is much like another. "Coda" was in the Experimental Program entitled "Into the Looking Glass," which I thought was rather appropriate… especially since they used the screenshot of Emma Claire piecing together the cracked mirror for their catalogue. My favourite film in that program had to be "Alice Eaton" by Amanda Strong, about a young woman on a quest to restore her broken spirit in a stylized underworld inspired by Lewis Carroll… though there were many other intriguing and thought-provoking films.

Unfortunately, because of the pitch workshop and session (which I'll be talking about eventually over at Weirdgrrl's Words), that was the only shorts program I attended. I did manage to go see "Before Tomorrow" by the Arnait Video Collective, produced by Zacharias Kunuk ("Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner" & "The Journals of Knud Rasmussen"… I'm embarrassed to admit that I still haven't seen "Atanarjuat" but I saw and loved "Knud Rasmussen.") I thought that "Before Tomorrow" was more cinematic than "Knud Rasmussen," with its use of music, editing and artistic B-roll shots, and also more consistent in tone. Ultimately, though, it didn't affect me as deeply as "Knud Rasmussen." Still, it was brilliant.

I look forward to going back to imagineNATIVE when I'm not pitching something, because I think it would be a lot more fun when I can go to more screenings and meet more filmmakers. Having said that, it was great to get to know the other pitch participants… it helped me feel like I had friends at this festival where I really didn't know anyone. And some of them definitely became friends that I will continue to keep in touch with.

I've also discovered that being screened at a festival like imagineNATIVE opens up quite a few doors. I've had several emails inviting me to submit to other festivals and even had one from Movieola asking to buy the broadcast rights to the film (but I don't own broadcast rights to the music… *sigh*). Not that I didn't intuitively know that the bigger festivals bring more opportunities, but I guess I didn't realize that imagineNATIVE was one of those bigger festivals. Very cool!