The Film Festival Doctor (Yes, she’s a real doctor!) Dr. Rebekah Louisa Smith, shares with you today her review of The Jane Austen International Film Festival which took place in Bath Spa, U.K. during September 2020. A lot of festivals are still taking place on-line as the pandemic continues, however, the hybrid model is working well and some film festivals are running exclusively 100% live. The Jane Austen International Film Festival fell into the latter category and here Rebekah explains how the festival successfully worked around the current restrictions and put on a brilliant film festival.
This was the first edition of the JAIFF. I’m always keen to suss out new festivals and if it’s a good one, I’ll place it on my radar and recommend it to all of my clients. One of the highlights of my job is discovering new film festivals and this one is now on my highly recommended list.
I was also excited about going to the festival as I was representing one of our client’s films (BYSTANDER) and also because this was a live event which meant that I could discover new films, meet the filmmakers and immerse myself in the film festival world which is a part of my identity and who I am.
One thing that I loved about this festival was that the organisers were very personable, welcoming, and had a strict dress code requesting that everyone wear elegant evening wear or a costume. I arrived in an evening dress which I thought was pretty glamorous however everyone else looked incredible in their costumes which they had hired locally and looked very striking when they were walking along the red carpet.
From the moment that I arrived, the environment really began to feel like a film festival and that festival magic was back – the organisers had pulled out all of the stops; they had endless hand sanitiser, a red carpet and posters of the festival’s branding outside the cinema. Everyone was talkative and excited to be at a film festival (especially myself).
There were very strict rules in operation which was a relief. A mask had to be worn at all times during the film screenings – they even gave you their own hand made, reusable and robust JAIFF masks. If you wanted to have something to drink, they requested that you sip water from a straw which they provided you with inside the cinema free of charge. They politely asked that you kept the mask on whilst doing this. No hand shaking was allowed (only elbows) and the 2-meter social distancing rule needed to be respected. The organisers were very vigilant that no-one broke the guidelines and because of this, everyone felt very safe.
The programme of films was a very eclectic mixture and all very interesting. I was representing our clients film BYSTANDER which really stood out alongside 3 of my personal favourites; HOME TO THE HANGERS, THE NECKLACE and the animated film MYTHOLOGY PLANET.
Next year’s edition will shortly be open for submissions via Film Freeway and it will endeavour to be a 3-day event during 2021. I’m really looking forward to seeing the festival grow as it’s got a lot of potential. Here’s their website for further info: https://www.parazoom.com/
If you are currently experiencing problems getting your film accepted into film festivals and navigating the festival circuit during CV-19, I can fix those problems for you. Feel free to reach out to me to discuss how we can help you further and as a bonus, download our free guide ‘The 4 Main Reasons Why Your Film Is Not Getting Accepted Into Film Festivals And How To Fix it’ –https://www.thefilmfestivaldoctor.com/e-book/
Coming Next Week: I interview the award winning up and coming actress Janel Tanner; the star of our awesome short film INTERVENTION and discuss with her the exiting journey that she’s currently experiencing. 😊