Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thinking Creatively: Seeking Ways to Raise $515 to Attend the Full Frame Fest

Today I got the news that I did not get the grant to attend the Full Frame Film Festival in Durham, N.C., this April.  While this news could be crushing to some, I see it as a new challenge.  I've had my share of challenges working on this film, and believe that it builds a bit of character.  While my focus must remain finishing the film, I am brainstorming ways to raise funds so that I can still attend.

The Full Frame Fest is dedicated to documentary filmmaking.  As a first time filmmaker working on a documentary it would be an honor to be there as an attendee, soaking up everything and feverishly taking notes.  I'm fairly starved for opportunities to talk with and learn from other filmmakers, and being in a setting such as this festival would satisfy that craving.  Film is a collaborative form of art, and so conversations and interactions like that are critical to making the final result much better.  When you learn as you go, often times learning from other people who have been through the same things is best.  Our film is about a group of people that deserve to have their story told in the best means possible.  Being in an environment where I can watch other documentaries and listen to other filmmakers will help us make drastic improvements.
A Festival like this offers a sustained, concentrated exposure to the sheer emotional power of documentary filmmaking, its ability to communicate the drama embedded in human experience. In Durham last weekend, you could walk into the stately dark of the Carolina Theatre and lose yourself in real life. —A.O. Scott of The New York Times

The festival website lists the Priority Pass cost as $515 total.  This would be my ultimate goal but there's also a Festival Pass listed at $210 total.  I truly believe that raising $515 in a short amount of time is possible, but so desperately want to focus on finishing the film.

Making a film on a zero-dollar budget leaves room for creativity.  If there's a will, there's definitely a way.  In the grand scheme of things, those passes may not seem too expensive to some people.  But when you know that digitizing Super 8 footage costs about $200 or more, you have to prioritize how money is spent.  Attending a festival is great, but getting that film digitized so that we can finish the film has to come first.

So I'm now accepting creative ideas for ways to attend the festival via comments to this blog post.  I have until March 18th to raise $515 if I understand their website correctly.  You fine folks have any ideas?  I'm all ears!

For more information about the festival, visit the site here:  Their about page lists the following information:

The Festival

The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of non-fiction cinema. Each spring Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to historic downtown Durham, North Carolina for a four-day, morning to midnight array of over 100 films as well as discussions, panels, and southern hospitality. Set within a four-block radius, the intimate festival landscape fosters community and conversation between filmmakers, film professionals and the public.

Full Frame's mission is to support the documentary form and community by showcasing the contemporary work of established and emerging filmmakers and by preserving film heritage through archival efforts and continued exhibition of classic documentaries. The festival is also committed to building wider national and international audiences for documentary film and enhancing public understanding and appreciation of the art form and its significance.

The festival is produced by Doc Arts, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and receives support from corporate sponsors, private foundations and individual donors whose generosity provides the foundation that makes the event possible. The Presenting Sponsor of the Festival is Duke University.

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