Tuesday, 17 December 2013

My Encounter with Encounters 2013

Pop-ups, back-patting and the changing role of the film festival. A brief reflection on my experience of volunteering for Encounters 2013 and how this exploration of a film festival formed a part of my ongoing research into the transfigurations of how the spectator interfaces with the spectacle.

What is a Film Festival?

This year I volunteered for the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival in Bristol. I did this for four reasons:
  1. I love film. Obviously.
  2. It gave me an opportunity to network and build up contacts for future projects.
  3. I was relocating from Bath to Bristol and I reasoned it would be a good way to get to know some other like-minded individuals.
  4. It gave me an opportunity to do some hands-on research and exploration of the public exhibition field.

Encounters 2013 Launch Event @ Creative Common.

Volunteering for Encounters provided me with an opportunity to witness a film festival up front, something I had never done before; as I commented during the festival: “I’m not here for the films, I’m here for research" - see Ways 2 Interface. Examining a film festival (the spectacle) and its outreach to the public (the spectator) was something I wanted to observe in the mists of the current digital re-birth and how that digital upgrade is influencing the purpose of the film festival. Additionally, I wanted to answer a more simple query, something I had never really addressed: I wanted to understand the purpose of a film festival - what is it for?