I just got home from a screening of European short films at the “End of The Pier International Film Festival” near the seaside town I call home. The cinema was EMPTY – I was the only person watching and even though I felt honoured to receive this involuntary VIP treatment, I felt sad for the festival organisers. Like many cultural events and other film festivals, they have had to deal with many budget cuts – when the economy nosedives, culture pays the price first. It’s a glorious sunny day and yes the garden or beach was tempting but I wanted to show my support for other film-makers and always enjoy being inspired by films from all over the world – so many different film-makers, so many unique styles and ways to view the world.
My favourite was a film called “Red Sands” by David Proctor. A very poetic and visually exciting essay on bullfighting in Pamplona. It was shot with just one camera and the many intense close-up and slow motion shots really made it stand out. The voice-over of an old and wise Spanish Senor who loves and hates the ritualistic killing of the bulls carried it through. This was breath-taking, astounding, exciting film-making. Hats off. As I am in the process of editing my 100 hours of footage from the past 2 years into a one hour programme, well-made documentaries that break the mould are a true inspiration right now.
And the rare diamonds one gets to see at independent festivals just don’t compare to Hollywood block busters or prime-time TV. It’s the people who make films for the love of it rather than for the money that tend to create films that touch us. I just hope that more people will get and take the chance to see these kind of indie films as the film-makers get more experienced at networking and publishing their films in innovative ways off- and online.