Movie watching can be a task too – if its done just for the sake of doing so – Film Festivals

short film festival

I had a very unique experience of chairing a part of august gathering which followed by showcase of short films from 8 countries.  (lets keep all specific details of the festival or any identity out. the intention of post is not to corner or point anyone, its just a place to voice my concern ) We were suppose to watch all the films and inturn give our speeches based on the same and adopting to the topic given for ther overall festival theme.

When we have a viewing task, its not necessarily for pleasure or entertainment. This does not in anyway take the fun out of the same, only thing is that this brings lot more responsibility to the eyes watching, and more to it we need to remember and make the brain register much more than the story and screenplay.

A different experience can push the instinct much towards our passion.  sitting along with panel of experts to view and evaluate the short films/movies by itself an amazing experience.  Not just the films were great, but even the discussions after that was even better. its always amazing when we have a whole lot of people to discuss what we like.

But the excitement can turn otherwise in a second, when there comes a vested interest group into that discussion process.  Unfortunately, as everyone knows such group rules most of such occasion these days.

I was one of the very small group who were completely against in rating and scoring any movies for that matter, but we do that anyways both in passion and profession.  But we can never rate a movie based on the final audience or the viewer experience or for that matter even our own experience in viewing the same.  This has many factors to be considered

  1.  personal knowledge of the content prior to watching the movie
  2. Inclination, directly or psychology for or against the cast and crew of the film
  3. Previous view of the movie, if a movie is watched for the first time, the experience is different and any thing after that would be a reciprocation of the experience of the first time.
  4. your profession matters a lot, a technical media professional will view every movie completely different from a banker or any other professional person watching a movie.
  5. This is an art, and not a rational proportionally formed scientific exprienment based on many formulas, as long as that is understood the view of the movies will be done differently.  There was a panel member who keep referring to technical aspect of wrong usage of camera/lens/ colour correction stuff like that, i went on asked him if he even understood or watched and tried to understand the story which is portrayed in the film.  Its time we get out of all the nuances and showpose mindset and appreciate thea art form.  You may have different view point but the same has to be portrayed in a way that is suited for the audience and also which does not make the film maker feel that he is talking to a god who has just come to show ego, and put negative points for all that is being shown.

To summarise if any movie can be watched for a purpose for rating the same or grading the experience, the mind will always be in a point of comparison in every frame.  we should come out of all these grading and ratings and appreciate the best of each films.  You like something, say it loud.  If you dont like something write it as a feedback and try to reach it to the director/producer of the film.  If your intention is to just publicise your expertise in commenting on the movie, why not show case your talent in taking a movie.  Its easy to talk then take a movie.  Story telling is a very tough art, there is nothing called perfection.  Imperfection is also one of the form of story telling.  Appreciate the imperfection and try to take those along with the other perfection frames in the movie, we will get a beautiful pattern, and thats what the directors art for the audience.


Sathish Sampath



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