Posted by Terry on December 14, 2012

Monday is the submission deadline for the 2013 Reel Shorts Film Festival. Even though the submission form says that submissions must be received by 4:30 pm on Monday, there’s no need to panic if you haven’t submitted yet. Just get your screener DVD in the mail or couriered by Monday and we’ll include it in the record number of submissions we’ve received this year. It looks like we’ll easily surpass the 250 submissions from 34 countries that we received last year. We have many many hours of happy viewing ahead!

Submissions are not the only source of films that we consider for the festival. I go to other festivals to watch films and also receive screeners from distributors and film commissions. I’m also on the email list for many organizations that mention short films, some of which intrigue me enough that I try to track down a contact for the film. As an example, Telefilm sent out an Industry Advisory yesterday entitled For its fourth edition, Not Short on Talent is heading to the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Market with 11 Canadian films so naturally I checked out the films. It’s always frustrating when I can’t find a film on or a website which is the case for a couple of these films, but I was puzzled by the opposite situation with one of these films. Dragon Baby, directed by Patrick Boivin from Quebec, is only a minute long and already has over 24 million views on YouTube. The “making of” is only 2 minutes long and they’re both fun to watch – see for yourself.

But why is Telefilm promoting Dragon Baby to industry (programmers, distributors, and broadcasters) in France? The film must have been one of the 150+ submissions that film curator Danny Lennon had to choose from, but I’m curious about whether he or anyone at Telefilm were aware of the exposure it’s had on YouTube. Should it have been included? I’d be very interested to know if any programmers, distributors, or broadcasters would be interested in a film that’s already a YouTube sensation.

This is a discussion that comes up often during programmer panels at festivals and at the International Film Festival Summit. While many festivals refuse to screen any film that’s been online, a few festivals only show films that are available online, and other festivals are online festivals themselves. Like the majority of festivals, we fall in the middle of the spectrum. Although we don’t have a strict rule about excluding films that are already available to watch online, we’d rather put our focus on films that audience members can’t otherwise see. We also want to help promote films and filmmakers who don’t yet have that kind of audience.

Do any filmmakers or audience members want to share their opinion?

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