Thursday, September 16, 2010

Prize money versus prestige

This question comes up from time to time. : Why no prize money from Filminute? In 2005 when we came up with the idea, we focused our lean budgets on building a brand, and our goal was to build a presence as remarked upon as the Academy Awards, the business acumen of the Toronto International Film Festival, the splash of Cannes, and the indie spark of Sundance. I'd say we're part way there on some of these, and we'll not let up on pursuit of this vision as a driver of the festival.

Filminute then, without fail every year, gathers a respected and sharp jury that's arguably as good as any feature length-oriented film festival.

Finally, we do out best to build a massive, worldwide audience. Filminute's festival content reaches more audiences in more countries in one month than any major film festival (107 countries at last check-in, and on some years we've hit as many as 120).

If we did all this and offered a $500 prize, even a $5,000 prize, we'd lose the real filmmakers and end up w/ first year film students and junior league entries. We're just not keen on Amateur Night. That's not to say that students never make it through. You'll always hear Filminute say that a one-minute film "levels the playing field" — it's possible for a student or debutante creative producer to make the right film, the right way, and stand up to the pros.

Filminute set out to build the best brand in the world we possibly could, and increasingly we are attracting some standout filmmakers, artists, commercial directors, animators, writers, and so on. And it's quite satisfying to see all these people chatting each other up across multiple time zones on Filminute's Facebook page ;-)

That being said, if Filminute lands some windfall and musters up a million dollar prize, we'll bug you to submit a film same way we always do ;-)