Tag Archives: film

How COVID has impacted filmmaker screenings and audiences

Impact producing means working in film with a strategy to find an audience that not only has been impacted by your film but will take action. In essence, it is using your film as a tool to advance an issue.

For most films, particularly for documentaries, this is done not just through viewings and screenings but with a Q&A portion at film festivals.

The pandemic has changed how screenings and impact producing is conducted. Now that screenings and Q&A sections are, for the most part, done virtually, both filmmakers and audiences have to adjust. These adjustments have provided chances that weren’t considered before such as allowing for smaller, rural areas of the United States to have a more intimate, albeit virtual, time with filmmakers. At DCIFF 2021 we will use a hybrid festival model, both in-person and virtual. 

Before, it was often not feasible financially and physically for the filmmakers themselves to get to a small area, find a hotel to stay in and be at the screening. Now, from the comfort of your living room, cast and crew and audience members can have conversations and get connected like never before. The possibilities of outreach and impact producing virtually have grown along with creative new ways of using the internet. This is something we are very aware of at DCIFF, so look out for our new monthly Film Interpretation Club starting January 2021.  Sign up for our newsletter if you want more information.

Of course, online conversation is not all positive change. There are issues of cyber security, keeping a person’s attention, finding the right audience, are all challenges faced during a time of COVID-19. Some filmmakers have experimented: they have offered their documentaries and films for a few days to allow the viewer to watch the film in preparation for a live Q&A virtual session. Others have done the viewing then, right after, have the Q&A session. A few film festivals will have a short Q&A session filmed in advance with the filmmakers to be viewed whenever the viewer wants to see it.

For those in the film world, 2020 has forced us to think creatively and make a few misses, but we are learning. The swing to online engagement may be here to stay. For filmmakers, reaching an audience and inspiring them is central to their work and their careers, and so this has been a time for experiments. For people who want to produce and share impactful and meaningful stories, it is important to create genuine partnerships. Keep an open mind, you never know how you will be able to achieve your goals. You could try engaging different audiences. There is no guarantee that your work will go viral but meeting people and expanding the range of those influenced by your work, is a true value of storytelling.

Written by Tara Jabbari,

DCIFF Filmmaker Relations

A holiday season movie list

Here comes the time of the year filled with Christmas carols and endless family reunions. But this is also a time to step back, reflect on the year, and catch up on movies that we at DCIFF have been meaning to (re-) watch. To help you navigate this holiday season, here is a non-exhaustive list of movies to fill your cold winter days. The choice was driven by some holidays traditions from foreign countries, important events in the cinema world in 2019, and a few of my all-time favorites.

Varda by Agnès, by Agnès Varda (2019). The only female director of the French New Wave passed away last March, leaving behind an impressive legacy. It is impossible to pick just one movie from the exhaustive list of her works, but her last piece is essential – Varda by Agnès – in which she discusses her lifelong career, aspirations and techniques with the sense of wit and sensitivity that makes her so unique. It will make you want to re-watch her entire body of work, and you can luckily do so this month at the Lincoln Center retrospective in New York.

Agnès Varda, in Faces Places (2017)

A good old James Bond, for two reasons. First, if you are from the UK, this is probably on your list of holiday traditions anyway. However, we recommend these movies because the next episode of the adventures of 007 – No Time to Die – will be released in movie theaters in April next year, featuring Daniel Craig as his last stint as James Bond. So, do yourself a favor and watch the entire James Bond series and get ready for the new chapter.

A Christmas Tale, by Arnaud Desplechin (2008). In a cold city of France, a family reunites for Christmas, despite their unhealed wounds and resentment toward each other. But the movie is somehow joyful in its sadness, driven by strong and colorful characters. It also brings together the many actors that have been part of Desplechin’s work for a long time, who seem to have become his family.

Emile Berling, Mathieu Amalric and Catherine Deneuve in A Christmas Tale (2008)

Eyes Wide Shut, by Stanley Kubrik (1999), because it starts at a Christmas party and could be a good way to spice up your holidays between two long family gatherings.

Uncut Gems, by Josh and Benny Safdie (2019). Last but not least, the Safdie brothers gifted us with a new movie, released right on time for Christmas. It features Adam Sandler as a jewel shop owner and gambler, who keeps getting himself into a mess. If you enjoyed the hyper and bumpy ride that was Good Time (2017), Uncut Gems promises to be equally intense.

Mathilde for DCIFF