Whether you’re a movie buff or an otolaryngologist, you will find film festivals fascinating. The Austin Film Festival is one of my favourites. It’s in mid October and happens to coincide with the South by Southwest music festival. The weather hovers around 25 degrees. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
I highly recommend purchasing a Producer Pass. It allows you unprecedented access to a variety of events and director panels. In addition, you get unlimited entries into movie screenings, bbq’s, schmooze parties.
The main venue where it’s held is the Driskill Hotel. It stands solid, over 100 years old and located in downtown 6th Street. Rumoured to be haunted by three ghosts, that just adds to the character. The lobby reflects a long history of charm and warmth with a dash of celebrity chemistry. It’s not unusual to share an elevator with Scott Burns, find yourself walking beside Tom Skerritt, even enjoying a drink with the great Bill Murray. Okay, so that was my own personal experience. Still have Bill’s photo on my wall.
As a writer trying to make the right contacts, film festivals are your playground. The plethora of talent attending the festivals is a large part of the draw. I attended a screening of a film, Runaway Train, by a writer I met at the GAPF. He pitched his screenplay to a studio rep he met at the Austin film festival.
Sometimes it’s about the opportunity and sometimes it’s about the fascination.
(Read more about pitchfests and how they can help writers here.)