After years of experience as the programming director for the New Orleans Film Festival, Clint Bowie was promoted to artistic director in early 2017. As artistic director, Clint now plays a larger role in determining what screens at the festival, whether indie films or studio submissions.
The New Orleans Film Festival’s selection process takes months and involves a great deal of discussion amidst the programming team. After becoming an Oscar-qualifying festival for short films, the festival’s task load increased exponentially. This year they had to sift through over 5000 submissions.
I really see our festival as an opportunity for filmmakers to advance their careers, to connect with other filmmakers, and of course to connect their stories with an audience.” – Clint Bowie
The selection process for any given film festival can often seems opaque and mysterious, but the selection process for the New Orleans Film Festival might seem a little less so after hearing Clint’s interview. He does into some detail about how films get selected and some processes that they have in place to ensure that every film gets a fair shot.
Some of the things that we discuss include
- The guiding philosophy behind the festival’s selection process
- When it pays to get out there and dance
- What filmmakers can do to improve their chances of getting their films selected
- What, if any, supplemental materials should filmmakers include in their festival submissions
- How films can impact society for good or for ill, and whether there is such a thing as films that go too far
- How filmmakers can take advantage of the opportunities that film festivals offer to develop their careers
This year New Orleans Film Festival happens on Oct 11-19, and Clint also shares some recommendations about what to check out. After the interview concludes, I mention some festival screenings and events that caught my attention. I then elaborate on some things that came up in the discussion and share my thoughts on what makes a film worth celebrating and how the films we embrace can influence society at large.
Sponsor for this Episode
- New Orleans Film Festival
- NOFF 2017 schedule and program
- NOFF on
- Some of the festival highlights that Clint mentioned include
- Bangaologia – The Science of Style
- Catching Sight of Thelma & Louise
- IF/Then Documentary Short Film Program, a partnership between NOFF, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the MacArthur Foundation. The winner of the competition will win a year of mentorship and $20,000 to make their project.
- Love and Saucers
- Watermelon Women
- Some of the films that caught my eye include
- Current War
Last Flag Flying
the Louisiana short film blocks
Power of the Glove
- Other notable events at the festival include a conversation with Patricia Clarkson, International Screenwriters Association table read and reception. New Orleans Video Access Center’s Filmmakers Welcome Party, the tropical pool party at the Drifter Hotel, and a Michael Jackson Thriller-themed party at the Art Garage
- Jordan B. Peterson’s video message to millennials relates to a number of things I discuss in my concluding comments. Discovering it was an encouraging nudge to go forward with the episode.
- “The Art of Disagreement” from New York Times columnist Bret Stephens
- The Wired piece about the temp workers moderating content for companies like Google and Facebook and the trauma they experience after prolonged periods of watching extreme content
- PragerU on the downfall of Venezuela
- My blog post on John Ford and his films
- Past podcast episodes mentioned
- Larry Blake, the re-recording mixer and supervising sound editor who has worked on most of Steven Soderbergh’s films
- Bradley Greer, the colorist who has worked on films like 12 Years a Slave, Iceman, and The Looper
- Richard Matson from The Orchard, the distribution company behind Oscar-nominated films like Cartel Land and Life, Animated
Other Films & Shows Mentioned
12 Years a Slave
Gray Gardens, directed by the Maysles brothers. (Clint also mentioned the work of the Maysles brothers in general. Other well-known films from them include Gimme Shelter and Salesman.)
Thelma & Louise
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