Film festival programming is set to go under the microscope at Sheffield Doc/Fest this week, with a panel of programmers, filmmakers and researchers set to discuss the ins and outs of the industry circuit.
Hot Docs director of programming Charlotte Cook (pictured above, left) and SXSW Film producer Janet Pierson (center) – the head programmers for two of North America’s biggest non-fiction film festivals – will join Sundance-winning director Kim Longinotto (right) on the anticipated panel session.
The Behind the Curtain: How Film Festival Programming Really Works panel will take a hard look at the festival circuit process, discussing submission and screening fees, whether programmers play favorites or not, and the dos and don’ts of submitting to a festival.
The panelists will also discuss the politics of programming, looking at factors such as premiere status, reputation and remuneration, with a view towards informing first-time filmmakers.
The session will be moderated by realscreen associate editor Adam Benzine, and the trio will be a joined on the panel by Sumanta Barua, a PhD candidate at the department of management in King’s College London.
Barua will present parts of his ongoing research, which is is expected to contribute to the organization of more viable and efficient film festivals, and to encourage better opportunities for filmmakers, buyers and other stakeholders in the non-fiction industry.
The Behind the Curtain session takes place June 14 at 4.45 p.m. GMT, at the ITV Town Hall Council Chamber in Sheffield.
As previously reported, this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest takes place from June 12-16, and will kick of with an opening night triple-bill that includes The Summit, The Big Melt and Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.