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American Documentary Film Festival


Palm Springs, California

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  1. lea
    October 2nd, 2015 at 22:50 | #1

    hi did you get a large audience. the festival photos show empty houses

  2. friendlyanimator
    May 11th, 2015 at 01:09 | #2

    I attended the American Documentary Film Festival in March 2015 with an animated short film. I thought a lot about whether it was worth the trip from Europe before going, and I heard mixed reviews from other people. In the end I decided to go because I could combine it with other activities on the same trip.
    This festival certainly has a long way to go, but I’m glad I went.

    Some of the obvious problems were: confusion in the timetable. My film’s screening date was moved up one day, so it could screen in a better location, but the old date was still in the program and there were no announcements anywhere that it had been changed. As a result of the switch my short ended up playing in front of a feature that did not fit thematically. The head of the festival introduced the screening, and said there would be Q&A after, but when all the movies finished and the lights went up we all sat there and no one came to the front. Everybody started leaving. I had to go get the head of the festival myself and then we did Q&A, but a lot of people had already left. Unacceptable. This happened again at a different screening I went to.

    The films generally looked good, I didn’t notice any quality problems or technical glitches. There were a lot of filmmakers there, from all over the world. The other films there seemed to be good, but not great, documentaries (but I’m not a doc expert). The filmmakers were all certainly very nice and interesting. Because it’s a film festival there were not many animations, so I think people were really interested in my short because of that. The festival organized a lot of social events with free food and drink which were great, and the home stay program is absolutely amazing, with very generous hosts. One of them even drove us around the area to get a look at Joshua Tree, even though we didn’t have time to hike it.

    Next time I will stay longer and take a few days to go hiking and really make it a vacation. Oh, and it helps if you know how to drive to rent a car, but if you don’t drive like me the festival was good about arranging pick ups and rides between the various venues.

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