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Carolina Film & Video Festival 2010 Preview

The Carolinian sits down to talk with festival organizers Rick Dillwood & Cara Clark

Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

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Carolina Film & Video Festival 2010 Preview

What started out 35 years ago as a forum for UNCG students and faculty to showcase their work has evolved into a full-blown festival with participants from around the world. Festival organizers Rick Dillwood and Cara Clark discuss the 2010 installment of the CFVF Full story

The Carolinian: So tell me a little about the history Carolina Film & Video Festival?

Rick Dillwood: As far as we know, its 35 years or a little bit more that this has been happening in some form, but the current name is newer. I think at some point in it’s history it was sort of, the end of semester screening, like people in this department, and they wanted an opportunity to present their films at the end of the semester, and have an audience, and so they thought ‘Oh, we’ll just do like a screening.’ And then, I don’t actually know when it transitioned into a film festival that existed separately from department screenings, but in some form or another, it’s been around for a very long time.

TC: And what would you say would be the major difference this year from years past- or as far as you being a part of it

RD: For Cara and I, our approach to the festival has always been that, we embrace the fact that it’s student run. I think in previous years, it was more like, they wanted to present themselves as- not that we don’t have a professional appearance- but they wanted to present themselves as their creation, and then the students were sort of like the worker bees…in a way. Which is fine, like they were, the grad students in charge were generating poster designs, and all that kind of stuff, and saying ‘this is what the festival is,’ and then behind the scenes, the students were doing leg work for it. But our approach has always been- we have different students every semester, so, I think our festival, in some ways, always reflects the students involved with the class- in that particular year.

TC: And how do you feel about this year?

Cara Clark: For me? As far as the difference between last year- which was our first year- and this year, is that, I attended a film festival for the first time last year.

TC: Which one?

CC: The first one I attended was Cookaloris in 2008. But then this past year I got to- I got to go back to Cookaloris as a filmmaker, and other festivals around the state, and just got to see the places, you know, run their festivals and that has been helpful in getting a better understanding of how we can try to make things- do things here.

RD: I felt like- this is our second year kind of being in charge- our first year I feel like we were some ways going in blind, where, you know, just for whatever reason, I don’t think I had ever been to one screening at a film festival or something, and there’s a lot of unknowns the first time you do something. It was just like- let’s make it happen. And we knew we had the films, and we knew we had the venue, and then we were sort of sweating about whether all these little details would come to gather or not like ‘how’s the reception going to go?”, “are people going to like the films?”. But I Feel like this year we were just able to just be more at ease because we had seen it happen one time before, and it was just like okay we know everything’s going to be okay, it’s just these, sort of, finer details, that may or may not be something that we have control over.

CC: Yeah, rather than stressing about having to try to have to recreate the event as it had happened in the past, I think we feel more comfortable making our own decisions about it now.

RD: Yeah that’s true, we were basing a lot of our decisions on what people had told us had happened before- and clearly we don’t know, because we’re new at this, so whatever they tried to do before, we’re going to try to match that, and I think this year we made a lot more decisions where we were just like, ‘hey, we’re in charge. This is what we’re going to do.’

TC: What are you most excited about this year?

RD: Related to that previous point, this is most the festival has ever been really under our control, where we were making decisions based on what we thought was best for the festival. And so that’s sort of exciting, I think, to know that everything that’s going to happen this year is because we approved it, we wanted it to be that way, and we did make some significant changes, and so it’s nice to feel like I have a bit more ownership of this year whereas before I kind of felt like I orchestrated some of those thing.

CC: You were sort of riding the festival trying to stay on top of it.

RD: Yeah that’s true.

CC: My answer would be two part, I think that all of the shorts programmed for Friday night- like that’s going to be a really entertaining evening of short films. We have animations and narratives, and also high school films. But on Thursday night, you know, we’re showing the UNCG student works and local North Carolina filmmakers- their work- and so we’ll have most of those filmmakers in attendance, and I think that’s going to be really good, just to, you know, for them to have a chance to be in the spotlight and for us all to come together to celebrate them.

What do you see for the future of the festival?

CC: I guess our future only extends as far as next year, so, I guess, what direction do we want to kind of send it off in?

RD: Long term, I’d love to see it keep going. A four-day film festival is a big event. We’ve gone to others in the state that are sort of like a one-day thing and just see some afternoon screenings, but I’d like to see it just kind of continue the way it is. You know, I think it’s just a good opportunity for people in our department who take the class, like whether they take it in the fall or the spring, it can be a really good learning experience to watch movies, and to make choices about which ones are going to get programmed, and also this learning opportunity of putting on a film festival-

TC: I mean I’ve learned a lot from it.

RD: I hope that it sort of, maintains its simple structure. A bigger budget. That would be a nice thing to see.

TC: What do you want, if anything, for UNCG students to take with them from the festival?

RD: I think that what’s cool about going to a film festival like ours, it’s probably the only chance you’re ever going to get to see those films. And the odds of them ending up on any sort of compilation of shorts, or anything like that- they’re going to disappear. LIke, once those films have had their festival run, you know, maybe they end up on YouTube, or if you knew the filmmaker you could probably check their website and get a copy but…I would like people to sort of realize that they are part of this thing- that the only reason this festival circuit works, is that people like them go to see the screenings, and they’re making a contribution as far as the success gf all of these films and the filmmakers who made them, to just like, show up to see it, and to know that you’re helping to keep this world of independent filmmaking going.

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