Accept, reject: Inside Out (Toronto LGBT Film Festival)

16 05 2011

Two years ago, I submitted my first short film, On the Bus, to various film festivals and it got screened at almost all the festivals I sent in Canada.  Unfortunately, Inside Out, a.k.a. the Toronto Queer Film Festival, was one of the few that declined On the Bus, which was disappointing since it’s a big city and a great opportunity.

After months of checking now and then the Inside Out website for any changes regarding submissions for the 2011 film festival, it was finally up!  I hurriedly threw in a copy of my film and entry form and sent it away. Maybe this time they’d screen my film.

Fast forward a month or two (probably more.  I don’t remember).  It’s February, and I get an email from the festival saying this: Inside Out would like to invite the film “Stay” to screen with us as part of our 21st festival program in May, 2011. A formal invitation as well as print traffic information will follow in mid to late March.

Hooooooray!!!  I thought.  Finally, a short film of mine would be screening in Toronto.  Finally.

I replied to the email and sent some screencaps of the film and asked what kind of exhibition formats they accept and received a reply with a list of formats.  Then I went to work trying to find a place that would be able to transfer my film to one of those formats (which, btw, is really expensive to do).

And I waited for their next email, for their formal invitation and for the print traffic info just like they said.  And so I waited.  And waited.

By April, I had not received anything from them.  Growing slightly concerned, I sent them an email again, greeting them politely (as usual) and asked when I would need the exhibition copy sent there.

No reply.

I wasn’t sure if they were just all busy or something, but I gave them a lot of time to respond.  In early May, I sent them another email and asked if they had received my previous one about the exhibition copy.

And again, no reply.

Frustrated, I looked on the Inside Out website and saw that they already had a schedule for their festival’s films up.  After searching through the film last, I finally got the hint they were trying to tell me: my film isn’t going to be in the festival this year.

Did they accidentally email me instead of someone else, perhaps?  But then again, they mentioned me by name and also my the title of my film, so if they did, that’s pretty unprofessional/unorganized of them.  I just don’t know.

For a while, I wasn’t sure how to feel.  Angry?  Sad?  I mainly felt disappointed, though.  Disappointed that they had emailed me and told me good news, only to never reply and ultimately, not program my film.  I feel like someone who’s been lead on in date or something, which makes it seem more dramatic than it is.  If anything, I’m only moderately disappointed.

Inside Out starts this Thursday the 19th if anyone is interested in going.  I’m still in the process of sending out Stay to film festivals so it’s not like this was the one and only opportunity I’ll ever get.  At the same time, I may have lost my chance in Toronto.



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