Into the Ovoid was accepted at Athens ANIMFEST 2016 in Athens Greece. It screened in the Experimental category in mid-April. It did not receive an award, but still…
Into the Ovoid was also accepted for inclusion at Flying Frame Film Festival in Simpson, Illinois, May 20-21, a festival celebrating guerrilla filmmaking. Seems like a good fit!
Over the last months, I have been steadily submitting Into the Ovoid to more and more film festivals. This too, like every other feature of this project, has required scrabbling up a steep learning path. I knew of Sundance and Cannes, even Tribeca and Toronto. I found out that while once filmmakers packaged up a reel or a DVD or some other screening medium and sent it in with a filmography and a fee, today there are online submission platforms with names like Filmfreeway, Withoutabox, and Reelport. And with point-and-shoot digital filmmaking, the greater volume of movies being made has led to a huge number of film festivals springing up across the globe. There are thousands, and many distinguish themselves by having a narrow mission or theme. Or they focus on one or another genre: shorts, features, experimental, horror, documentary, and so on. You can find festivals that include webisodes, iphone movies, screenplays, music videos, or video games. And festival categories range from live action to animation, narrative or non-narrative, fiction or non-fiction.
Last summer, I submitted an early version of Into the Ovoid to the Toronto International Film Festival. That didn’t pan out. In hindsight I can see that it really couldn’t. A festival like Toronto may say they are looking for independent filmmakers, but they don’t mean some accidental untrained filmmaker amateur like me, no matter how skillfully Abbott Imaging made the film. The big, well-known festivals are akin to professional conferences. They draw attendance and attention with big names in film. They also seek to be the first to discover new talent, launch careers, and make a big splash in the entertainment industry. They are insider networking event.
I am not launching a film career. I’m not even a film enthusiast. Film was just the medium I needed to solve the problem of showing my pysanky in the round. Animation was just the method that worked. The story practically wrote itself and demanded a mix of techniques, so Into the Ovoid isn’t even pure animation! It’s not naturally ideal material for most festival programmers. But I felt I somehow needed to try getting the film screened at a festival somewhere. So at this point I have submitted the film to 39 film festivals that looked reasonably suitable and had low or no entry fees. So far I have collected 9 rejections, 2 acceptances, and am still waiting for notification from another 28. Please scroll down to the end of this update for the list of those 28.
Meanwhile, there are several additional experiments spinning off from this project. One is an extended version of the film’s pysanky-making scene in which I narrate an explanation of what I am doing. This 6:42 minute clip is now on vimeo, publicly available.
Abbott Imaging also has an outtake of the egg breaking sequence in the works. And I am going to try to create a blog series describing some behind-the-scenes, under-the-hood details about how we made Into the Ovoid.
Here are the 28 festivals I submitted to that I have not heard back from yet:
- NYC Downtown Short Film Festival, Duo Multicultural Arts Center, NYC June 8-11, 2016
- Nonplussed Fest, LA, CA June 17-19, 2016
- Haverhill Experimental Film Festival, Haverhill, MA July 22-24, 2016
- Festival du Film Merveilleux et Imaginaire, Paris, France June 30 – July 2, 2016
- Womanimation, Providence, RI June 25, 2016
- Stop Motion Barcelona Festival, Barcelona, Spain, June 26, 2016
- Turku Animated Film Festival, Turku, Finland August 25–28, 2016
- WNY Western New York Film Art and Music Event, Albion, NY, July 22 – August 8, 2016
- Fantouche Internationales Festival, Baden, Switzerland, Septebmer 6-11, 2016
- Les Femmes Underground Film Festival, LA, CA August 13, 2016
- Defy Film Festival, Nashville, TN, August 19, 2016
- IN.S.A.N.E. film festival, London, UK, 9-11 September 2016
- Ottawa Animation Film Festival, September 21-25, 2016
- Anibar Animation Festival, Peja, Kosovo, 15-21 August 2016
- Arlington International Film Festival, Boston area, October 27-30, 2016
- Cinema Systers Film Festival, Paducah KY, Sept 9-11, 2016
- Antimatter, Victoria BC, October 14 to 29, 2016
- Seattle Shorts Film Festival, Seattle, WA, Nov 11 – 13 2016
- SoDak Motion Festival, Brookings, South Dakota, October 26-28, 2016
- Toronto Arthouse Film Festival Toronto, Ontario, Canada, September 17-18, 2016
- Somerville International Film Festival, Somerville, MA, October 10-13, 2016
- 3D Wire, International Animation, Video Games and New Media Market, Segovia, Spain, October 3rd – 9th 2016
- ArtLightenment, Nashville, TN, Nov 10-12, 2-16
- Gigantic Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival, Calgary, Alberta, November 24-27, 2016
- Mirror Mountain Film Festival, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, December 2-4, 2016
- Berlin Experimental Film Festival, Berlin, Germany, December 17-18, 2016
- Canada Shorts, multiple locations, December 10 – 11, 2016
- The International Festival of Animated Objects, Calgary, Alberta, March 8-22, 2017