By the time our Call For Entries ended, we found ourselves staring at a barrel of films that needed to be narrowed down to a bucket of films. For months we kept track of all those entries, circulating them among the screening committee, collecting responses, watching and re-watching, making decisions, and ultimately, sending out the dreaded rejection letters or the welcomed acceptance letters. Now that whole process is over, all the entrants should know if they are in or out (most already know, but there are still a few that haven’t heard yet), and now it’s time to start working on making the schedule, writing the program book, preparing for the upcoming Friends of the Festival Preview event, and generally making sure all our bases are covered in time for Opening Night. Considering how much work we just finished, it’s hard to believe how much work is still ahead of us.
The truth is when we’re finished watching everything, the amount of films we want to include is far greater than what we have room for. We do end up rejecting many films we like and want to show simply because we don’t have room for them, or couldn’t find a way to make them fit. Those are usually the toughest programming decisions to make, and it’s always our hope that those particular films are able to find their audiences with or without our help. Nevertheless, we’re confident with our decisions, and come May 7, we expect to have a lot of happy cinephiles running around Baltimore.
–Skizz Cyzyk, Programming Manager, MFF