By Ellen Besen
What makes an animation festival great?
With OIAF recently past and CTN on the immediate horizon, it seems like a good time to ask this question, one I’ve been asking myself in the aftermath of every festival experience for so many years I’ve lost count. I’ve also lost count of my many attempts to answer that question – most of them quite unsatisfactory.
In fact, I only started to answer the question in any meaningful way when I found myself taking over a sweet little festival- the late, lamented Kalamazoo Animation Festival International (KAFI)- from 2006 to 2009. We were charged, at the time, with taking a promising regional festival to the next level…and in the process of achieving that goal- if only for a moment before the economy, among other things, took the whole enterprise down- a great deal of what really makes a festival work was revealed.