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The Pimp’s Super Fantastic Lollipops Guide to Festival Submissions (a.k.a. The Uncertainty Principle)

In true Pimp style, a short, concise and not so subtle guide to submitting your work to a festival.

The Pimp’s Super Fantastic Lollipops Guide to Festival Submissions (a.k.a. The Uncertainty Principle)

1. Literacy is Important

Read the FAQS page. Festival staff frequently receive questions that are answered word for word on the FAQ page.

2. Little is not big

A five-minute film does not a feature film make.

3. I love Coldplay. Yay!

Making a film and slapping on the latest Radiohead or B. Hamilton song does not mean it’s a music video. See, if ya read it, Music video means commissioned…that means that the band asked you to make a video for them. It does not mean making a bad mix of your favourite dinky song and just randomly putting it on your film

4. Non-Narrative does not equal Non-Narration

Experimental/Abstract does not mean NON-NARRATION nor does it generally mean having a linear plot/story/point. It’s generally a non-linear…ie. Out of fucking order… work that appeals to emotions… takes you for an anywhere ride.

5. Mov. Files

Maybe my biggest complaint. Mov files are a time consuming nuisance. When I open them on a computer, they run slow and choppy. The other option is to copy them to the desktop, but that means waiting 4-5-10 minutes. That’s time that could be used to watch other submissions. Instead, I have to wait and wait and wait. So, just don’t do it. Besides, we were looking at stats, and mov. Submissions almost never make it to the competition. Don’t know what that is… maybe a curse put on that format by ancient animation Gypsies from the Baltic region?

Kids, it’s RIGHT there are the FAQ page that we DO NOT ACCEPT MOV files. Why you gotta be busting my balls…umm…ball.

If it’s a mov file, it’s instantly disqualified.

6. Think before Yelling

Before yelling at us for not accepting your film (you and probably 2900 other folks are on that Titanic), see if your work was accepted to Annecy, Hiroshima, Zagreb, Stuttgart etc… If not, I’d suggest that you either yell at all the festivals or better still, take a deep breath and maybe ask yourself some hard questions about your film.

7. Dear sir, my film is on the way!

Do not write to the Artistic Director or any festival staff telling him or her that you’ve mailed your entry. It is of no advantage to you. He doth not care. It doth maketh themeth pissedeth offeth.

8. An episode, not a season

Television folks. Please don’t send more than one episode of your award-winning TV series.

9. Swag not.

Entrants sometimes send some swag with their entries. Please don’t. Most of these extras generally get tossed or recycled. It’s gotta be costing you folks extra money to send these things. Save your money and your swag cause it doesn’t increase your odds of having your film selected.

10. Know Thyself

Asking the festival office what you’re supposed to write in your biography is, well, it’s alarming. If you don’t yourself, why do you think we would? My suggestion would be to find a good shrink and ask them for advice or try some weed or blue meth or hire a hooker, find a Zen master, mow the lawn, masturbate, ridicule Hobos, travel to Australia, find a Charlie Brown xmas tree, burn it, eat the wood, roast marshmallows then hunt down and eat squirrels.

That oughta do the trick.


(Thanks to the Keltie Duncan – the biggest Charlie Brown Xmas lover alive -  for passing along her OIAF entry beefs)

Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.