Yesterday I went to my first film festival. That might not sound like a huge deal, but it's actually pretty amazing, and I can't believe that there is a whole new world out there that I've been missing up until now (I'm returning today and tomorrow.). First, CineVegas is only eight years old, and it's still a true small festival. People congregate in the hallways to rave about the "short" or the full-length feature they've just seen, and there are very few higher-profile movies (the biggest one is probably NACHO LIBRE). Compare that to the monstrosity of something like Cannes and it's an eye opener. Isn't the idea of a film festival to create a place where the smaller "guys" can showcase their talent and hopefully gain some recognition (and distribution for a movie that doesn't have the support of a company who can give it a wide theater release)? Isn't it a place where true movie-loving fans can discover new directors and actors? CineVegas remains pure in those respects, and that's ironic, considering Vegas is known to be such an unpure pit. In opposition, consider what Cannes is: X-MEN 3 was showing there. Seriously. X-MEN 3, with its gargantuan promo budget and built-in audience. It wasn't in competition with the smaller films, but why does a giant like X-MEN need to horn in on the territory of these little guys? I mean, my gosh, can't these filmmakers have one place that's all their own without Goliath invading it?
That's why I'm enjoying CineVegas: because in those hallways, film students talk about their latest projects and network. Because yesterday I saw a cool little film with an actor who's going to hit the big time and a director who has a real future, and I was there to "discover" that. Because there's a real appreciation for story and quality here, with no talk of box office. Again, it's pure (not that I don't like my "event movies"--Lord knows I love them--but I adore this raw affection for film that I'm seeing).
Later this week, I'm going to be posting about the films I saw (THE FAVOR, SKIN CITY and today, MARY, then DANIKA and PARK.). So come on back for my CineVegas report card, ya hear?