My name is Gauthier-Charbel Raad. I am a French-Lebanese filmmaker and the director of the Lebanese International Film Festival. I have been around many film festivals around the world starting with Cannes, Nice, Phoenix, World Human Rights… my movies were accepted in many film festivals and it was rewarding for me to attend them. Answering questions about my movies and about my French-Lebanese background was so interesting. I am also a passionate teacher and a short movie advisor. I believe in the power of change through art and film.
Who goes to film festival?
Well, this is a tricky question. Film festivals were created to give filmmakers the opportunity to screen their movies in front of other people. So basically, people who are interested in watching movies which are not screened in theatre are the first target audiences. BUT, Big festivals won’t let everyone get in. IF you are not a journalist, press, filmmaker, producer, distributor and part of an educational institution you won’t get the chance to walk of Canne’s red carpet. It is getting harder and harder for independent filmmakers to attend these kind of event which are dedicated for them.
How do films get chosen?
In each film festival, there is a pre-selection committee. What does that mean? This means that each festival depending on its size and on its theme would choose candidates to do the pre-selection phase. So, Filmmakers, don’t be sad if your movies aren’t selected!
How movies are getting bought?
Here comes the importance of the Film Market. Big film festivals have something called market. This is where all the business is done. Production houses and producers from all over the world would pay anything to be present in the market. Here comes the work the of distributor. Distributors are here, trying to hunt the best script, best film, best deal... Most of the big movies arrive to the film festival without a distributor. During the film festival every producer and filmmaker’s aim is to have a distributor interested in their project so that it could be screened in theaters all over the world.
Notes on film festivals
Film festivals are so important for filmmakers and producers. It is an amazing opportunity for them to meet people from all over the world and network. Even if you are broke or short on money don’t hesitate to attend any film festival. Just grab every opportunity that any film festival could give you, no matter of its size.