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by Brenda Benthien

Film festivals are big, unwieldy beasts with many, many moving parts, and they depend on a large group of dedicated people, many of whom are doing it for the first time and are working for little or no pay. It would be a miracle if everything went off without a hitch. The Hamburg festival has grown pretty fast from a tiny “No-Budget Festival” about 20 years ago into the glamorous red-carpet colossus we just witnessed.

My point? I would cut the organizers and workers some slack for the festival’s glitches. Often producers or distributors send films at the last minute (sometimes it’s a bear to get DCPs to the festival at all) with different titles than they promised they’d send. This especially happens when films come from less sophisticated filmmaking countries or from less-experienced filmmakers. And of course the projectionists are running one film after another, and pretty punctually at that.

Also, it’s not so easy to set up a functioning communication network in a makeshift tent on what is otherwise a parking lot.
Regarding misinformation in the printed materials, I’m gonna see if they’ll employ me as a proofreader or something next year.