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AOF (Action on Film) Festival Review

October 8, 2009 4 comments

Let me just start with: What a great place to screen your film and meet other equally dedicated filmmakers!
AOF Film Festival runs during the last week of July in Pasadena, which is roughly 15 min drive from the center of Los Angeles.
What’s great about this place is that Pasadena lives and breaths filmmakers during this week.
Right upon arrival, we were welcomed with a nice goodie bag filled with helpful filmmaking things, magazine subscriptions, some gifts and invitations to local places.
Also, the full festival schedule and promo material for each film screening was included.

Our film poster was framed in front of the theater and other posters kept rotating throughout
the week inside the main screening hall.
We were first advised to walk few block over to get our filmmaker interviews videotaped and enjoy
free coffee and wifi.
While there, we met the organizer of the festival, Del Weston, who introduced himself and
immediately recognized the film we were representing. He was very excited to meet us and helpful
with whatever questions we had.
Let me just point out, that this was our first feature film. Nobody in the film has a name, there are
no celebrities, the budget is minimal. The welcome was great! We kept running into festival
filmmakers throughout the whole week and made lots of new connections.
Whenever we had a question or concern, somebody took care of us immediately and solved or fixed whatever was needed.
There were 2 parties happening every night after the screenings where both of the organizers attended and hand out free drink coupons to filmmakers.

Considering press and media, there definitely were opportunities to meet people involved and get your word about your film out. Most screenings were properly announced and filmmakers were invited for Q&A after their film finished.

To be fair, I also need to point out the few of the weaknesses of this festival:
First of all, there were some films we saw that should have never been screened at a festival.
I am sure it is all politics and friends of friends, but there were films with production quality
worse than home made videos. That being said, it wasn’t many and the worse films were all scheduled at “less convenient” times. 🙂
Also, all filmmakers have to pay for their Award Show tickets, which are $150 per person and do not include free alcohol!!!! This is a “bit” much for any indie filmmaker especially if you have a larger crew attending.
But, if you do have a good project in your hands, the film festival will reward you for your art with
special acknowledgment, nomination or award.

The submission fee is anywhere between $45-$70 depending what and when you are submitting and I think it is absolutely worth the money. The connections we made, the films we saw and the treatment we received was exceptional. The screening rooms quality is exceptional and there were no major technical issues throughout the whole week!!! 🙂

Final evaluation:
Price: expensive
Perks: some goodies, some free drinks

Media: some
Professionalism: excellent
Interaction with filmmaker: better than awesome

Rating on a scale from 1-10:  9
Website:
http://www.aoffest.com//

Final thought: Would I screen here again?

Yes, Absolutely! This is really a great place to showcase your film and meet filmmakers from all around the world ( I can briefly recall connecting with artists that flew all the way from UK, India, Netherlands or Germany).
I am hoping to submit here again next year! And yes, I will mostlikely pay the $150 Award Show ticket again and will start saving for it right now! 🙂

Please, let me know if reviews of this type are helpful to you.
What other information shall I add?
Shall I be more detailed? Shall I give shoutouts to films that are screened?
Please, leave a comment with your feedback or experience 🙂
Thank you filmmakers. Cheers!