Sunday, February 22, 2009

I talk with Doug Hawes-Davis, founder of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, about this year's turn-out, the state of documentary, and his position as programming director.

T: How many submissions did you receive this year?

DHD: About 1000 from over 30 different countries

T: Is that more or less compared to last year?

DHD: Perhaps a couple of hundred more than 2008.

T: What about the turn-out? How does that compare to last year's and in years past?

DHD: Total numbers are not in yet, but it's looking like about a 25% increase over last year.

T: What is your association this year compared to last year? 

DHD: I'm still very involved, but Mike is handling a large chunk of the programming - both the open call and the retrospectives. I was significantly involved in programming and will continue to be, but it'll be more of a team effort from here on out I reckon. We've now got a festival director with major programming experience, so it only makes sense to take advantage of that.

T: How many people do you work with who help choose which films get in the festival?

DHD: There are six of us:

Mike Steinberg
Dru Carr
Gita Saedi
Doug Whyte
Jenny Rohrer
and yours truly

T: What do you think about the future state of documentaries? Where is this genre going?

DHD: Anybody's guess, but I don't see it being replaced by so-called "reality TV" or social issue video games. Nevertheless, the marketing, production, and funding of non-fiction film is a rapidly changing landscape.

No comments: