Film festival fiasco
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Film festival fiasco
Director miffed at supposed snub
By Erin Conway-Smith
Fierce debate amongst student filmmakers regarding last Saturday's University of Western Ontario Film Festival has resulted in a roundtable discussion a last ditch attempt to ease the tension within Western's film community.
Maureen McGoey, an organizer of the eighth-annual, student-run festival, said statements distributed by the director of Supremo Logic a film entered in the competition have prompted the open meeting.
Director of Supremo Logic David Mewa launched an extensive promotional campaign to accompany his film, which did not win any prizes at the festival.
On Monday morning, Mewa posted an open letter on the bulletin board outside the Western Undergraduate Film Society office, addressing his "disappointment" with the logistics and judging of the festival and stating, "I am embarrassed to have been a part of this year's debacle."
He said his film, which cost approximately $1,500 to produce, "has given UWO's festival a face."
Mewa said he felt judges were biased against Supremo Logic because they did not want to show they could be "bought" by his comparatively costly film.
While she has received positive and constructive feedback about the festival, McGoey said Mewa and his entourage were the only people to pass along negative comments.
"He said 'don't take it personally,' but when you've been working on [the festival] for a year it was really hard not to take personally," she said.
McGoey said the meeting to be held today at 2 p.m. in Rm. 12 of University College was organized upon advice from Michael Zryd, a Western film professor who has been involved with the festival for four years.
Zryd, who will moderate the meeting, said he can offer a perspective on the ways the festival has evolved and changed in response to constructive criticism from students.
A response to Mewa's letter, posted on the bulletin board by Lucius Dechausay who placed second expressed disappointment with Mewa's complaints.
"Spending $150/minute on a promotional campaign for a 12-minute short does not a good film make," Dechausay wrote.
Michael Grant, who played a small role in Supremo Logic and was one of two people responsible for marketing the film, said while he had no ill feelings towards Mewa, he did not share his sentiments towards the organization of the festival.
He said the film was intended to be an experiment in hype.