Film Scouts Diaries

1995 Independent Feature Film Market Diaries
An Insider's View, Part II

by Matthew Mandell

September 18, 1995

The market kicked into gear today with a full slate of screenings, seminars and parties making for a long day. Getting there early allowed me to put up my posters in some of the prime locations outside of the Angelica Theatre where the main event is being held. Postering is the norm at the event and space gets limited, but last night two filmmakers were arrested by New York's Finest for illegal posting. It could only happen to a couple of tourists from Boston.

The true game of "find the folks with the blue badges" (the buyers) began as every attendee vies to have these poor souls see their films. Some buyers play dirty and hide their passes while others understand the reason they are there and take it with arms wide open. Cheers to the latter. Once spotted though it was difficult to see who they were, as again the print on all the badges is quite small. This has been a gripe with festival attendees, but I guess has fallen upon deaf ears. It's tough to walk up to a stranger and start a conversation, but even tougher to begin it while getting a close up of their chest.

My point being: I was in the restroom taking care of business when the guy next to me began to look over and down at me. I caught him out of the corner of my eye. Needless to say this began to make me feel a bit strange. That's when he said "Tear of the Jaguar King," I read your synopsis in the guide, anyone read it yet? It took me a second to answer, but there we were discussing my script as we washed up.

My crisis so far at the festival is that my request for personal networking sessions was not received. These are one-to-one meetings with buyers which the IFP sets up for you. Needless to say these meetings are sought after, but I was out of the loop. The solution, I will get a couple of cancellations. Now that's a crap shoot.

I grabbed a beer at the IFC student awards and spoke with some buyers about my script and this web site. The hope of course is that they will check out the script in the buyers lounge and check out the web site at home. Either way I got my first pitch under my belt and now the rest of the week will just fall into place.

Opening night film Blue in the Face, by Wayne Wang & Paul Auster and party at the nouveau Metronome still to go. See you tomorrow.

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