Yesterday, for my screenwriting class, we went to the Bristol Film Festival for our study trip, which is my second time in Bristol. The first event we went to was a screening on Bristol on Film, which showed clips that were of Bristol throughout history, starting with the first clip taken of Bristol from 1902. It was interesting because the person leading the screening pointed out that at that time, even though cameras were new, the camera was not well placed to shoot the event, as it was more important for the high class people to see than for a camera to. I think that it was somewhat more intended for people who live in Bristol and could really identify the places and see what has changed and what hasn’t over time.
The second event was a talk on participatory film, the idea being that as a filmmaker, you work with a community to conceptualize and film a piece, either about their community or something else. Our class made up the vast majority of audience, which was a little bit of a bummer to see. But the topic was interesting and it isn’t an idea that I’ve encountered that much in film. I think there is something to be said for trying to kind of merge the typical hierarchical structure in film making and taking somewhat of a more community perspective. We’re going to be talking about it in class in a couple weeks, so I’m curious to see what everyone thinks of it all.
The last one we went to was a panel discussion on women in film, which I was pretty excited for. The audience was much much more full, mostly of women, which was good to see. A lot of it was acknowledging the discrepancies between the percent of women and men in film and in the technical positions for film making. There were also a lot of local resources mentioned the are available to people in Bristol, that are especially meant to promote women in film. Some of the panelists also mentioned how helpful it is to self-advocate and keep trying things, even if you don’t think that you can actually do it, which I think is important to realize. I think there were some good points made, but I wish that things could have been taken a little further with it, more about how to normalize having women in film, but I think it’s sometimes hard to figure out how to get to that point.
I haven’t been to a lot of film festivals, but this was interesting and I’m curious to see what people think when we discuss it in class. I also got to know the other people in my class better, which was fun. I also have other study trips in the future, not all of which I remember, but I think those will go well too.