Fantastic Effort Into FestivalCulture
A 17-year-old festival is run on non-profit basis. Lars Diurlin, who was previoulsy the Fantastisk filmfestival manager and now the festival board President, shares his story about the struggle alongside of the giants – and the struggle of the women.
Being unpaid workforce means that everybody, in addition to their festival job, is supporting themselves through different occupations. And when spare time transforms to work and no freedom remains for the ones involved, being burntout is just around the corner.
Fantastisk Filmfestival is run by a board consisting of fifteen people, roughly twenty people from different film groups and also between twenty to thirty volunteers who work temporarily or who come and go.
The only one getting paid is the current festival Manager, Johan Barrander.
“Everything could fall apart”, says Lars Djurlin, and he says that he and his colleagues reached the burnout-point from rolling boulders up the hill.
This year’s festival is inaugurated by Swedish Film Institute (SFI) CEO Anna Serner, which according to the board President is a great event, not only for the festival but for the film fans of all over the country.
But it has been worse. When Göteborg International Film Festival was founded in 1979, many were reluctant to having things arranged beyond the Stockholm area.
“The movie business is still very centralized”, says Lars and explains that the financial support that the festival receives is deficient.
“Ticket revenue comprises more than a third of the festival budget which is more than the support contributed by the municipality of Lund.”
Therefore, FFF is the only one struggling to make ends meet in comparison to Göteborg International Film Festival and Stockholm Film Festival, which are the other two major film festivals in Sweden.
Thus, Anna Sterner’s actions are a cornerstone of the festival and there are hopes of establishing a stronger partnership with SFI.
“Considering FFF’s strive for a reinforced gender perspective in their array of movies it is impossible not to hope for a well-founded friendship, says Lars and he says that the festival Management is constantly on the look-out for new movies.
But fantastic film is difficult to acquire with an applied gender filter.
“Only ten per cent out of 776 movies presented on the last Cannes-festival were directed by women”, says Lars. Furthermore, he says that since a third of the ten per cent was fantastic films and this ultimately converts to eleven fantastic films by women.
Four of these are children’s movies and therefore they don’t play on FFF, whose target group is adults.
Ultimately, there are seven alternatives remaining for the world’s film festivals to “scrimmage” for.
Because it doesn’t matter what you think of the city of Cannes’s monopoly on the silver lining in the movie business on the other side of Hollywood, this is still the setting out threshold and building roofs, and according to which other film festivals set their agenda. He points out that the festival is more famous abroad than it is in Sweden and talks about how they participates in juries from Cannes to Berlin, and everything in between. The job doesn’t end on the final day of the festival, it goes on all year.
“This shows how bad the situation really is”, says Lars and he describes how FFF, because of that, has to put in a solid effort to achieve their goal of having twenty per cent female directors on their festival program. The festival board has also examined the gender perspective of different festivals and come to the conclusion that in many cases the number of female directors doesn’t exceed ten per cent, in spite of them having a broader aspect.
So how come there aren’t that many female directors around?
“The problem lies with the production departments”, says Lars.
“But it is our responsibility to inform people about this and call for a change”, he continues. “And if there’s anybody who can help us with this, it’s SFI.
By: Frida Sandström
Translation: Maximilian Aleman Tennell