This past week I checked my email every 15 minutes hoping for acceptance letters to the Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Capital City Film Festival in Lansing. I had a gut feeling the film wasn’t going to be accepted into either and I was right. With hundreds of entries received at each festival, mine didn’t make the cut. I think I know the problem.
It’s too long.
I don’t regret making it long.
I spoke with documentary filmmaker and retired NMU Sociology Professor Michael Loukinen about a month ago. I sent him a copy of the film and he enjoyed it and said it expressed the culture of the U.P. and hunting camps wonderfully. We had a nice hour long chat about my film, his films and U.P. traditions. He also noted that the film is too long for a general audience. If I want more people to see it, I have the option to edit it down. PBS length is 56:46, almost half the length the film is now. If I want to try to edit it down to that and air it on PBS he could help. Loukinen is finishing his 18th film. This is my first. I should take his advice.
That’s a lot of work.
Having watched it a hundred times I know I could cut out some. There is some repetition and removing some could drive the story forward faster. Half is heart breaking. And stressful to think about.
Maybe I’ll just work on the short versions of camps that didn’t make the final cut. We’ll see.
I thought maybe if it got into film festivals it would garner more attention and I could get more people to see it and hear our cry. I’ll find another way.
I won’t arm myself and occupy any Forest Service buildings and demand everyone in the country watch my film before I leave. Like those in Oregon seeking to take back federal land. That’s a little extreme but did get national attention.
There is another screening coming up in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The first screening outside of Ontonagon County! It will be screened at ArtStart (68 S. Stevens St) on Sunday, March 6th at 1:00 central time. Admission is free. There will be refreshments available. I will also have DVD’s for sale there. Tell your friends.
I also just sold 75 DVD’s.
All those attending one of the Michigan United Conservation Club’s Sportsmans Caucuses next month will receive a DVD courtesy of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. I can thank Shorty Gleason of Tomorrow Camp for that. Hopefully that will result in 75+ more supporters.
You can find some of Michael Luokinen’s work at folkstreams.net. Here is a direct link to one titled “Finnish American Lives” http://www.folkstreams.net/pub/FilmPage.php?title=35