DIFF Daily 2011

Now To – ‘How To’...

Dec 07,2011 - 11:54 PM

By Rania Habib

As the dust settled on the 2010 7th Dubai International Film Festival, Colin Stanfield was already thinking of new ways to present – and demystify- the many twists and turns of the film industry to budding filmmakers.

Enter the 8th DIFF, and Stanfield – executive director of the Nantucket Film Festival- will be moderating five ‘How To’ sessions between international film professionals and participants at the Dubai Filmmart. ‘We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to draw on a variety of different guest pools, from all over the world,’ says Stanfield. ‘We’ll leverage the attendance of filmmakers at the festival, so we have a very high level of participants.’

Sessions will explore various topics within the business of filmmaking, from story development, to finance and distribution, and short film production. ‘We’re going to communicate information en masse, and create an interactive forum for it to take place,’ says Stanfield. ‘There will also be networking sessions, which represent another opportunity for us to efficiently communicate information.’

The networking sessions will take place over five days, and will work as roundtables, with a host of industry experts. Stanfield says that for up-and-coming filmmakers, there’s something for everyone. ‘There are a lot of people for whom the market is still a little opaque,’ he explains. ‘The introduction of ‘how-to’ sessions this year is an entry point for a lot of people who might feel intimidated trying to structure a formal business meeting with someone from a different career level. So this is a more inviting forum for people.’

At the end of the day, Stanfield says that the main reason filmmakers attend film festivals, is to build connections. ‘The panels may be great and the film library may be great, but why people attend festivals as industry participants is to network with their colleagues – and it’s particularly important for us to create this environment for casual meetings. You can strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you, and who knows what kind of collaboration that will lead to.’

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