Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Mission accomplised: Interview 'successful'

Well, apparently I was more like Ted Kramer and less like Borat! I just got an email from the Director of East End Film Festival and even though I did not get accepted for the position that I applied for (that of the festival assistant), she proposed a different position that she feels like it fits better to my personality, my qualities and my career goals: that of a Programming Assistant.

Source: http://www.wnff.net/index.php?topic=29065.0, taken from 'Singing in the Rain' (1952), directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly

I feel like I wanna go out into the street and start dancing like Gene Kelly in 1952's Singin in the Rain (the weather will totally help to recreate the original environment of the movie, as it is pouring outside). Even though after the interview was over I felt quite confident, I never expected that I will get a job that is even better than the one that I applied for!

Programming a film festival is the equivalent of curating an art exhibition. You are responsible for researching for films that fit with the ethos of the festival, putting the festival's programme together in such a way so as to create an exciting, entertaining but also educational and intriguing experience for the festival's audience. It's the heart of every film festival and an essential part of film culture. 

Each festival has its own aesthetics and deals with specific types of films or themes. Festival programmers are responsible for staying true to the festival's ideals and promote its ideology. Moreover, as Julian Stringer mentions in his book 'Neither One Thing nor the Other: Blockbusters at Film Festivals' (2003), film curatorship is also influenced by (and it also affects, respectively) financial strategies that occur when various deals take place between the industry and the festival.


Now, regarding East End Film Festival, it was founded at the beginning of the 21st century and it is one of the biggest film festivals in the country. According to its website, it is held annually in London where it attracts more than 30,000 film lovers per year. It showcases novel and daring films from all over the world, but mostly focuses in the work of first or second time directors. It also has a vast variety of partnerships and sponsors that include the British Film Institute, Amnesty International, Film London, The Barbican, 3 Mills Studios and Shooting People. What is even more impressive is its list of patrons, that includes the Academy Award winner and film legend Danny Boyle, director of 'Trainspotting' (1996) and 'Slumdog Millionaire' (2008), the brilliant Joe Wright, director of 'Atonement' (2007) and 'Hanna' (2011), as well as the renowed composer Michael Nyman,nominated for three Golden Globes for his work in 'The Piano' (1993), 'Gattaca' (1997) and 'The End of the Affair' (1999).

Next Wednesday is the day that I will officially become a member of the East End Film Festival team. I cannot wait!


  • East End Film Festival, n.d.. About us. Available at http://www.eastendfilmfestival.com/about-us [Accessed 23 February 2014]
  • East End Film Festival, n.d.. East End Film Festival partners and supporters. Available at http://www.eastendfilmfestival.com/sponsors [Accessed 23 February 2014]
  • East End Film Festival, n.d.. Our Patrons. Available at http://www.eastendfilmfestival.com/patrons [Accessed 23 February 2014]
  • Stringer, J., (2003). Neither One Thing nor the Other: Blockbusters at Film Festivals. In J. Stringer, ed. 2003. Movie Blockbusters. London/New York: Routledge. pp. 202–213.

Friday, 21 February 2014

First Interview

After 9 unsuccessful applications (for which I either got a negative response or none at all), I finally got an interview invitation from the East End Film Festival. This is beyond exciting but, I will not lie, it also makes me feel a little tense. I have not been interviewed for a job for a very long time, and I am afraid that I might be a little rusty. Thankfully, the Careers Service of King's College have been quite helpful. I went there to get some advice the day after I received the positive reply from the East End Film Festival (which, by the way, was my second choice for an internship, as I mentioned in my Internship Plan) and the lady that I met reminded me of the basic dos and don'ts:

1) Learn as much as you can about the company. It always helps if you look interested in their works and know what they have been doing in the past. That way they feel that you have a personal connection with their organisation already.
2) Don't hide your weaknesses but make them look like they can turn into assets for the company. For me that is the most difficult part as I always found the question 'What is your weakness?' ridiculous. The obvious answer is 'I am a perfectionist' but if you really want to stand out you need to be more creative.
3) Be relaxed and confident, but do not exaggerate. Do not act like you own the place but try and show that you really want to work there and that you have everything it takes.

My interview is in 4 days, which gives me a lot of time to prepare. For now, I am just looking at cinematic examples of job interviews. I will try to avoid looking like this ...

... and be more like this ...

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Applications mode on

When the very stressful weeks of essay writing (for my optional module "Art of Management: Management of Art") got over, and the essay was successfully submitted, it seemed like the right time to resume my quest for an internship. After visiting the Careers Centre, I earned valuable advice on how to write my CV and covering letter, and I incorporated their corrections and suggestions in the latest version of my CV. I, then, started communicating with the companies that were at the top of my list

Source: http://gifs-for-the-masses.tumblr.com/post/20887519814, taken from 'Mulan' (1998), directed by Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook

My first attempt was fruitless, as, after all, it seems that Sundance Film Festival London is not looking for interns. However, that does not mean that I cannot apply for a position as a volunteer, which will at least fulfil my goal of enhancing my CV by adding experience gained in the UK. As for the rest of the companies (DNA, See-Saw, Recorder Picture Company), none of them has replied yet, which either means that they rejected me or that they are taking their time. I choose to keep positive and believe the latter; after all, it has been just 10 days since I emailed all of them. I guess I should be more patient.

Source: http://stuffpoint.com/harry-potter/image/52955/i-dont-like-to-be-kept-waiting-picture/, taken from 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2', directed by David Yates

From now on, I will open up my research to more possibilities. My essay for "Art of Management" was focusing on the problems that the film distribution industry is facing nowadays, in an era of digitisation and financial crisis. During my research on the subject, I realised that distribution is an aspect of film that is also quite intriguing. It might not be a bad idea to explore my options in that field as well. I randomly came across a distribution company named Peccadillo Pictures, which is the main distributor of LGBT movies in the UK, and has actually distributed some of my most favourite queer films of all time. I was lucky enough to find out that they are currently looking for interns. My next move will be to get in touch with them, and try and find even more distribution companies, in order to broaden my horizons as well as my opportunities for an internship.