Welcome to the 10th annual RESFEST! This landmark year is a cause for celebration, while affording us the
opportunity for some reflection.
Much has changed in the past decade. RESFEST was founded with the aim of being the first festival to champion the innovative films and videos independent creators were producing with the aid of the powerful new digital tools, like early DV cameras and desktop editing systems, that had just begun reaching filmmakers. We were excited by the notion that anyone with a good idea and a small budget could make and finish a unique, high-quality film at professional standards, and the prospect of what this sea change would mean for the international creative community.
Ten years on, the festival’s ethos is still the same. RESFEST remains a beacon for the world’s most innovative filmmakers; we filter what’s out there to present our audiences a global panorama that represents the finest of today’s filmmaking.
Some things are different, of course. Our first year, we received just 73 submissions, from which we filled two programs; this year, we received a record-breaking 2200 submissions and accepted films from more than 30 countries in compiling 10 programs. That first year, the festival visited five US cities; this year, that number will surpass 45, with stops on six continents, including inaugural visits in Paris, Berlin, Eskisehir, Jakarta and Lima. RESFEST will also break additional new ground this year by presenting the festival in high-definition in a number of locations.
In those halcyon days when RESFEST was just getting started, some commentators were already forecasting the onset of mobile video playback on handheld devices of the day, while others wondered if the Internet could open up new distribution avenues for independent filmmakers. Ten years later, those predictions about the ways technology would offer creators new ways to link to their audiences have begun to come true. We have already seen people make movies with their mobile phones, distribute them online via Web sites like YouTube, and market them through their MySpace pages – and the potential of all these still-nascent tools is a long way from being fully realized.
In this brave new linked-up world, RESFEST’s live, physical, global events take on new importance. In at time when we have unprecedented access to concepts and content from all over the globe, and the world feels smaller than ever before, there’s still nothing better than meeting up with peers to exchange new ideas. This year’s RESFEST anniversary tour celebrates the increasing interconnectedness of the global creative community, and brings its members together to explore the future together.
With this year’s festival identity, Los Angeles- and New York-based Transistor Studios took that concept into uncharted, mythological realms. The company invented a narrative in which the Pangea Ultima is upon us – the earth’s continental plates are shifting back to reform Pangea, the massive super-continent believed to have existed some 200 million years ago – after which time the planet’s original sacred guardians will resume their rightful reign over a place called RES-Land, a conglomerated domain harmoniously occupied by the people, creatures and good knowledge of every continent.
To celebrate this commemorative year, RESFEST will include a pair of special anniversary programs. A Decade of RESFEST: 10 Seminal Short Films compiles the milestone short form work that has epitomized the festival’s creative spirit, while Unsung Heroes: Gems from the Archive acknowledges the importance music videos have always played in the festival with a selection of some of the finest ever to grace RESFEST’s screens.
Following last year’s first-ever artist showcase, devoted to Beck, we continue the tradition with Radiohead, The Visionaries: A Decade of Breaking New Talent, which celebrates the band’s proud history of championing emerging filmmakers. RESFEST programmers worked with the band and commissioner Dilly Gent to offer a unique retrospective of these auteurs’ numerous collaborations with fellow cutting-edge creators – you’ll see work from Jonathan Glazer, Chris Hopewell and Shynola, to name a few. The year’s other special program, Everything Under the Sun: Filmmaking with a Purpose, presents a survey of issues-based short form work.
Our 10th birthday will not have been possible without the support of all of our filmmakers, sponsors, global partners and, most importantly, without you, our audience. Here’s to another decade of RESFEST!