Filmmakers Anonymous is made up of a collective of individuals who work together to host film screenings. Called “FA” for short; the collective screens independent short films and documentaries made by both experienced and first-time filmmakers alike.
FA was formed in 2006 on the basis that most screenings are curated and so many filmmakers who were still fresh or relatively unknown were being left out in favour of bigger names. While this ensured the films being screened matched the screening’s theme. It also meant that there was insufficient support for budding filmmakers or for less commercially accessible films.
FA has only two policies. The first is that it does not curate films. Everything submitted is screened subject only to available screen time. The second is that filmmakers attend screenings themselves.
The reason behind these two policies is central to what FA is about. As film is a medium requiring an audience in order to function, FA provides a platform for these films to be screened to a live viewership. This is imperative towards the evolution of a filmmaker. By being able to see what an audience will accept and how they react to elements within a film, the filmmaker is able to progress and improve her storytelling abilities and thus go on to make better films on more complex subjects.
This safe space is important as both a support system for the development of the arts at a grassroots level as well as being a powerful communication tool within the community. Films and documentaries are unique in that they allow for a cross pollination of ideas and perspectives that defy social differences such as race, economic background and gender.
To date FA has successfully hosted 23 screenings. Each screening is between 60mins to 80mins long with films ranging from 2mins to 20mins long. An FA screening hosts from 6 to 9 films with each film being represented by at least one individual from the filmmaking team. In the past, this has meant that directors, producers, editors, director of photography, art directors and even actors have participated in discussions about their work, the filmmaking process and what the audience thought about what they had watched.
It is not our policy to tout a “best film/filmmaker” list but a full archive of films screened by Filmmakers Anonymous as of FA’s 23rd Screening is available online at http://filmmakersanonymous.blogspot.com
Response-wise, FA has been witnessing a steady increase of viewership. Screenings now typically hold between 50 – 100 or more audience members. The online and on ground database has 5000 individuals connected to it and is still growing. At present, film submissions have exceeded screen time availability and we are now screening based on a waiting list of films submitted.