Film, especially documentary films, have always captivated my attention. Over the years, I’ve seen some amazing experimental film and video art works that had me wanting to support this particular art form at every opportunity. When I learned about the Free Form Film Festival (FFFF) and viewed some of the works from previous years, I was impressed with the caliber and the quality of the concepts. Co-founders, Tyrone Davies and Ryan Wylie have been running the FFFF)for over 10 years! I had the opportunity to catch up with Tyrone for some Q & A. Check out what he had to say and learn more about the festival!!
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What was the impetus for the Free Form Film Festival (FFFF)?
FFFF came out of a desire to screen films that most festivals do not screen. Ryan and I were realizing how few venues there were for genre-defying work. It seems like every fest has a box hey want to put you in. If you don’t fit, you don’t get shown. We thought there should be more festivals (I still can’t think of one) that were truly open to all forms, genres, lengths etc.
How did you get the name Free Form Film Festival (FFFF)?
The name Free Form Film Festival comes directly from our mission – to curate works challenging standard “form” or are even free of preconceptions about form and genre.
What is the difference between FFFF and other film festivals? Since FFFF has been happening for over the past 10 years, what was the motivation for you and Ryan to expand and start fundraising at this point?
Since we are often considered to be an experimental film festival, we don’t seem to get as many narratives or documentaries submitted to us. But our aim is to show anything we consider to be innovative. We aim to be as eclectic as possible. We value the cross-pollination of ideas as well. I feel this is pretty unique. As time goes on, our concept of what a film is has expanded. There’s a lot of video art and other media art that is repetitive or has no real “end” so that work is hard to show to an audience. But we have made adjustments in some cases with multiple screens, or curating segments from larger works. Even though we can’t do all the things a gallery can do, we try to adjust for exciting content regardless of the form it takes.
As for the fundraising, we have a lot of reasons. The biggest financial concern entails hosting the visiting filmmakers who show their work and lecture. We want to elevate the festival by bringing in known makers. This year, I was able to secure funds to bring Bay Area makers, Mike Kuchar, Craig Baldwin, Jennifer Kroot, and Jamie Meltzer to Denver to show and discuss their films in person! This was a one-time thing that only affected Denver, but it was great. The Kickstater funding can do this in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. The other big thing is that some (not all) of our shows are free. The films with a modest fee still accrue production costs. We could use the flexibility. Also, we are working on some web development for our site but that is minimal. The main reason for the money is visiting lecturers in the three cities – San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Denver!!
What are you hoping will happen with FFFF? Do you want this to travel to other cities? Will FFFF have a base city?
After all the travel we have already done, we want to put down some roots. Right now, it seems like Denver, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City are the best choices. In the long run, we will definitely stay in San Francisco. We will always do some shows in less likely locations too but we don’t intend to keep traveling the way we once did. It’s just too difficult to do this and you can’t build audiences as easily. Again, this is why we are fundraising. We want to help bring artists to meet the community.
For those interested in submitting work for consideration to FFFF, what are you and Ryan looking for during the submission and deliberation process?
For submissions, we want people to send us work that is thoughtful and innovative. We don’t care if it’s a narrative, a documentary, an experimental film, video art, or anything else. We look for work that is conceptually strong.
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Below, is Brian Dewan’s, King of Instrument short film was featured in the past at the Free Form Film Festival (FFFF)