Underground Film Journal

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2011 Calls For Entry: ATA, Cut & Run

By Mike Everleth ⋅ February 2, 2011

Film festival poster featuring a warped movie projector

Here are two excellent events for experimental shorts filmmakers to submit to:

First up, it’s the 6th annual ATA Film and Video Festival, which has evolved into a real powerhouse of experimental media exhibition. It’s two nights of some of the most original, unique, provocative and just plain unusual short films from all over the world.

Held every year in October at San Francisco’s legendary Artists’ Television Access media center, the festival accepts all types of short films, including animation, narrative, abstract, found footage and just about any other filmmaking technique you can think of. However, emphasis is always on the word “experimental” as the films ATA selects really push the boundaries of what film is.

I’ve been lucky that for the past five years ATA has sent me screening copies of the films they screen and it’s truly always one of the highlights of my year. They really know how to sniff out the good stuff. So, if you’ve made a short film, but you’re not quite sure what “experimental” means, a good way to figure out what ATA likes is to read my reviews of last year’s short movies. (And if you’re really ambitious, you can dig through the Underground Film Journal archives for reviews of previous years.)

The dates for this year’s ATA Fest haven’t been posted yet, but as I said above it’s usually held in October sometime. There is only one deadline and one restriction: Your film as to be 20 minutes long or under to be considered. But, this year, the festival is also open to proposals for workshops, installations and media performances. So, send your film or proposal in via the guidelines on the ATA Festival website. The deadline is:

Final Deadline
June 1

Film festival poster designed to look like a crossword puzzle

Next, we have Cut & Run, which started out as another experimental short film event at Artists Television Aceess, but  in 2011 it’s going on a European tour and it wants to take your films with it!

After a successful North American tour last year, Cut & Run organizers Brenda Contreras and Mallary Abel have decided to travel across Europe this year to help spread the good experimental and avant-garde media word.

As for what they’re looking for in submissions, they say they honestly don’t know.  The only guidelines they have is that films be 25 minutes long or under and “deviate from mainstream and traditional cinema and opt towards authentic, brave, challenging, stylized, alternative and imagined subjects.”

Other than that, they plan on being inspired by the submissions they get and craft shows based on the work received, not hammer in things to their own preconceived notions.

Venues and dates are still being hammered out. But, the tour should go all over Europe, so they may need your film to be subtitled if it’s dialogue heavy. If you’re interested, you should go to the Cut & Run official website and read over the guidelines where you can contact the organizers with any questions. The final deadline is:

Final Deadline:
April 7
$10 for one film
$15 for two or more films