The Hidden Film Festival arrives in Toronto this weekend, but that's about all I can tell you about it. Well, almost. I also know the times and locations of the screenings, but as to what will actually be projected on the big screen, that remains a mystery — which is, of course, exactly how festival organizers have planned it. Taking place on subsequent weeks in Dublin, Paris, London and Toronto over the course of July, the festival hopes to use the intrigue generated by its unconventional approach to cast the spotlight on independent filmmakers who could benefit from a little buzz.
In addition to withholding information related to the films that are screening, organizers refuse to invite the press (this could impact the eligibility of these films at larger festivals) and encourages viewers to recount their experiences on social media. Here's how it works, according to the festival website:
"Audience members will buy a ticket to each respective screening and have no idea what films they are about to see. Before and after their screenings, audience members will be encouraged to share their thoughts on each independent film they've seen and the event itself... Industry press will not be invited. Instead we are encouraging everyone to get online and write, tweet and blog about what they have seen or what they think they will be seeing."
It's a somewhat risky proposition — most people want to know what they're paying for before shelling out — but with so many festivals out there, offering something unfamiliar could be enough of a hook to get people in their seats and writing about their experience.
The Hidden Film Festival runs at the Winchester in Cabbagetown at 8pm Saturday July 27th and at the Humber Cinemas at 10am Sunday July 28th. Each day will feature different screenings. Tickets are $10-13.
Photo from the Hidden Film Festivals Facebook page
by Derek Flack via blogTO