Inside Encounters #3- Editorial

The corridors of Encounters film festival are teeming with youngsters equipped with pens and notebooks, looking for guidance from their more experienced counterparts. This is one of the highlights of Encounters, a festival that has made it one of its chief goals to empower and help young filmmakers as they begin their careers.

If attending the industry focus events and masterclasses, you should not expect new recipes for success. Instead gentle guidance is on the menu, offering advice on personalising your own strategies, and finding the path most compatible with your own tastes.

The atmosphere here is uncharacteristically welcoming, compared with how we might envision the seemingly exclusive film industry. However, the festival so far has proved that whether it be with Oscar winner Richard Williams or NTFS Head of Producing Chris Auty, you’re always welcome to have a follow-up talk with the inspiring speakers over a pint in the café. Networking doesn’t have to be a robotic necessity, but instead can be an opportunity to round up artists who share tastes and interests, and who are genuinely willing to exchange ideas and work together.

Prolific film professionals have abandoned their sarcasm in an attempt to inspire young creators, helping them to identify their niche with a plethora of tips and personal anecdotes. What could be more inspiring for young people than hearing from awardwinning independent film director and wunderkind Rob Savage? He made his first feature film at the age of 18 on a budget of just £3000, and dropped out of film school to have enough time to actually follow his passion and work on films. Similarly, Richard Williams did not yield to Who Framed Roger Rabbit director Robert Zemeckis’ threats to rush his work; this self-confidence and strong work ethic ended up winning them four Oscars.

So, the moral of the story? Make it personal. Let people into your universe. Think strategically. Know that you will probably start by doing the dirty work, but consider when it’s time to move onto the next stage. Evaluate yourself continuously. Shift your actions towards your interests. Aim high, but do this gradually. There are endless opportunities that arise from failure – just don’t go all Howard Hughes if something goes wrong!

By Noemi Gunea