My first piece for Turnstyle News:
These screenings are basically marketing ploys, booked to help build positive buzz (ugh, did I really just use that word?) about a film before its release. A skilled marketer can pick out fests that will work to the advantage of the project at hand, but a misfire won’t really hurt a film’s image all that much. The reason is simple: festival audiences tend to really like movies.
I come to SXSW this year without having seen a single film in advance, not even the shorts. The linked piece here is about how these big screenings sometimes seem out of place, but ultimately it’s a win-win for everyone, including the makers of smaller, indie fare.
Give it a read. More to come at Turnstyle during the fest.