Festival Watch
We, the Jury
Emru Townsend · From fps #3 · July 1, 2005 | One of the perverse pleasures of film festivals is trying to get into the heads of the selection committee. There's always at least one short that makes you scratch your head and wonder, "What were they thinking when they let that in?" Or sometimes you find yourself wondering why that amazing short you saw at that other film festival last month didn't make it into this one.

I've been asking myself those questions for years, and just a few months ago, I had the opportunity to find out for myself.

In mid-March, I went to Emeryville, California, to be part of the Computer Animation Festival (CAF) jury for this year's SIGGRAPH conference. These things don't happen by accident, of course; in late 2004 I'd made a volunteer application, for the third time in as many years. It just so happened that this year's CAF jury chair decided I'd made the cut.

The result: three and a half long days in dark rooms as one of seven jurors, along with six other CAF 2005 committee members, intently watching short (and occasionally not so short) films, hoping to arrive at a consensus in deciding what could be considered the best computer-animated films of the year. It was fun, it was exhausting, and it was highly educational. While I'm sure no two film juries are alike, I hope this glimpse into this year's CAF selection process will make future festivals a bit less befuddling for you.

Want to read the rest of this article?

You'll find it and many other articles in the July 2005 issue of fps, available as a free download.
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