Is It Worth It? By Helen Wells, FFF

Organising the submission entries takes time.  Lots of time.  Too much time really…..but is it worth it?

Having looked after submissions for many years, you would think that I would be used to the process by now and that the experience would be run of the mill, or even, mundane.  Oh no, not for me!  Once the Call for Entries has been made, I am like a little girl on Christmas morning rushing downstairs to see if Santa has visited, waiting for that first notification to ping into my inbox informing me that an entry has been received.  And then we are off for another year.  One, two, three and then another and another, until I am inundated, trying to process the entries as quickly as possible to notify each filmmaker that their film has been received and the entry is complete, ready for viewing.

Knowing that filmmakers want to be part of our festival, is a great feeling!  Knowing that they keep returning year after year is even better.   I love the interaction with them –  some just reply with a quick note, others need more time guiding them through the entry process, some are even just glad for an acknowledgement.  So after hundreds of emails and numerous phone calls, all the while viewing the films as they come in, entry has now closed for another year.  Then a quick rest before its time for selection and programming!

We have received more entries this year than ever before and the standard is extremely high.  Viewers coming to the festival are in for a real treat.  But who will be selected?  Who will get through to the next stage?  Will my favourites be there?  Who will win the prizes?  All films are currently with the Selection Judges.  Submitters will be notified in mid-April as to whether or not they have been selected to proceed further in the competition.  Then to the Category Judges to view and we will know the winners soon enough!

This year I have spent time in Space, attended a fashion show, met an highly intelligent mosquito, a preacher, many troubled individuals and even a West Cork call girl!  I have been entertained in a squat and for a brief few minutes even went back in time.  I have felt awe, love, loathing heartbreak, laughter, tears and shock.  Alongside Hilary, Pauline and Aidan, I have been transported to 26 different counties around the world in just over 52 hours, loving almost every minute!

But is it worth it?  Absolutely!