To whom it may concern,
My name is Nathaniel. I’m a young filmmaker who lives in Darwin, and everything to do with film production has been my passion for as long as I can remember.
As a budding filmmaker, opportunities to showcase my work are hard to come by. I wish there were more ways for me to put my films out there, but here in Darwin, there aren’t many. However, the Fist Full of Films Festival was just that. Over the past seven years, I have tried to get at least one entry in every year (and in recent years even up to four!). The support and encouragement I received from other filmmakers, even professionals, was so uplifting and heartening. I felt like my work was appreciated, and I would try even harder the following year to make films that far surpassed the quality I could produce previously. It was one of the only places I could really see myself growing as a filmmaker, and very rapidly at that.
Even for interstate film festivals that claimed to support young filmmakers like myself, I felt that the sense of community and connection got lost. Unlike Fist Full, I didn’t get to see my films up on the big screen, (unless I somehow managed to find a few few hundred dollars to fly down for the festival), I don’t get to talk to other filmmakers like myself, and I don’t get to see my audience’s reactions.
To me, this is crucial.
I make my films to be enjoyed by an audience. I find pleasure in seeing my films affecting others- either by making them laugh, or making them cry. It’s the journey that counts, and being able to take others on that journey is what keeps me going as a filmmaker.
When I heard that the Fist Full of Films Festival was to be discontinued due to funding cuts, I felt cut too. This was my Coachella, the most exciting time of the year for me as a filmmaker, getting to see what everyone else had created during the year and being able to showcase my own. Despite it being a non-exclusive film festival, I found myself writing films exclusively for Fist Full, and oftentimes incorporating their ‘Festival Keyword’ where I could. That was all part of the fun.
But now, it’s like that fun has been snatched from underneath me. I know of many other filmmakers at my school, my own peers, who have expressed their disquiet in regards to the cancellation.
Especially for a film festival that doesn’t request a significant amount of funding, mainly due to the volunteering of kind-hearted supporters of local films, I found it hard to believe that such a benevolent community event could have ever been taken away from the community like this.
This is very upsetting.
Now, with Fist Full of Films seemingly thrown out the window, I’m finding it harder and harder to find support for my films. Not only for mine, but for all local next-generation filmmakers.
I’ll sum this up in one sentence: we want Fist Full of Films back.
To view my films, and to see how much I have progressed over the years thanks to the overwhelming support I have received from those I have met through the Fist Full of Films Festival, visit www.natkellyfilms.com or www.youtube.com/abirdstudio