No Politics. No Stars. No Sh*t.
This has been our slogan since 1998. What has also been with us since the beginning is something we call ‘THE TRUE LIFE.’ With all the politics that rule festival decisions worldwide - this statement is as TRUE today as it was back then and will remain the mission statement of DWF.
True Life (and always painful)
In the beginning God, along with a lot of struggling filmmakers, created the independent film festival. It was born to celebrate that breed of artists who, thru no fault of their own, were not born into Hollywood’s royalty and therefore had little opportunity to screen their gems; no uncle in production, no cousin that had directed the latest blockbuster. And so it began...
The original intention of the festival was to create a platform so that filmmakers, no matter what their race, color, religion or sexual orientation, could truly get a fair shake after all the blood, sweat and tears of production were over. Through the years, multitudes of festivals sprung up across the globe to accommodate these vagabound warriors.
To a great extent these shindigs foot the bill for a number of years, offering up heaping helpings of raw, unadulterated talent. Then the ‘Players’ showed up...and filmmakers celebrated. They took lunches. They took dinners. They created bidding wars to the enthusiastic delight of the very few.
Then a bad thing happened. Politics. Commercialization. Festivals realized the potential market value and began seeking out films with the word most dreaded by a struggling independent filmmaker - ‘names.’ ‘Known’ actors, ‘known’ directors, ‘known’ producers...you get the point. Films began to ‘premiere’ with distribution in place.
Think of these ‘names’...Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Bryan Singer ...If they were competing in today’s independent festival market with their first films...would they have been given a chance? With the ever increasing supply of low budget projects and the independent film scene at a record high, there has never been a more ripe time for a return to the basics.