Back in February, I submitted ms and me to the Reality Bytes film festival at NIU. This festival had been recommended to me by teachers at my university where I produced both ms and me and Lights. The Reality Bytes festival is strictly limited to student work, so my professors felt that my films would do well there. ms and me was the only film submitted because Lights was too long by about five minutes.
The notification date for this festival was set to be April 1st, but I received an earlier response (which I definitely appreciate). Unfortunately, my notification wasn’t a positive one. I was notified on March 28th that ms and me was not selected to be in the Reality Bytes film festival for 2016.
I can’t help but be bummed out when I get messages like that, but it’s not entirely new. It stings a bit more than normal with ms and me because the film is so personal to me, but there is every possibility that my personal connection to the film doesn’t connect well with people who don’t know me. I’ve been reassured several times by people that the message does come through in the film, but I can’t seem to shake the feeling that it doesn’t.
While I’m no stranger to being denied at festivals, this is definitely a humbling moment after having such success at the Geneva Film Festival earlier this month. It reminds me that I still have work to do on my professional journey. I’m not yet where I’m meant to be. I still have learning to do and experience to gain.
This does remind me that it may be time to start winding down with promotion of these films. Both Lights and ms and me were complete in April of 2015, and we’re gradually approaching the one year mark since then. With money being so tight for festival submission fees, it will soon be time to start working on something new.