I recently caught up with Sharon Badal, Short Film Programmer of the Tribeca Festival, and what I learned in thirty minutes could land dozens of books on “How to Make Short Films” in the recycle bin. Sharon’s information about this underrated and experimental format, which has long been a filmmaker’s stepping stone, both confirmed some festival dos and donts and disproved some long-held theories about the short film submission process.
For instance, Tribeca loves comedies, frequently gets name talent for their smaller-budgeted projects and contrary to what some believe about the clout of getting their films screened in other festivals first, Tribeca loves giving filmmakers their debut into the world of cinema, as they understand that the short filmmakers of today are the feature filmmakers of tomorrow.
Sharon of course has the credentials to back up her advice as two of her recent selections went to the Oscars, one of which actually won (a proud moment for both her and Tribeca). Of course, not as proud as the feeling she gets when she personally calls a filmmaker to tell them of their entry into Robert DeNiro’s brainchild festival.
To Sharon shorts are a serious business and keeping the bar high forces filmmakers to bring their A-game to her program, which is considered to be highly selective. After hearing her talk you’ll be intrigued, surprised and inspired to grab the nearest camera and yell “Action.”
For more information including the launching of a new web based project (which without a doubt should make Tribeca a very popular and interactive Film Festival for aspiring filmmakers) check out the two-part video interview in sidebar.