Film Reviews

Official Rejection Offers Insider's Look at Film Fests

Official Rejection may be too insidery to appeal to a mass audience, but it's a documentary custom-made for aspiring independent filmmakers and the festival-cruising set. Paul Osborn, the film's director, practically admits as much during the end credits when he asks his interviewees what they thought of his documentary's chances of being picked up. Their responses range from "I thought you were filming a DVD extra" to "Why would anyone want to see this?" Osborn tells the painful story of his struggles to get his latest fiction film, 10 Till Noon, screened at film festivals across the country. Aiming for Sundance and Tribecca, he soon has to lower his expectations and shoot for the smaller festivals (like FLIFF, for instance) to find his audience. Along the way, he interviews Hollywood heavyweights like Bryan Singer, Kevin Smith, Lloyd Kaufman, Jenna Fischer, and the hilarious Chris Gore to get some insider knowledge of film festival acceptance processes and the dismal state of independent film. The film is preaching to a cynical choir of aspiring filmmakers who already realize how hard it is to get into these hugely corporate festivals and it rarely opens up enough to broaden its appeal.

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Brett Gillin