Something that hasn't come up in this discussion yet is how the whole state of 
film festivals thing impacts junior faculty teaching 'filmmaking'. A few 
schools will demand actual publishing from these folks as a prereq for tenure, 
but at this point most will be looking to an exhibition record as evidence of 
suitable 'professional work.' There are some schools that will only hire makers 
with an existing rep to a tenure track line - the kind of folks who can get fee 
waivers as they add some measure of prestige to the festival program. But here 
we're talking about positions defined under some sort of fine art rubric. Where 
the academic program has a more 'liberal arts' approach, they're more likely to 
hire just the kinds of folks Chris Bravo finds at a disadvantage in the 
festival game: "a young person from a fly-over film school with an off kilter 
movie." These folks are also likely to be teachers first and artists second, 
although their job security will probably depend more on their achievements in 
the second category, since tenure and promotion committees only give a rats ass 
about teaching if the candidate is embarassingly bad at it and has no other 
redeeming qualities, and rarely if ever consider excellence in teaching to be 

You could say the upside for such junior faculty is that while they may be 
underpaid by standards of their level of education or by comparison to junior 
professors in other fields (anything production-related remaining the 
red-headed stepchild in many collegiate settings), they're still better-off 
financially than most struggling film artists outside the academy, and can pay 
a certain amount of those crappy entry feeds and still make the rent, put food 
on the table, and even keep the packets for the Keurig in healthy supply. 

The problem, natch, is that, as Chris and others have already observed, you can 
pay entry fees until all the cows in flyover land come home and still not get 
programmed anywhere, what with so many of the growing list of festivals looking 
for the same thing, and volunteers with sophistication levels down in 
Judd-Apatow-and-J.J.-Abrams-land doing the pre-screening.

I can't say I know anybody who has actually lost their job due to this 
situation, but I'm out of the game and don't that many people... I can say this 
state of things adds considerably to the already heinous levels of stress that 
come with junior professor jobs of any kind.

Yup: it just ain't fair. That's not news or unique of anything, but as Duke 
says in Repo Man, "Yeah, but it still hurts."

I have no ideas about how to improve things, alas, (and some kind of consumer 
boycott isn't a realistic option for the profs...)
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