An "embarrassment of riches" is an idiom. Essentially, its meaning is "an overabundance of something, or too much of a good thing". I've found myself this past week stuck in an "embarrassment of riches" in context to Canted Angle Film Festival, my newest venture as a business owner and brand-builder.
I'm embarrassed, in a way, that I have too many films to watch than I have time to display the best of the submissions I've received. Currently, I have 881 submissions sitting in my Film Freeway inbox. In terms of time, that's 287h:46m:14s of film, give or take 5 hours or so of incorrectly-timed films, of which there are a few.
Now, what am I gonna do with nearly three-hundred hours of films in a three-hour show, held at the prestigious Lyric Theater in Harrison, Ark? The onus of Canted Angle Film Festival was to put Arkansas and Missouri-centric filmmakers on a platform and show their work to a physical audience in a theater setting, a feat that many filmmakers never get the luxury of experiencing.
I know, for many years, I've wished to see my movies in a larger setting with groups of people who don't immediately know me, though I do love my friends and family for the attention they've given my work. As a director, writer, and actor myself, I spend a lot of time lamenting about how few people ever see, or are interested in, the films I make.
Thus, I decided to create a platform that I could assemble, control, and offer to local and regional filmmakers, in exchange for nothing. I just wanted to put my friends on. Despite my shares, direct contacts, and urgings, I never garnered much interest from the local pool.
I hosted an event last year called DeezoFest Film Festival, also at the Lyric Theater, to a crowd of around 50. It was a fun time, and I just barely filled the show's timeframe with local films. Now, I obviously have a much larger pool to select from; in fact, I have the whole world to select from this year! I just don't have the time to watch everything.
So, with that said, Canted Angle Film Festival started as a way of bringing my friends into a building and sharing their work with each other. Through Film Freeway's generous hosting, my opportunities crossed language barriers, oceans, air, and politics. I'm supremely grateful for all of the submissions.
I feel a tremendous weight has been lifted by having so many submissions for my new festival. I also feel a new pressure in announcing that I am not currently prepared to make my festival an international affair; I don't have the accreditation or the time to watch the nearly 720 films that came from overseas.
I wish I had all the time in the world. I wish I had a four-day event that I could host groups of films from different worlds than my own, to be able to group them by continent, country, region. That is my future, and not my present. Realistically, I'm one man who is a caretaker, business owner, and artist whose life is expanding exponentially, immediately, remorselessly. I'm in the midst of editing my own films and turning them into a national film chain for their October programming, as well as sitting down with my judges and watching films from across America.
I am currently both the dungeon master and the player-paladin. I'm learning to re-prioritize in a new way, with new workloads, with new people. It's an exciting time, an "embarrassment of riches" to let you all know I have more beautiful art for my festival than I could've ever imagined, and could use. I'm watching every film from North America, peering under the watchful eye of both my roles as a consumer and a filmmaker.
I hope I don't fail any of you and your films. If I do, know that I tried, and selected what I saw as the most brilliantly bizarre, eloquently elastic, proverbially ponderous films that fit within the framework of the Canted Angle Media onus. I love each of you and your work. Please, forgive me, and know that I'm on the ground level with you in the work you've put into your film.
I didn't ask for your money because, as an independent filmmaker, someone's already taken it from you elsewhere. In the future, I will charge fees for films, simply so I may return that money to you via gifts and fantastic awards packages. Hang with me that long, and I'll make it more than worth your while. You, filmmaker, are important to me. Bless you and all the life and time you put into your film. I'll see you at the theater.