Ever since the movies made their first buck, the craft has become a business largely controlled by a select sphere of muckety-mucks who tend to view art with dollar signs in their eyes. Wielding more power than taste, movie moguls ordain much of what we will and will not see at the local multiplex. Distribution defines success--and getting something out there is a tricky task indeed. Or is it? With the help of the Internet, filmmakers are getting the opportunity to bypass big business all together and peddle their wares directly to the public. Employing the Net as an ever-ready, no-frills/no-fuss/no-attitude film festival, filmmakers are feeding their works over the wires.
The Real Short Film Festival is one of a slew of cyber-venues where Netizens can bypass the prohibitive red velvet ropes and feast on cinema in the privacy of their own homes.
Sure, the movie screen is the size of a matchbox. Sure, there's Net-congestion and the tendency for the image to distort into unintentional cubism. But with video streaming, viewers can watch the film as it downloads. Eliminating the wait, video streaming puts the fun back in multimedia for those with svelte bandwidth.
Of course, the Real Short Film Festival (http://www.film.com/reviews/rev_ff/98siff/filmlist/) is sponsored by Film.com, itself under the auspices of RealNetworks, which makes the Real Video plug-in that employs video streaming. Still, the Real Short Film Festival is the Internet's largest cinematic showcase, boasting some 30 acclaimed short films from around the world. With categories that include drama, comedy, documentary and animation, the festival will be judged by a select jury panel. The winning film will be announced Sunday.