Programmer Profile: Dan Krovich, Atlanta Film Festival

Dan KrovichMy name: Dan Krovich My current festival: Atlanta Film Festival

My title: Festival Director

Other fests I've worked for: Maryland Film Festival

Three movies that best represent my personal tastes: Three was definitely too few, but I decided to limit myself to 10. (Of course, then I went to 11.) Capturing the Friedmans, Elephant, Funny Games, Harold and Maude, Hukkle, Morvern Callar, Moulin Rouge, Piranha, Primer, Schizopolis, The Unbelievable Truth.

When I'm not watching movies I like to: Who would have thought that this would be the most difficult to answer? I like sports, but I seem to do a lot more watching of them than playing - tennis, football, college basketball. I also like to read, and I seem to be more on a nonfiction kick lately.

A movie I recently programmed that I consider to be a great personal discovery: Make-Out With Violence - What I liked most about it is that I couldn't easily describe it. It didn't fall into a simple categorization so it felt very fresh. It had creativity, originality, and the energy of new filmmakers.

When filmmakers ask me "What's different about your film festival?" I say: We're a general festival in that we show all genres and types of films, and I feel like we are really democratic across the genres. For example, the competition section will often feature films that might traditionally play in a midnight section at other festivals.

Our festival audience has come to expect: What I hope they've come to expect is to be challenged. We have our share of what I would call the more "mainstream indies" from indie distributors that are doing the festival circuit. Those are great, but I really like it when I see an audience take a chance on something that perhaps doesn't come with a recognizable cast or a pedigree of showings at the major festivals.

We program the following categories of films: narrative features, documentary features, narrative shorts, documentary shorts, animated, experimental.

A recent trend I have noticed in submissions of which I disapprove: One thing I've noticed a lot that I'm not a big fan of is starting the film at the end and then jumping back in time. It can take the suspense out of the rest of the movie because I know where the movie has to end up, and if you put a character in jeopardy I know they have to get to the scene that I've already seen. I was trying to come up with a trend that would be positive, but when you watch so many entries anything that you see enough to classify as a trend can become old quickly.

The submissions period for our next festival is: Our final submission deadline is December 18, 2009

Filmmakers can contact me here:

If I could impart one thing to filmmakers about submitting to my festival, it would be: Originality is a big key to standing out. We receive many very good submissions, and they can sometimes run together and start to seem overly familiar. A film stands out when there's something about it that feels new and fresh. It can be the story, a character, a setting, or filmmaking style. That's a difficult thing to pull off when a programmer is watching literally hundreds of films, but when you see it it's really exciting, and it can make you forget about some of the shortcomings a film might have in other areas.