Programmer Profile: Lane Kneedler, AFI Fest

Lane Kneedler
Lane Kneedler

My name: Lane Kneedler My current festival:AFI FEST

My title: Associate Director of Programming

Other fests I've worked for: Sundance, LAFF, Cinevegas

Movies that best represent my personal tastes:Primer, Network, Container, and Chain Camera

When I'm not watching movies I like to: Game, read comics, mainline internet culture.

A movie I recently programmed that I consider to be a great personal discovery: Last year we had the world premiere of the film Playing Columbine by Danny Ledonne. It’s a great film because it highlights how some subject matter requires a long form documentary investigation to be fully understood, some subjects can’t be reduced to a sound bite or 2 minute trailer.

When filmmakers ask me "What's different about your film festival?" I say: Our new free festival model allows us to support filmmakers that are taking more risks. Audiences risk little in coming to see our free show so they can be a little more adventurous, in turn we are looking for filmmakers who are taking risks and making art on the edge. I see our festival as a safe place where we can challenge our boundaries together, audiences and filmmakers alike.

Our festival audience has come to expect: Challenging world cinema and original voices, I hope that’s what they are expecting because that’s what they are getting!

We program the following categories of films: Short both narrative and doc (and experimental), feature length docs and narratives.

A recent trend I have noticed in submissions of which I disapprove: Alarming declines in bribes, would it kill a filmmaker to send a pizza along with their submission? In all seriousness though its always the worst films that come with all sorts of fancy packaging or candy in the box, the best films are always in just plain brown wrapper, that being said I would actually love a pizza right now.

If I could impart one thing to filmmakers about submitting to my festival, it would be: Do your homework, follow instructions and please please don’t take it personally if you get rejected, I wish I had a dozen more theaters to show films in but we simply cannot show all the films we love every year.

Blog URL:

Twitter account:@hlkneedler

Last words: Film is life, art is everything but if you can’t get tickets, try and remember it’s only a movie.