It has been a long and arduous process in making the selection for this year's Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), August 7-12, 2002. 803 entries were received this year, making the judging process difficult and at times painful since we have only so many slots for exhibition. Many fine entries were received and deciding which films will be able to play has not been an easy one. This is the reason for the delay in informing all filmmakers of their status within the festival - a great many changes occured, and we decided to put final notification on hold until we could truly secure the schedule. Our apologies for the delay and any trouble this might have caused.

That being said, unfortunately, I am sorry to report, your film was not selected. We tried to keep it as democratic as possible making sure that each film received at least three viewings by different judges. When there was a question, an ombudsman was assigned to review the film again. In the end, the films selected were based on a grade scale that had the potential of 12 applicable questions worth 10 points a piece. A percentage was determined on each entry from the combined judging score.

The problem here, we discovered, as we began booking the schedule was that a high scoring film might not be selected due to exhibition limitations. Since everything was chosen in order of scoring, when our available slots were filled in a given category, we had to stop and many titles that were worthy of screening could not be booked. There was just no more space.

I know, you're saying, this is just a rejection. Well, it is and it isn't.

Please know that we at the Film Festival respect your work. We know what time and effort you put into your film. You have not lost in our book. The fact that you were able to make a film at all is a great statement and something you should take great pride in.

Judging, no matter how scientifically you devise it, is still a subjective product. Even with a system of checks and balances, it ultimately boils down to a personal opinion. And, in our case, an issue of time spaces available.

I know that it is probably not much of a consolation, but sending this type of letter is not any easy thing. We are all filmmakers ourselves and none of us have looked forward to sending out this letter. We've gotten them ourselves.

We really appreciate your entry into our Festival. Thank you. Best of luck in your future projects.

Sincerely,

Heather Bryant,
Program Director
Rhode Island International Film Festival