Hello and welcome to the wild and wooly world of Experiments in Cinema. I am Bryan Konefsky the founder and director of EIC. I am also el presidente of Basement Films, a position that I secured several years ago on the mean streets of Albuquerque, in a bloodless coup d'état. Basement Films is the non-profit micro-cinema that hosts EIC each year. For more information about Basement Films (one of the last, first wave micro-cinemas still “standing”) see www.basementfilms.org.
After years of attending the good, bad and ugly of film festivals (as both an audience member and participant), I decided—in a dilutional DIY moment—that it was time to cull the "good" from my experiences and create a filmmaker-friendly event that even I would enjoy attending.
Ten years later EIC has grown from a single day production to a week long festival with special screenings, lectures, hands-on workshops, discussion groups and, most importantly, thoughtful exchanges of ideas. Many film festivals do something called “Q & A” (a ridiculous “industry” shorthand for a Hollywood “reach around”).
At EIC we steer clear of this kind of superficial silliness and instead we engage in thoughtful discussion about the state of the art, the state of media politics, and the state of cultural engagement. We actively embrace both new and old technologies in terms of how they might assist in giving us a clear barometric read of who we are, where we have been and where we might go in the future.
To this end Experiments in Cinema embraces the old and the new (and everything in between) screening both digital and analogue formats with our own mighty Keif Henley at the projectionist “helm” (Keif is the owner of the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque—see www.guildcinema.com).
I should also mention that the membership of Basement Films is the back-bone of EIC. Each year all of us come together to produce EIC (in addition to other Basement Films activities) knowing that by the end of the festival we will be dragging ourselves through the Albuquerque streets at dawn looking for another fix, burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of cinema—but, in a good way!
The not-so-secret-secret is that although EIC is an actual film festival, really it is all about getting our local, regional, national and international film “buddies” to come to town for a week, just to see what might happen!