On Set: How festival jurors view films

<p>One of the awards to be given at the 2008 <a id=Naperville Independent Film Festival.  |  Jonathan Miano/Staff photographer

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One of the awards to be given at the 2008 Naperville Independent Film Festival.  |  Jonathan Miano/Staff photographer

The Naperville Independent Film Festival awards films and filmmakers in 11 categories ranging from Best Feature and Best Director to Best Student Produced, Best Music Video and Best Mobile Video. Here, Ed Rivas discusses how the festival juries consider the film entries.

There are two basic manners in which film festival jurors view films: alone or together. There are considerations to each method.
When film jurors view a film together, it is usually in a theater-like environment with a large screen. This requires additional coordination to create a more formalized ritual. When viewed individually, jurors may view the film on various screen sizes at various locations and times.
When viewed together, there is an element of social dynamics that is not applicable when viewed independently. For example, audience laughter at certain points may influence a juror. When viewed separately, each juror is interpreting the film solely based on personal reactions.
Some film festivals allow jurors to deliberate together after a group viewing to determine scores. This allows for a quicker consensus but may also introduce challenges of group communication and power positioning within the group. When viewed separately, each juror records the score based solely on the personal evaluation. The jurors convene later to discuss the consolidated and averaged scoring. This approach requires greater time commitment and scheduling from jurors.
While the Naperville Film Festival employs the solo film viewing approach, please share if you prefer to see a film with others or alone and why.

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