Saturday, 26 April 2014

Can I please have this job forever?

Source:, taken from 'The Devil Wears Prada' (2006), directed by David Frankel

I begin to realise that working in a warm, friendly and creative environment such as the one of EEFF is probably one of the best things that happened to my short professional career. It is indeed really important to find a job that gives you pleasure, especially if you plan to do this job for a lot of years to come. My parents worked in jobs that they never liked, and I could see how exhausted they were from the endless routine of their jobs that did not give anything back to them apart from a relatively good salary. I am glad that they always pushed me to pursue my dreams, since now I am realising that having a job that fulfils you is crucial. After all, you spend 1/3 of your day working, you might as well do something that you feel like it is worth it. 

Working at EEFF does not feel like a burden to me. Obviously, it can be really stressful some times, mostly because I want to make a good impression through my work, but at the same time I am enjoying it so much that it feels like I am not even working. What saddens me though is that working at film festivals is rarely a stable job. Like most of the jobs in the Cultural and Creative Industries, at least according to Gill's research (2011), it is a project based job that you do for up to 6 months per year (if you are lucky), and then you have to seek other projects for the rest of the year. Some people work here part time, while having another stable job all year through. Most of them though are not that fortunate. The CCIs are ruthless and demanding. And, especially in the film business, based on what we discussed in the office the other day with people that are more experienced than me, if you do not make a big name for yourself (or work in the top organisations in the field like the BBC or the BFI) it is highly unlikely that you will ever make enough money so that you could afford a flat on your own, especially in a city like London. That is why networking is such an essential part of our industries. On the other hand, as I said to my father when he told me that my life is going to be really difficult if I choose to follow this path, I prefer to starve than have a job that makes me miserable.

At this point, a montage of inspirational speeches from movies seems like the key to lighten the mood and regain confidence:


  • Gill, R., 2002. Cool, Creative and Egalitarian? Exploring Gender in Project-Based New Media Work in Euro. Information, Communication & Society, [online] 5:1, pp. 70-89. Available at: [Accessed 24 April 2014].

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Money makes the world go round

Money cannot buy happiness but it can buy practically everything else. Today EEFF launched its crowd-funding campaign, in order to keep on offering free parallel activities, along with its main programme. A few months ago, the festival became constituted as a non-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC). CICs, according to the official website of the UK government, are social enterprises that use their surplus for the public good; they reinvest any profits they have in their business instead of taking advantage of it by dispersing it among shareholders.

That, of course, puts limits to what activities the festival is able to organize and what kind of films it can attract. In other words, financial deficiency puts restrictions into EEFF's creativity. However, EEFF wants to stay independent, which is an honourable choice, and for this reason, a crowd-funding campaign seems like a rational venture. It is a smart move, as EEFF takes pride in being a festival for and of the people. Headline sponsors and stakeholders are unnecessary.

Source:, taken from 'Bridesmaids' (2011), directed by Paul Feig

All this brings in mind some of the main issues we discussed in one of my optional modules, Art of Management: Management of Art. According to Justin Lewis 'Art, Culture and Enterprise' (1990, p.5), art is a 'cultural practice' that entails the production of a particular object, which functions 'as a self-conscious, personal, or collective expression of something'. On the other hand, economics is a science which analyses social behaviour 'as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses' (Robbins, 1945, p.16). For me, the combination of these two is the essence of what my job and every job in the Cultural and Creative Industries ensues. Even though profit might not always be the purpose, the cultural industries, as all other industries, need an financial basis on which to prosper (Frey, 2003).

Source:, taken from 'The Wolf of Wall Street' (2013), directed by Martin Scorsese

What do all of these mean in a practical level? Relentlessly negotiating screening fees and trying alternative deals with sales representatives, venue owners, and so on. Insufficient funds can sometimes lead you to deadlocks. It is true that the commercialization of art can degenerate it, and undermine its value and its mission (Austin and Devin, 2009). However, as Jonathan Swift said 'a wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart'. And that's EEFF's mentality in a sentence.


  • Austin, R., Devin L., 2009. It Is Okay for Artists to Make Money. No, Really, It's Okay. Harvard Business School: Cambridge.
  • Frey, B., 2003. Arts & Economics: Analysis & cultural policy. Springer Verlag: Berlin.
  • Gov.UK, n.d.. Community Interest Companies. Available at: [Accessed 16 April 2014].
  • Kickstarter, 2014. East End Film Festival. Available at: [Accessed 16 April 2014].
  • Lewis, R., 1990. Art culture & enterprise. Routledge: London.
  • Robbins, L., 1945. An Essay on the Nature & Significance of Economic Science. Macmillan and Co: London.