a GianT PuZZLe With too many Pieces interview by Attila Mocanu
Claudette Godfrey is the Short Film Programmer & Operations Manager at SxSW (South by Southwest) in austin, which is one of the world's most famous music/ﬁlm/interactive festivals. We had a chat with Claudette about the pressure she has when programming ﬁlms at such a popular festival and how she approaches short ﬁlms in the time of new media.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your professional career. How did you get to program short films at South by Southwest? I was born and raised in Austin, Texas and I am currently the Film Festival Operations Manager and the Short Film Programmer. I was first involved with SXSW during my second year of film studies, working first as a volunteer and then as a seasonal assistant. Upon graduating I moved to Las Vegas to work for the CineVegas Film Festival, but moved back to Austin to take a full-time position with SXSW in 2008. Now I am responsible for curating the 10 short film programmes the festival screens
66 WOSH by Daazo.com
each year, managing all film submissions to the festival and overseeing the organisational big picture for the event.
What kind of pressure do you have programming short films at such a popular festival? Programming is like a giant puzzle with too many pieces so the biggest pressure is probably the responsibility I feel to filmmakers. ere are always too many good films and too few programming slots. We can only accept a very small percentage of the films that are submitted and we want to make sure every film has a fair shot. Every year when we send rejections it breaks my heart. It is disappointing for those filmmakers and I know how much time, money and passion is being put into those films. What influences your programming choices? ere are many variables that influence my choices. Of course, story is the most important and the style and directorial voice with which that story is told. Beyond that, I consider the economy of the runtime, the film's premiere status, where the film has screened previously, if the film is available online and how many views it has received. Of course, all those factors go out the window when I see something I really love. en, no matter what, I'll show the film if I can.
World of Shorts (WOSH), the magazine published by Daazo.