A post-script: The information below is important, but please note that there is a second, more recently added page,"Youth, Beauty, Idealism, Hopes, Dreams," that discusses serious deficiencies in the Boston University College of Communication Department of Film and Television screenwriting and film production programs in particular in even more detail than they are dealt with on this page. It is available in the right-hand menu under the listings for April 2015 or by clicking on this link.
Provincial or regional screenings don't count. Festivals just don’t count. With the exception of a few truly selective film festivals in America and Europe (Berlin, Rotterdam, Cannes, Sundance, South by Southwest, Telluride, the New York Film Festival, and a few others), the bar to get into a festival is so embarrassingly low that playing in 99 percent of the film festivals in the world counts for nothing. Nothing. Film festival directors and museum and archive curators are delighted to do favors for academics who will send their students to see their films. It's how they supplement their budgets. They have dozens of screening slots to fill, and are delighted to have something, anything to put into the off-peak ones (where they know a maximum of twenty people will show up to see whatever they program). They will accept more or less anything they can get their hands on.
I'm sorry to say that virtually all of the film production teachers at my own university's film production program at Boston University fail ALL of the preceding tests. But don't be discouraged. You can do better. There are other universities (Columbia, NYU, UCLA, and many others) where virtually all of the film production teachers have actually made real movies that real people have seen and real newspapers have reviewed. Don't waste your money. Don't throw it away. Find a real film program with real filmmakers in it.
My Dean’s sole response to this particular memo, if it matters, was sternly to admonish me for having written what I had and having said the things I had said. He did not ask to meet with me to discuss the issues I had raised. He did not promise to look into the situation. He significantly did not tell me that any of the statements I made were false or misleading. He only deplored the fact that I had made them, and told me it was extremely uncollegial of me to have sent such a memo to him. I was not being a team-player. As he has told me on numerous occasions, saying things like this was “making trouble,” and branded me as being “a troublemaker.” (I was of course punished for what I had written and said, here and elsewhere, in the next pay cycle).
The only thing that gets left out of that point of view is the students and their needs. They are forgotten. They disappear. Everything becomes about faculty members going-along and getting-along. Everything becomes about being a team player. Everything becomes about collegiality. But what about the students? —Ray Carney
Professor, Film and American Studies