This is a big idea, that, if implemented, may change the future of documentary for the better.
Background: I've had documentaries accepted to film festivals and pitch fests; I've had them rejected from film festivals and pitch fests.
Yet for every competitive endeavor I’ve ever applied to, I am obliged to list my name, my team’s names, and who has supported the film financially. Yet, from my perspective, this doesn’t make sense.
Imagine a world where no names or other background information were attached to competitive submissions, where work could be judged based on its own merits, where outside factors (e.g. who you know or don’t know) played zero role in the selections of projects for film festivals. This is the world I want to live in, as this is a meritocracy.
Why doesn’t such a world exist? I don’t know, but here I am, inquiring. I’m sure there are good reasons for wanting to know who is on a team (e.g. to make sure that under-represented minorities are selected) but my theory is that MORE, not fewer, underrepresented minorities will be selected for documentary film festivals if names and background information aren’t attached to competitions. This should also help early career filmmakers (of all ages) with less experience too. Let work speak for itself. Let the people who create the BEST work rise to the top. Let the characters in stories be of interest to audiences, not who the filmmakers are themselves.
Sure, I know what you may say: sometimes you can see or hear a documentary maker in his/her film. This is true. And it can warrant a special category. Most people don't appear in their films and are unrecognizable by their voices if they are heard asking questions in the background of a documentary.
I’d love for people to adopt this idea, but if they don’t do it soon, I’m happy to start a film festival myself that is based on this concept! Who out there is with me? And who disagrees? I’d love to get a conversation started!