Happy Birthday to Unseen Films.
On this date in 2010 I started this website, never expecting it to take me, and my friends (both old and new) where it has...
When I started back in 2010 no one was reading anything we did, nor did they care. Nine years on people seem to think we are something important and that we know what we are doing. I’m not sure we know what we are doing but we have learned to fake it really well.
I can talk about our past glories but instead I want to highlight all of the people who have become part of my and Unseen Films life.
When I started this site it was me in a room with a computer and some DVDs. Over the weeks that followed I roped in my friends into joining me on the quest to highlight films no one was ever talking about.
John and Randi came because they are my best friends and they had to keep me out of trouble.
Ken joined and he pushed me in directions I never thought I could go. He also acted as the de facto editor and social media guru which got us noticed.
Eden Miller came on and then simply said “Why not apply for the NYFF press pass? You’re covering it anyway. What’s the worst that can happen?” and suddenly we were accredited press.
Mondocurry came along because he had a place to write about Asian films and because we were having fun going to movies together.
And from Mondo came Chocko and Mr C. He also put Peter Gutierrez on my radar so when I met him a couple months later I was in awe. Through Chocko came Ariela
And then there are the friends we made along the way- Joe Bendel, Nora Lee Mandel and Chris Bourne who I literally met on the first day of being accredited press, who scared me because they knew what they were doing and I didn't...it wasn't until sometime later that we actually started to talk and found we weren't that different.
I met Hubert at a New York Asian Film Festival interview of Donnie Yen, and the rest is history. Through him I met Alec. And through NYAFF I made countless friends who aren’t writers but crazed film fans who have broadened my horizons incredibly.
And then there is the Tribeca threads which goes in all sorts of directions but if you want to see how friends introduce friends Lesley Coffin introduced me to Lauren Humphrey Brooks who were there when we stumbled upon Nate Hood, Ben Wallin and Oron Shamir
And somewhere seemingly always there was Liz Whittmore and Nobu…
And everyone introduced everyone to more and more friends.
Of course there are the filmmakers I’ve met along the way such as Jason Kartalian, Patrick Meaney, Dave Palamaro,Ted Geoghegan and others too numerous to mention
Without the friends I have made along the way I wouldn't keep doing this because having the chance to hang with with all these great people is why I keep putting Unseen together every day.
As we slide toward our tenth anniversary we are going to continue if bringing you reviews of films of all sorts. I can’t say I know what is going to happen or what we will be doing but me are going to keep doing it…
...just at a slower pace. The increasing pace we’ve been keeping has been killing me and I need to back off. Where I used to do long reviews they have grown shorter and shorter because there is always another film. Personally I’m going aim more for what interests me instead of grazing across the board. You might have noticed that our coverage of Film Comment and New York Jewish Film Festival were less than in years past, that’s because I wanted to focus on the things that made me go "oh cool" rather than simply noting every film. Similarly coverage of Rendezvous with French Cinema will be on the light side as well. In the next year I want to give the films a fairer shake than having to jump from film to film.
Ultimately the plan for the next year is to find a sweet spot to make going past the tenth anniversary something that not only will be enjoyable for everyone but also something that will not kill me and allow me to have a life beyond it.
But for now lets not think past today. For day lets go have some cake and cookies and just enjoy the 9 years of Unseen Films.
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