Bastard Film Encounter 2019: Call for Proposals

We’re at it again: Same vibe, different city.

We invite you to join us for BFE.4: a weekend of screening-intensive conversations about bastard films in “beautiful” Baltimore, Maryland.

Dates: Thursday April 25th (6pm opening night dinner, reception, and keynote extravaganza) thru Saturday April 27th.

Location: The Windup Space
12 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

The Bastard Film Encounter is a two day ‘anti-symposium,’ wherein a group of collectors, archivists, filmmakers get together and screen the ‘bastard films’ they’ve acquired, purchased, or otherwise encountered personally or professionally.

What is a bastard film? It’s the terribly-behaved cousin of the orphan film. As Andy Uhrich stated, ‘If Orphans is metaphorically about finding a home for films lost in the wilds of traditional film history, the BFE considers moving images that refuse to come in from the cold.’ An instructional film on dental extraction. Home movies depicting hunters getting drunk with the carcasses of their recent kills. A 1953 film called Techniques for Electroshock Therapy (1953). Racist promotional videos produced by a local movie theater in the 1940s. An ’80s soap opera pilot set in a Dallas airport.

These films are ill-conceived or received; embarrassing or beyond the bounds of acceptability; poor in conception or execution; undesirable to those who should be caring for them; proof of something that should have never happened. But they did happen, and Bastards is, if nothing else, a cathartic group therapy session to work out the effects of our encounters. We will bring these misbegotten moving images out of the closet and begin to address what they really are, how they are kept and ignored (and if they really should be), if and why they might matter, and what role they might play in archives and in cultural studies involving film, video, and sound.

The inaugural BFE schedules are available at: http://bastardfilmencounter.com/

Proposals are invited for brief (5 minute—we’re enforcing this!) introductions to films (16mm, super8, and regular8 projectors will be on hand/videos of any format/or feel free to byop). Please indicate format and length of screening material with your proposal. This event is not about reading a paper. It is about providing five minutes or less of context followed by post-screening discussion.

Send inquiries to info@bastardfilmencounter.com. Proposals should be submitted using this online form by the Friday after Thanksgiving 2018 (November 23rd).

Brought to you by your bastardly co-organizers:  Stephanie Sapienza, Snowden Becker, Marsha Gordon, and Brian Frye.

Join us in 2019

Over the past six years, the Bastard Film Encounter has quietly taken root in its inaugural home of Raleigh, North Carolina, in the capable hands of Skip & Katrina Elsheimer, Marsha Gordon, Snowden Becker, and Dwight Swanson. But planning the greatest and most bastardly symposium of all time can take its toll on anyone, and now it’s time to pass the Bastards sand timer on to someone else, and let it spread its gnarly roots in another city. We’re happy to announce that we’ll be passing that sand timer onto three-time BFE alumni Stephanie Sapienza, who has (perhaps stupidly) championed the idea of having the symposium in Baltimore, the city which Baltimore native John Waters described thusly: “You can look far and wide, but you’ll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style. It’s as if every eccentric in the South decided to move north, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.” Sounds about right!

Stephanie will be joined in planning this endeavor by other bastards in the coming weeks, and securing a date and venue. Please stay tuned here on Facebook for announcements on the full slate of new Bastards planners, the call for entries, venue announcements, and more! See you in spring 2019!