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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is TvFILM?
TvFILM is a public television series that showcases local, independent short films and filmmakers who reside in the viewing area that WMHT Telecommunications serves.  TvFILM, your film on your public television station!

How is TvFILM funded?
TvFilm is funded in part by the members of WMHT and with the special support of a grant through the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). In order to receive this grant, WMHT must curate the series to fulfill the guidelines as defined by NYSCA.

How do you select the individual films for TvFILM?
Films must be submitted to TvFILM during the call for entries and follow the Eligibility and Submission Requirements.

After the deadline, the films are collected and sent to a panel of volunteer judges.

On average, TvFILM receives 40-70 films during the call for entries and selects 12-16 films for broadcast.

Who judges the films?
The short films that air on TvFILM are chosen by the producers of the program and a volunteer selection panel made up of regional arts and media professionals.  Some past judges have included:

Robert Bengraff…………

Senior Producer, Aurora Studios

Timothy Cahill……………

Director, Center for the Documentary Arts

Adam Frelin…………………

Assistant Professor of Art, University at Albany, SUNY

Kathy High……………………

Head of the Department of Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Jennifer Hunt-Dempsey……

American Public Television

Steve Lobel…………………

Vice President, Anchor Agency, Inc.

Tom Mercer…………………

Independent Filmmaker

Branda Miller………………

Professor of Media Arts, Department of Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Linda Mussmann…………

Time & Space Limited

Dolores Sarno……………

Saratoga County Arts Council

Jim De Seve………………

Independent Producer & Director, 1,049 Films Inc.

Casey Seiler………………

Entertainment Editor, Times Union

Kevin Craig West………

Actor/ Filmmaker

These panelists rate the films on a scale from 1-5 - 5 being the strongest, 1 being the weakest. After reviewing the films the judges meet and reveal their rankings. If there is a disagreement about the merits of a particular film the judges put forth their argument as to why they felt strongly a film should or should not be included in the series.

What is the selection criteria?
Our producers and panelists program the series by watching each eligible film and then choosing the films that best fit the criteria as defined by the grant for that season’s six, half-hour episodes. http://www.nysca.org/public/guidelines/common/NYSCA-FY2016-Guidelines-Electronic-Media-Film.pdf

The intention is to receive the highest quality work available in Upstate New York and maintain the highest standards in the film art curated for broadcast. WMHT encourages submissions that explore new genres, original concepts, and alternative points of view with visually driven story lines and less conventional story forms.

I was not selected for TvFILM and I feel that my film was better than another I saw during the season.
This can be a sensitive and emotional topic for a filmmaker, but beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. While the professionalism or production value of a film can sometimes be easily identifiable, it can sometimes be difficult to discern what may give a less polished film the “it factor”, making it a selection for the season. 

TvFILM believes in the authority of the individual judges, whose qualifications to serve on the panel are derived from their diverse and unique backgrounds, which includes but is not limited to; education, profession, credentials, certifications, awards, bodies of work, past judging and personal experiences.

It is also important to note that each film is not being viewed in isolation but curated as part of a series. Each film must not stand only on its own merits, but within the context of a body of selections that will make up the current season.

Judges are asked to recuse themselves if they have any connection with the film being submitted for selection. We get that it’s a small media market and many filmmakers may have personal relationships with each other. We do not ever wish to allow favoritism to trump artistic merit.

All decisions are final and not open to appeal.

My film was not accepted in a previous year. Can I re-submit?
Yes, but only if it has changed dramatically. We are not interested in seeing the same cut again - it should be a significant reworking of the previous version.

I am a student. Can I submit to TvFILM?
Yes, but under the terms of the grant, NYSCA requires WMHT to give first consideration to filmmakers actively engaged in a career in the visual arts. Work from these individuals will be given priority. Work from individuals enrolled in a high-school or college program, or who submit a film originally created for class credit may be considered for the series but might not be included if space becomes limited. http://www.nysca.org/public/grants/nysca_does_not.htm

I was selected in a previous year. Can I submit to TvFILM again?
Yes, some filmmakers can be featured more than once on TvFILM. However, past selection is not an indicator of the future success.