I first saw Cows with Guns at the BeyondTV International Film Festival in Swansea. I never did discover why I got an invite, I actually got three, but I went and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was well worth going to. Not quite Cannes, but then Cannes is not about films.
I became a regularly and it was something I looked forward to. 2008 I did not go as I did not like the programme. 2009 I did not go as I was broke.
It was held around this time of year (usually end of November, early December), so I thought I would go this year. It looks like it no longer takes place, 2008 was the last one, which explains why I got no invite for 2009.
It is easy to see why it is no more. Although the last couple I attended had full feature length films and trailers for others, this was never what it was about. It was short documentaries, often of only a few minutes long, or animations like Cows with guns. The point was that you do not have to rely on the mainstream media, you too can be the media, all you need is the internet and a decent video camera and editing facilities.
Look at the success of Story of Stuff and the follow ons.
In many ways if BeyondTV has died, it is because of the success of its own message. People are making their own videos. One only has to look at the success of YouTube. If I want to see a video, I can do so with my laptop connected to the internet. Many of these short videos you can find on this blog, and once you have found one, you will find there are many similar videos closely linked. Sometimes I go looking for them, but mainly I do not have to, I receive them through twitter and facebook, and those I think worth watching I re-tweet, share on facebook and the very best get a mention here.
Synchronicity: It is strange, I was thinking of Cows with guns and was going to look for it. I did not have to. Checking out BeyondTV on the Undercurrents website (who were the organisers of BeyondTV) I stumbled upon Cows with guns.
I did though, and I do not know where, come across something that looked remarkably similar to BeyondTV down in Brighton in February. When I saw saw it I thought at the time it looked similar to BeyondTV. But I do not know where I saw it. If anyone has any details, please let me know and/or write the details in comments below.
If same weekend as Seedy Sunday Brighton maybe worth making a weekend of it! Though sadly the last time I went it had gone downhill.