Federico D’Accinni (2017)
My experience researching on the role of the film curator in the digital world
While in the process of researching for my final project – focusing on the role of the film curator in the online world today – I have had the invaluable chance to spend an afternoon at the MUBI offices in London in late May, engaging in a very stimulating conversation with Efe Cakarel, founder and CEO of the platform.
We discussed what role curation can have within our everyday lives today, when we’re overflowed with content and information of any sort; moreover, we touched upon the visibility of film curators online and what positive and reciprocal conversations can be established between such figures and audiences in the digital era we currently live in.
As an active user on MUBI for the last 3 years myself, I have come to appreciate more and more the curatorial ethos lying behind such a model; by being offered only 30 films to choose from, spectators are invited to engage more intelligently with their cinematic experience, discovering new filmmaking horizons that they might not be able to encounter if the availability of the films was wider. With humans choosing films for us instead of algorithms, audiences can become more aware of and familiar with curation itself – a powerful act of selection in a world of excess.
Overall, I think my chat with Efe was a really interesting and inspiring experience; I learnt more about how to interview professionals from the industry and I was able to enter a world that has always been really inspiring to me as a film student. Moreover, I was happy to share my passion for curators – such hidden figures that often should deserve more public attention than the one they actually receive – with someone who directly works in this field.
A huge thanks to my FEC tutors, Susan Kemp & Jane Sillars, for supporting me throughout the whole preparation process of the interview – your help has been incredibly valuable from start to end.
Apart from meeting with Efe at MUBI, I’m also collecting useful opinions from other professionals working in the same area, in order to have a wider view on the subject; during my stay in London, I have managed to interview Kate Taylor (Film Programmer at the BFI London Film Festival), Damian Spandley (Director of Programme for Curzon Cinemas), Nir Cohen (Head of Programming at UK Jewish Film) and Maysa Monção (film critic).
As of now, I’m currently writing these few lines from Sheffield; I’m here working as a Jury Coordinator for the Doc/Fest, kicking off on June 9th. I will be looking after the Tim Hetherington Jury, who is composed by Joanna Natasegara (Academy Award-winning producer and founder of Violet Films), Brenda Coughlin (producer of Academy Award-nominated Dirty Wars and Laura Poitras’ CITIZENFOUR) and Wendy Ide (film critic at The Observer & Screen International and short film programmer at BFI London Film Festival for four years). With the Festival’s programme being really rich as usual, I’m really looking forward to watching some great documentaries in the next few days and to meeting some new exciting people from all over the globe.