The J-school and Columbia always have a plethora of things available for people/students to be involved with, and Photographer Of the Year International and the True/False Film Festival are no exceptions. Both of these events took place within the last couple of weeks and I got to witness a little bit of both of them.
I have several friends in the photojournalism sequence and they all had volunteered some hours for the photo competition. One cool thing this year was that the whole judging process was broadcast online, complete with a chat room and sound capabilities. I watched some of the photo book competition and the magazine editing competition. I really got a sense of the capacity of entries that the judges have to deal with. In these categories, the judges might start out with 500 entries and they have to narrow it down to one or two. If one judge is in a particualr mood and doesn't like anything, it can slow the process down if others have to state a case for some of the entries. Overall, I thought all of the photos were phenomenal. I some ways, POYi is more dynamic than the CPOY competition because of the little "i" at the end. It is eye-opening to see all of those photographs from places I will probably never go to.
True/False, as usual, was amazing too. I saw "Waking Sleeping Beauty," which was a very different format than I usual encounter at the festival. It was about the bureaucracy at Disney Corp. in the 1980s. All of the footage was from the 80s, but the interviews were from present day and were never shown. Regardless, the humor and kitchiness of Disney made it a great film.