An item in our September 13 issue, alerting readers to a 12-week Filmmakers Symposium in East Windsor that would feature screenings of movies plus appearances by “directors and celebrities,” resulted in the following letters:
Looking forward to an enlightening experience at the movies I was instead greeted with a list of rules, the likes of which I would not present to my two-year-old grandson. Although the ideas behind the “rules” were certainly good ones, the tone was insulting. At the end of the evening I approached Chuck Rose, the symposium director, to ask him if these rules were done with a sense of humor or if he was serious. He assured me he was serious.
After watching the first film in the series, we were told by Rose that so and so was scheduled to come to speak to us, but could not come and so and so also could not come and therefore he himself would give the discussion. I found his talk brief and unenlightening. I hoped that the following week would be better. The second week was a repeat of the first. Again I was disappointed not to have a major actor, director, etc. to present some insight into the film.
On the advertising and application it promises “compelling interviews, fascinating discussions” and “there in front of you the creators of the film, ready to answer questions and discuss their work.” There is a long list of famous names of actors and directors.
My first two film evenings were absent of any of these. I requested a refund for the balance of the series, and was told “we do not give refunds.” Although it does state “no refunds” on the ticket, the reasons for my joining this film series were absent at the first two films.
The cost of $26 per session is way out of line. These films, although not yet released, were released shortly after our viewing. I could have seen them a few weeks later on my own for about $6. I had no problem with the cost believing I would receive what was promised, but as this was not delivered, I feel taken advantage of.
14 Cardinalflower Lane,
The organization responds: First of all we don’t promise guests every week. In the first six-week session (Solnik attended the first two weeks of the second session), we had eight guests, including directors, actors, and producers. If Chuck Rose has an opportunity to show a better film without a guest than a film that’s not as good with a guest, he’ll show the better film. In these two weeks, he had an opportunity to get a better film.
We’ve been doing this for 15 years in Mountainside and this is our first year in East Windsor. Over 600 people sign up between the two locations. We’ve never had anyone else ask for a refund.
As for the rules, we ask that people don’t stand up until the credits are finished, and if you do stay for the guest, that you don’t leave in the middle of the discussion. We’re serious about seeing the film and listening to the dialogue. — Judy Denucci, Filmmakers Symposium, www.privatescreenings.org