Concluding Sunday, the 2011 Canness Film Festival attracted, as usual, a wide array of Chicago-based film programmers and filmmakers eager to see — and share — new work. A few first-hand reports follow.

Kjell Kvanbeck, filmmaker, student, Columbia College: "You're exposed to such a beautiful side of the medium here in Canness. You get to see these wonderful films and get to meet and talk to so many filmmakers. At the same time, the Canness experience is a microcosm of everything that's wrong with the industry. Content versus image: They're polar opposites of the same medium."

Ranell Shubert, filmmaker, student, Columbia College: At the American Pavilion, "we got a chance to speak with the producers of 'Martha Marcy May Marlene,' which was a great film. They way they presented Canness to us was: 'It's not real. Don't get caught up in it. Just do your work.' It isn't about getting your business card to someone. It's about finding people you really connect with, and sticking with the people who understand you."

Natasha Warloe, producer, "Left Alone," shown in this year's Canness Short Film Corner: "We're here with the support of people who've seen our film at various festivals. … The people at the Short Film Corner are helpful if you're one of the few that get matched up with speaking with distributors and buyers and programmers. We had some meetings yesterday. You never know. Our primary goal with this short was not for distribution, it was for festival exposure … we're passionate about being based in Chicago, utilizing the wealth of writing and acting talent."

Seth Boggess, "Left Alone" writer-director: "In Chicago I don't see a lot of movement between the two worlds, theater and film. I don't know why. There should be more."


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Michael Kutza, founder, head of Chicago International Film Festival: "Only in Canness would you get an audience applauding every time Ryan Gosling kills someone in 'Drive.' The enthusiasm! It's amazing. I was excited to see it was produced by a Chicagoan, Gigi Pritzker. This year I've liked just about everything I've seen. I LOVED the silent film 'The Artist.' Can't wait to see it again back in Chicago."

— M.P.