How did we get here? It really starts on the 25th of February 2011, when the Guardian pulled the plug on its talkboards, plunging without warning its userbase into the chilly waters of the internet at large. Several lifebelts were thrown; many users ended up aboard the good ship NotTheTalk, but a backup board created by a member of the film talkboard (who is now worshipped as a god, with sacrifices and everything) ensured the survival of the film community. Like shell-shocked post-apocalypse survivors, we needed to keep moving. Keep surviving.
A blog was proposed as a way of attracting new posters. It would reflect our diversity of interest, be written by us and would be the board (described in its Guardian days as ‘The most intelligent film community on the web’, oh yes) in blog form. This became a focus of action, and the group came together beautifully to pitch in. Just a few weeks later, on April 4th 2011, MostlyFilm launched.
A year on I thought that it would be good to go back to the board and ask them what their favourite post was from our first year as Europe’s Best Website.
After what I feel was the resounding success of my public call for submissions for the London Film Festival, which led to some great writers writing for us for the first (but hopefully not the last) time, we’re doing it again as we look towards the end of the year, a time when most film blogs will be looking back at their favourite (and least favourite) films of the year.
This is what we’re going to do. For ten days in December, one writer will get the blog to themself each day to write about their favourite film (or, if you really prefer, TV programme, show, play, record, game, you know the kind of stuff we cover) of the year. You could be one of those writers.
Next week, MostlyFilm goes film festival crazy, with reports from San Sebastian, the London Spanish Film Festival, and Raindance, as well as the start of our daily London Film Festival coverage. Clearly, a disco nap is in order.
The London Film Festival starts in just over a week. MostlyFilm will be going big on coverage of the festival, bringing you daily reports for the duration. We’re doing this for many reasons, but one reason is that, in a way, MostlyFilm owes its existence to the LFF. Many of our contributors first met on the LFF messageboards over a decade ago, which went on to become the Guardian’s film talkboards, where more of us joined. This blog was started when the Guardian closed those talkboards earlier this year. We’re sentimental about the LFF.
So here’s the thing – we want our readers to be part of the festival coverage as well. We want MostlyFilm to be the first place you come to during the festival to get our writers’ reactions on the films and events, but also to be the first place you’ll come to share your reactions.
What we’re looking for is capsule reviews. 200 to 500 words. We’ll be running as many as we sensibly can every day, no deadlines, so you can send your first reactions or let things percolate a bit before you write. We’ll happily run more than one review of films that are worth talking about, so don’t worry about what we’ve already got; write about what inspires you (positively or negatively). We’d love to run reviews from “pro” critics who might have something their main outlets can’t use, but if you’ve never reviewed a film before, we’d love to run your work too.
Boring T&Cs stuff. We can’t pay (or get you into screenings, or reimburse you for tickets), but you retain the copyright in your work. We don’t promise to run everything submitted.
Drop me a line, then, if you fancy getting involved? Or just send me your reviews. Either way, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m looking forward to hearing from you.