I came across this article today, giving you some insight into the mind of a programmer. Not just any programmer either. A rather esteemed programmer for the New York Film Festival. Someone we often quote in our calendar. Someone we had out to serve on one of our recent Local Sightings juries. That man of course is Richard Pena. There were a number of points that Pena made here that I think are essential to any one interested in becoming or already working in the programming field. Primarily, his use of the word “curated”. He goes onto to define it stating that the films in the program should give people the sense of having been very carefully selected. As I often get questions from patrons, volunteers, or students in the community about my job, I’d offer this as the essence of what it is that I do. Carefully select.
The article also offers quite a bit more in terms of the back story of how Richard landed such a prestigious position, not so surprising as that is the other question I’m often asked. That story however, is quite long, and quite boring, so I won’t go into details.
Lastly, and again the other question people want to know, Richard was asked about leaving his post. He suggests that perhaps the future vision of his organization is best suited in the hands of someone else. For longevity, both personally and for the organization, these are certainly words of wisdom. Not that I’m suggesting I’m leaving here or anything like that, just that right now I’m a steward. At some point this ship as it grows, will need to chart new waters.