27th September 2018

Fabio Bezoari - Documentaries and Feedback

Our guest speaker was Fabio Bezoari, best known for his documentaries.  He is an experienced and accomplished award winning film maker who belongs to both Chesterfield Film Makers and Sheffield Movie Makers.

Fabio kindly agreed to show some of his films and to help us to experiment with a different way of giving feedback.


As filmmakers, if we want to make better films, it is important to know what audiences think of the films we've just made.  In the past we’ve relied on judges to give us this feedback, but recently we’ve dropped most of our competitions, so now we need to provide each other with helpful responses to our films.


Albuquerque New Mexico


Fabio Bezoari

The Positive Sandwich

We have been practising the ‘positive sandwich’ approach.  That is we mention some things we like about a film before we move to things which we think could be improved, and we finish on a positive note too.

This is not as easy as it sounds.  Some people find it difficult to say anything to their friends.  They are afraid of offending them.

Some people are happy to comment but find it hard to remember to start with the good things they've seen in the film and they find it more natural to home in on the weaknesses.  This can be a bad experience for the poor filmmakers who have put their heart and soul into making the film.

Some filmmakers find it difficult to be open to putting into practice the changes that someone else recommends.


LINCOLN  a Towering Landmark


We are wondering whether it would help to ‘give permission’ to the audience to comment if the filmmakers tell the audience what their assessment of the film is?  And perhaps this approach would also help filmmakers to be open to constructive suggestions so as to re-edit films or use the comments to make better films in future?

Our new Form

Our new form invites filmmakers to say what they have done well in the film.  After that there are questions about what went less well and problems which were overcome and those which weren’t overcome.


A Journey to the Unknown (The Gaping Ghyll)

Fabio’s evening

For the first two films -LINCOLN a Towering Landmark and A Journey to the unknown (The Gaping Ghyll) - the audience split into groups of about six and discussed the films, noting what was good about the film and constructive suggestions.  Fabio read out what he’d written in a self-evaluation sheet for each of the films.  Then the groups fed back to Fabio what they had discussed.


Everyone Contributed

It was a lively evening.  In small groups everyone could have a say.  Fabio gave us a terrific evening's viewing.  He modelled our new form brilliantly.  Fabio says that he found the feedback useful.  The time whizzed by and members have said how much they enjoyed it.

Julian and Gordon
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