I know from personal experience that back in the 90s you'd get some constructive criticism from the likes of the BAVA.
And so it appears, quite a critique, if you entered the Moviemaker competition in 1982 judging from these specimens from the Michael J. Murphy estate.
|'Stay', 1982 - Gold Star|
|'The Cell', 1982 - 4 Star|
Now, I get it. Back then filmmaking - on actual film - was expensive so festival competitions wouldn't get swamped with swill from kids with smartphones.
Perhaps I am looking back with rose-tinted glasses, or perhaps I should start my own damned film festival. Maybe festivals should set the bar higher and piss some people off with a few home truths!
A stock rejection letter teaches you nothing. An individual critique gives you something specific to mull over, even if you don't agree with it.
Michael J. Murphy was a Portsmouth born filmmaker and child prodigy of the medium, creating narrative works from age 15 until his untimely death in 2015. His films sold to multiple territories and continue to be enjoyed worldwide from domestic sell-thru, to licensed broadcasts. You can even find a few bootlegs on YouTube if you look hard enough. There are over 30 feature films in his back catalogue. His film 'Invitation to Hell' pioneered the exploitation of the unregulated nascent home video market which subsequently led to the video nasties we all enjoyed as kids.