Two-and-a-half years ago this week we launched 4:3, a Sydney-based independent film website, with a particular focus on film festivals. We were a group of university students and recent graduates, frustrated with the lack of substantive criticism devoted to local festival films and the push, both in print and online, towards capsule reviews.
In May 2015 we looked back at all that we had achieved in our first year, the pullquote being: “780,000 words published from nearly 40 writers, including 383 reviews, 42 interviews and coverage from 33 film festivals.” We can now update those numbers:
Since launching, we have published over 1.7 million words from 78 writers, including over 900 reviews, 140 interviews and coverage from 48 festivals (82 festivals counting each year as a separate festival). In the last year alone we’ve been proud to publish fascinating pieces such as Alexandra Heller-Nicholas’ essay on the work of Elaine May, Alena Lodkina’s personal reflection on Chantal Akerman and Jaymes Durante’s review of Frederick Wiseman’s In Jackson Heights. In this time we have also been lucky enough to talk with important figures in film like Jonathan Rosenbaum, Ralitza Petrova, João Pedro Rodrigues, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Travis Wilkerson, Stephen Page, Jenni Olson, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
A few months back we felt that it was time to work on dramatically changing the design of the site. As you can now see, we opted to take a minimalist route, ridding the site of clunky sidebars and a (mostly dormant) comments section. In doing this, we aim to put our writing front and center.
We now have an About page, which contains site information, our masthead and a list of our current contributors. We’ve also reorganised our archives, so you can now filter reviews by the rating our reviewers have given the film, filter an author’s posts by type and look through each of our feature columns.
As we move forward, we are going to be publishing more longform feature pieces, roundtables and video content, as well as a few surprises on the audio side of things.
What started out as a demanding hobby for all of us has become something much bigger than we ever expected it to be. For this, we have to thank our fellow editors (past and present), all of our passionate and eager contributors, the film festivals who took a chance on us back in 2014 and, of course, you – our readers.
– Conor Bateman and Jeremy Elphick, Managing Editors