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Meet a Fantastic Fest First Timer: Dor Dotson

Fantastic Fest First Timer Dor Dotson
by Jason Whyte

“I grew up in Minnesota then did my time in Los Angeles after high school for eight years before finally landing in New York City. I live in Manhattan and work in entertainment market research. Since my favorite things to do are see movies and travel, combining these into a love of film festivals is only natural.” Fantatsic Fest first-timer Dor Dotson who is attending the great festival this year (Sep. 19 – 28).

Do you have any other film festival experience?

I attended my 13th consecutive Sundance this year and I'm in the last couple days of my seventh year at the Toronto International Film Festival, but I'm only just this year making it to Fantastic Fest for the first time. I have done several years of South By Southwest, Full Frame, and Tribeca (New York), and made the occasional appearance at AFI in Los Angeles, Seattle, and a couple of others. I always loved film festivals for the opportunity they offer to see some of the year's best films months before the rest of the world. Each one is different; for example, I love Sundance for the intensity. I hardly sleep there and I usually see over 50 movies. I love TIFF for the diversity in the program. I love SXSW for the chill atmosphere and the Drafthouse cookies. I love Tribeca for the fact that I can leave work and be watching a festival film 20 minutes later.

Why did you decide to attend Fantastic Fest this year?

I want to see what all the fuss is about. The more I go to film festivals the more movie folks of all sorts I meet, and they increasingly spoke highly of this festival. I'd say that over the last couple of years at TIFF and SXSW I've come to appreciate their midnight madness offering; the quality of the films, sure, but mostly the fun atmosphere. If Fantastic Fest can capture even half of that -- and I suspect it will do that and more -- then I know I'll have a blast. Also…THE DRAFTHOUSE.

What are your favorite types of movies to watch? And ones you don’t like so much?

My favorite type of film is documentary. There's something exciting about being completely compelled by a story and impressed by the way its told, and then adding to that the fact that it actually happened. If narrative film allows me an escape, a two hour break from the everyday crap, then documentary is what allows me to learn, expand my mind, expose myself to people and places I may not have even known existed or at least only had an inkling.

In terms of genres I don't enjoy as much, I can't think of one in particular I never like, but I can say I don't often seek out multiplex action movies like the Fast and Furious type, though I will absolutely enjoy a smaller/festival title in the vein of Sleepless Night or The Raid.

What do you expect to see when you descend on Austin for Fantastic Fest?

I expect to see people like me, who have no upper limit on the manner and amount of film they like to consume. And Drafthouse cookies.

What is your gameplan for Fantastic Fest? Do you plan to do movies, or parties, or a little bit of both?

I have actually not made any game plan whatsoever because I've been too caught up with Toronto to even look at the schedule or lineup. Typically at a festival I avoid parties like the plague, not because I don't like them but because they get in the way of seeing movies. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if I broke that cardinal rule at Fantastic Fest, but we'll see.

Do you plan to do any sight-seeing while in Austin, or take in barbecue?

I suspect not, because I am a vegetarian and because I have not rented a car. I'll probably drink a bit, but that will be my only non movie-related stuff.

And finally, what is your all time favorite film and why?

Hedwig and the Angry Inch because it has everything I could ever want in a movie including artistry, strong and interesting characters, subversion, humor, drama, and really great music.

You can follow Dor Dotson on Twitter by clicking HERE. Also Dor has a movie blog you can check out at Movies With Dor.

This is one of the many interviews featured for coverage at Fantastic Fest this year. For more information about the fest please feel free to check out

Jason Whyte,

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originally posted: 09/22/12 23:52:55
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