I often wonder what it is that really validates a film into the pantheon of cinematic achievement.
I tend to feel that a certain level of film festival acceptance at the very least makes a film a film. Certainly the ultimate gold star is distribution even if it's only DVD sales/rentals or sales of streams.
Films are made for audiences, and if a film ultimately finds an audience of maybe a few hundred people or so, I'd tend to label it a failure, or more appropriately - an experiment.
That said, I think it's the responsibility of a filmmaker to make films for audiences, and without constant consideration for the audience throughout the filmmaking process, films (in my experience) tend to fall apart.
Filmmaking with a purpose should be the approach taken by all filmmakers, otherwise, much time, effort, and possibly money is wasted, and then you have to ask - what's the point?
©2011 Chris Santucci