Film Festival Junkie

I am a self-proclaimed film festival junkie.  There is nothing better than the ambiance of all that is cinema.  Festivals contain a plethora of events such as mixers, Q&A's, screenings, seminars, parties, and red carpet premieres.  As a self-proclaimed festival junkie, I've seen it all from small festivals held at college campuses that embrace academic film programs, to large festivals with red carpet premieres patronized by A-list celebrities. 

I've seen the whole gamut and love each and every aspect of it.  Film festivals happen throughout the year and each season has its own flavor.  You can be a snow bunny at Sundance with boots, parka, and a wool scarf.  Or you can attend a summer retreat at the NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in August and you can wear sandals with your festival badge.  Fall into Cucalorus or Spring into Tribeca.  There is no doubt that there is a festival for every season.  A film festival attendee can choose to go for a variety of reasons.

Networking is the key to any film festival.  The sky is the limit as to whom you may meet at any given festival.  You can meet a famous Hollywood producer or you can meet a fellow filmmaker, writer, or actor like yourself who is willing to collaborate with you on a future project.  Another reason you may choose to go the festival route is because you have a freakish addiction to movies.  If you're a cinephile, you can watch several movies (sometimes hundreds) within a given week.  You can watch any film, of any length, and of any genre all hours of the day into the late evening.  You may find yourself waking up the next morning with a movie hangover.  You ever had one of those?  Drives me crazy!  So keep that in mind and be careful! 

Film festivals are also a great opportunity to gain tons of wisdom about the film biz.  Many festivals offer seminars and Q&A functions that allow avid film fans to ask filmmakers, writers, and actors about the production process or to engage in comments or questions about the film just screened.  There are workshops available that can help with a myriad of biz tips like how to launch a production company to resume writing.

Finally, some attendees are all about the parties!  Depending on the festival, there can be a party for every event at the festival.  At times, you can find yourself attending 3 or 4 parties a night.  Parties are a great way to relax and hang loose with fellow attendees and festival staff members.  Great food and drink (sometimes even an open bar!) are available to festival patrons to help celebrate.

As a film festival junkie, I embrace all of these elements of the festival circuit and find myself going through periods of withdrawal in-between festivals.  I always need that fix!  Are you a film festival junkie??

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