Posted on: Friday, October 21st, 2011
As we were sipping wine at the Opening Night gala, I said to another former festival staffer how nice (and how odd!) it was to be standing still at the reception, relaxed and well-rested. But I have to admit that as the week has continued, there have been moments in which I’ve found myself missing that raw energy and those late nights. Maybe it’s because in thinking about the perks of being just an observer this year, I forgot about having to dash off to work elsewhere and miss out on some great programming. Or maybe it’s because in the past, some of my favourite festival moments have not taken place in front of any kind of screen, but have actually been in the in-betweens, like taking the extra-long way round to drop a filmmaker to the airport so that we could continue our week-long conversation and she could see the rest of the city.
I was able to check out Thursday’s lunchtime documentary screening – Tashina, an evocative short from Caroline Monnet, which gave us the story. simply and truthfully and in her own words, of Tashina’s move from the reservation to the city, from family and a ‘cramped but cozy’ house to a place where, as she says, there is nobody to hold her hand.
And then How Does It Feel, a beautiful film by Lawrence Jackman and produced by Annette Clarke, about a man named Kazumi, the difficult truths of living with disability in an able-bodied world, and the transformative power of art.
The little box lunches from Hungry Heart that were waiting for us in the Second Space post-screening were welcome not only for the food, but also for the chance to linger and discuss what we’d seen – the best kind of informal festival gathering, sitting on the floor of the Hall in one of many little clusters of excited conversation.
I was disappointed to miss the Conversation with Ingrid Veninger, as the scheduling had changed slightly and the outside world was calling and I had to rush off to work, but I ran up Duckworth Street as soon as my shift ended to catch the Sister Fa show at the Majestic. And I walked into a party still in full swing. The energy that I felt the moment I left the theatre on Tuesday night is everywhere, it seems, and till all hours. Something festival week never fails to deliver.