As someone who has been attending CIFF on-and-off since 1998 and has always had to buy tickets and has felt the disappointment of Stand-By, let me tell you: having a pass is weird. I’ve suddenly turned into one of those people I’ve always seen. You know, the ones who walk around carrying a huge purse or back pack, never realizing that their food and drink and in-between-movie-magazines-and-other-entertainment are in there. They are constantly flipping through a Program Guide because they have the luxury of making their schedule up as they go along. It really is like this magical movie skeleton key.
A magical movie skeleton key that lets you gain access into the magical movie room that is the Hospitality Headquarters.
Oh yes, because nobody likes to kill time by wandering Tower City, so those people with passes are given a swanky area with comfy couches and tables and free food and drinks. I swear I feel like I’m gate crashing up there, it’s so surreal. I mean, I’m up there with the filmmakers and the actors and the people who paid good money for their pass and what did I do? Watch a couple of shorts over the fall? (Okay, so when I say “a couple” it was more like 160. But still.)
Like, okay, in the past I’d kill time between movies by reading a magazine in the food court or by window shopping at the stores. But yesterday? Yesterday I spent ten minutes talking to a very handsome filmmaker who was made even more handsome by his British accent. I was just sitting on the couch, reading my magazine, when he got up from the couch on the other side of the room to come over and sit down next to me.
Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.
(And while I suspect he might have been hitting on me, I’m not letting myself entertain that thought because, well, stuff like that doesn’t happen except in, uh, y’know. The movies.)
Here’s a little insider tip for those of you attending CIFF: If you see someone with a pass hanging from a bright green lanyard, they are somehow attached to a film being shown. Directors, actors, crew members, family and friends of filmmakers, etc. Just a little hint from me to you.
Oh yes: for those who haven’t yet attended but want to, I have two vouchers available (you need to just go to the box office and turn them in for actual tickets). Just shoot me an email if you’re interested (first come first serve) and I’ll mail them out. Festival doesn’t end until April 1st, so you have plenty of time to use them if interested!
It also turns out that being friends with some of the executive staff gets you some perks. Like, yesterday I was in the lobby waiting for my shift to start when I was asked if I wanted to screen a feature film for them. It hadn’t been watched yet for quality control and it had arrived with two copies of Reel 3 and they wanted to make sure nothing was wrong with it before it was presented to an audience. So, I spent my first two hours or so as a volunteer sitting in a theater by myself watching a movie. And while that sounds kind of silly, about 2/3 of the way through German subtitles popped up. I don’t mean like I was watching the film in German, I mean they were speaking in English and subtitles in German were on the screen.
Guess that was the mysterious second third reel.
Liebe aus der Asche,