Mallory Martin shares what it’s been like planning the festival and what themes to expect from some of the films this year.
Q. Did you have any big takeaways from how other festivals were doing things?
A. Some examples of things that we learned along the way is how to do these virtual Q&A’s, because back in the spring we weren’t able to offer any filmmaker engagement. And filmmakers are so desperate for that right now. I mean, they’ve been hit so hard with this. So we’re putting a lot of effort into building out this virtual Q&A so that we’re offering filmmakers a platform to talk about their movies, but also to make our audience feel like it’s still a festival.
Q. How many films have you watched in preparation for CIFF45?
A. My average number of feature films that I would watch a year was around 500, that was pre-pandemic. This year, I’ve attended 26 virtual film festivals, that’s almost triple the amount of film festivals that I had attended before. I mean, it’s just one example of this new sort of level of access that going virtual has opened up for the whole world. For this year, I know that it’s already over 500 that I’ve watched.
Q. Did you see any themes of the pandemic or related to the pandemic from films that you saw?
A. There were definitely some films that I saw that have been made during the pandemic, which is just amazing. But there were also films that I saw that sort of had this kind of theme of Armageddon and some of these were even written and shot before COVID. And it’s funny how you can kind of transfer those themes into what’s going on in the world now. So there’ll be a couple of films like that at CIFF this year. I’m eager to see what people’s reactions are.