Back Row Thoughts – Festivals for the Intervals

Miss me? Okay, you can put your hands down and stop kissing my ass, I know you weren’t that badly. Also, hi mom! Anyway, the last few months have brought the film industry to a grinding halt, but thankfully, I have been able to do a little bit of viewing in the midst of the world burning.

As I’ve mentioned before, I occasionally contribute to Behind the Rabbit Productions and the “No Rest for the Weekend” podcast with tailored reviews of independent films that I normally wouldn’t cover here. They’ve been wonderful in plugging this blog and providing me an outlet and audience I wouldn’t have even known to seek beforehand.

In that vein, the good folks there actually had me appear on the show this week to preview the Brooklyn Film Festival, which begins tomorrow. As with much of the movie world, things have had to be adjusted, including how to view film festivals. Well, the loss for the prestige circuit may very well be our gain, as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of these festivals to go the online route this year, including Brooklyn.

To that end, I was given the opportunity to watch and review three features playing at the festival, as well as a dramatic short. My written reviews live on their site, and if any of these films get picked up for a proper wide release, you can bet I’ll give an updated review here. In the meantime, though, you can watch my discussion with the awesome Jason Godbey below:

Let me know how you like the video, and if you’d like me to incorporate video content on the blog in the future. As you can see, it’s been a while since I’ve been on camera in any official capacity, I’m not the most polished of presenter, and my current tech is kind of shitty, as it’s just my webcam, but if this is a worthy investment of time and money, I’ll certainly make it.

More importantly, if you’re interested in the films I previewed for the Brooklyn Film Festival, you can actually watch them yourself! Go to brooklynfilmfestival.org and register for a free account, giving you access to all 149 of the festival starting tomorrow and going until June 7.

And if that weren’t enough, there’s also the We Are One Film Festival starting tomorrow as well. As many prestigious festivals have had to adjust or eliminate their on-site activities, several have come together for a grand online fest that we can all enjoy. It too starts tomorrow and runs until June 7. Selections from Tribeca, Venice, Tokyo, Toronto, Sundance, Berlin, and Macau will all be available, as well as the Annecy Animation Festival, one of the biggest events in animation for the year (and a launchpad for many potential Oscar nominees). You can access this festival on YouTube. I will be covering it for Behind the Rabbit just like with Brooklyn, and again, if anything gets a wider release, I will certainly cover it here.

We’re getting close to the light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of areas are reopening, and some of them are even safe to do so. We’re about another month away from major theatre chains like AMC coming back, and eventually, we’ll be back into the swing of things. Thanks as always for sticking with me through this, and in all seriousness, give me whatever constructive feedback you can on the video, and if you want to see more of my mug – at least once I’m able to get a haircut and a decent lighting setup.

Join the conversation in the comments below! Have you ever attended a film festival? Are you excited for the chance at a virtual one? Does my webcam make it look like I have no ears? Let me know!

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