Introduction: Lou Baron

By Lou Baron, February 1, 2021
Get to know FLEFF Team blogger Lou Baron as she discusses COVID, the communities that have sustained her as of late, and the opportunities of a virtual festival.

Blog Posting by Lou Baron, Culture and Communication ‘23, minors in Spanish and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies.

Cancelled.

Closed.

Postponed.

These words permeate our collective existence in the time of COVID. 

I firmly believe in the process of grieving. As a young person who has experienced my fair share of loss, I understand the power that lies in grieving not only the moments of the past, but the potential of the future.

With thousands of individuals dying of disease every day, making space for grief is vital. 

What has buoyed me throughout this grief is community. 

My closest friends at Ithaca College began a tradition of talking over The Bachelorette on Zoom together every week. We place bets on who will go home each episode, and the loser owes the winner a milkshake. Even budding intellectuals need a reality television reset sometimes!

While my social community certainly serves its purpose, I have also found intellectual communities that sustain my heart and mind in profound ways. From an insightful feminist speaker series facilitated by one of the fearless leaders of this festival, Dr. Patricia Zimmerman, to my virtual coursework in film studies and dramaturgy, I have experienced firsthand the ability of technology to transcend physical limitations.

The opportunities of a festival in this virtual space are truly unparalleled.

As much as I will miss eating popcorn at Cinemapolis, the part of me firmly planted in Generation Z is stoked for virtual cinema. Throughout the festival, you will no doubt find me curled up with a cup of tea and my laptop, re-watching my favorite films of the week.

I can’t wait to attend virtual workshops with emerging new media artists, and even interview a select few myself. The virtual nature of FLEFF allows for expanded amounts of time with these masters, and I intend to take advantage of every extra minute.

What’s more, I am able to invite my friends and family from Montreal, Canada to Baltimore, Maryland to Palm Springs, California to attend these events with me! In a festival bound by physical space, this of course would not be possible. 

Still, blogging for FLEFF this year means much more to me than attending and reporting upon a sequence of events.

FLEFF signifies that from milkshake bets to intellectual debates, community is not cancelled. 

Discussion is not closed. 

Growth is not postponed.

I am thrilled to work within a festival that continues to say yes amidst a sea of no. 

I am proud to join a community that has committed to deconstructing oppressive ideologies not only today, but since its inception. 

Most of all, I am ready to get started.