Introduction: Renee Madcharoe

By Renee Madcharo, February 2, 2021
Opening anticipation for FLEFF 2021 Season

Wake Up Call

The daily challenge of rising from bed to turn off a blaring alarm clock you regret placing on the other side of the room.

Next on the docket, squinting through the harsh blue light glow from your laptop or monitor blooming to life early in the morning as you mentally prepare to present yourself online to the world.

This pandemic is an awakening, where people have the chance to rise from the slumber of their old daily lives with a different perspective than the day before. To greet these daily challenges with vigor and embrace them as a starting point for creative change.

At this point, it almost has become redundant to say things will never be the same after this pandemic. It has come to the point that such a phrase is equivalent to excusing one’s self for being late. Just rolling off the tongue as a coping method when trying to accept how to rework our daily patterns.

Personally, I have worked with the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and seen a glimpse of the scaffolding of prep work that goes into structuring and holding live events. It is thrilling to see how the FLEFF staff have worked to host different types of screenings, and talkbacks in previous times, and the ways they have adjusted to a new digital platform in such a pivotal time within this industry.

It is this upfront demand that leads to new creative ideas and approaches. In the case of FLEFF, it allowed the festival to transition into an entirely online presence which was previously used as backup means to connect individuals who would not be able to attend the in-person event.

Digital communication may be daunting, but it allows to reach a greater audience than before and bring in new ideas and voices whether it’s from the creators behind the camerawork, to audience members joining from their dining room table.

Bringing in a new wave of accessibility to a global audience while still encompassing FLEFF’s tradition of warmth and bridging connections between members and attendees.