Reflections Regarding FLEFF

By Erin Pedersen, April 13, 2021
We Are The Screen

We Are the Screen, one of FLEFF’s motos throughout this year's festival. 

FLEFF created new content through the screen by having presenters and participants inside the screen. Hosting the virtual festival in a meeting style rather than a webinar style made the events personable and engaging.

Feminist to Feminist was the third event hosted in the first week of FLEFF and shined from a meeting format because Nicole Horsley, a speaker during Feminist to Feminist, was able to have a discussion with the participants instead of giving a lecture.

Feminist to Feminist focused on gender, sexuality, and queerness. It sparked conversations that are challenging for people to have in public such as genitalia and exploring your own body.

Nicole Horsley went one step further than the discussion to show the participants a clitoris and the various types of vulvas since each one differs per ethnicity.

During the second week of FLEFF, a Conversation with Opera Singers from Across the Country took place discussing Why Opera, Why Now? This particular event struck me because impromptu performances took place and the jaws of participants dropped.

With in-person events, if there are shocking phrases or actions that take place you are focused on your own reaction and are not able to see the people around you. However, with a virtual event, you can see everyone’s facial expressions on the screen in addition to your own.

Watching the joyous shock hit participants as Daniel and Nicholas Bates serenaded the audience was a moment I will not forget and am proud to have been a part of.

Another idea that FLEFF brought to my attention was how attending events and watching films allowed me to travel around the world from the comfort and ease of staying home.

The film One Says No by Zhao Dayong took place in China and is now banned because of the political issues it addressed surrounding housing demolitions for economic growth. This film was streamed with FLEFF because of its important content that individuals are not typically exposed to.

After reading Film Festivals: History, Theory, Method, Practice by Marijke de Valck I learned that the film curator is a dynamic force that circulates film releases and challenging repertoire because they decide which films get released and which ones the public misses out on.

However, this limits global perspectives and the options of where films are shown. FLEFF showing films virtually and asynchronously allowed for a global viewing of feature films from a surplus of directors.

FLEFF’s virtual presence infiltrated typical film festivals because not only were we the screen, we were the festival.