By Annisa Phillip, April 13, 2021
A Bloggers Reflection on this years 24st festival

Never did I think I’d have to worry about my face mask blending in with my zoom background, but here we are.

Despite this year's FLEFF events being held virtually, I still felt connected in going to them. Even if there was the entire internet between us, the good conversations and engagement from the audience brought us closer together. FLEFF has been known for being able to deliver good conversation, and it continued to do that virtually.

If there’s one thing I thought the festival showcased well, it was the variety of events and conversations. I felt like I was at a movie theater, trying to decide what I want from the snack bar. From opera to Black Sexuality, and biological ecosystems to NASA, there was truly something for everyone. 

The talk back for America Street was one of my favorite conversations because I enjoyed the energy that filmmaker Idrissou Mora-Kpai was giving. I appreciated not only hearing his thinking behind the documentary, but also about hearing about his journey to filmmaking. “I was willing to go where I was allowed to go”. This phrase embodies the curiosity I would like to have not only in my career, but in life.

I was also able to engage in good conversation with my roommate. The two of us in our living room with Ham Smith (our hamster), the TV, and a glass of wine became our theater for the festival. We got to watch, Adam (2019), America Street (2020), and One Says No (2020). He’s never participated in a film festival before, so I was happy to use FLEFF as an introduction. Especially with the wide variety of films available, I knew we’d be able to find something that would peak his interest.

To wrap it all up, if there was an event I couldn’t make it too, everything was recorded and is now available on the events page. As Samuel BuggeIn, from the theater round table said, doing things virtually gives us a chance to capture things that wouldn’t normally be. In a way, this allows for someone to still experience a piece of the festival even if it’s over.