Blog posting written by Brittney Cooper (They/She), Cinema and Photography with Minors in Gender Studies and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, '23, FLEFF Intern, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania.
I would never let my words deceive the reader, therefore I am going to be completely honest in this moment. I, a college student, had to look up the definition of “infiltration” before writing the blog. Sure, I heard the word before, but always in the context “we’re going to infiltrate the building”, followed by shootouts and car chases. I did not see car chases in the description of the FLEFF staff position, so I knew I was wrong in my surface-level understanding of the word.
Rest assured, between context clues and the Oxford dictionary, I recognize infiltration’s meaning in the festival world. Festivals, like FLEFF, are spider-webs of infiltrating. Out of the dozen strings there are, I listed five of the most notable.
- Festivals infiltrate the film industry.
The foundation of festivals are built upon a counter attack to the big-budget film industry. What started as an art approach to film rather than a profit approach to film led to the growing platform film festivals are today. Even now, festivals provide more than a new look at filmmaking. In a time where many industry films are remakes, film festivals are handing out new storylines and plots to learn.
- Diversity infiltrates art.
No longer are white men holding our film intake hostage. Festivals are grounds to show the daring and bold. Female filmmakers, environmental concerns, queer representation, and other topics are the basis of festival films; a startling, yet exciting, difference from the industry side of film.
- Covid infiltrates the festival and film industry.
FLEFF 2020, along with many other festivals, were cancelled in preparation for the rising Covid concerns, but it was not film festivals alone that suffered a blow from Covid - the whole entertainment and art world was suspended for a moment. While everyone gathered their thoughts, art spheres were popping up on online platforms and everyone, including festivals, continued to make their trek to the online community.
- Festivals infiltrate Covid.
We are continuously in the height of Covid, yet film festivals are finding ways to break through the struggling. Festivals across the board moved into the online sphere. FLEFF, along with many others use the Eventive platform to bring virtual cinema to a reality.
- Festivals infiltrate our homes.
One of the best outcomes from a cold bucket splash wake-up call, allowed the wide accessibility of festivals. Festivals, while not always trying to be elitist, are available to those who can travel, yet the online format switches up the game. My family, my friends, and even my cats can participate in a traveling festival together.
I am excited to see the festival in its entirety with new platforms and films to showcase, especially after last year when FLEFF 2020, under the same theme, was cancelled due to Covid. Infiltrations fits the festival world well, particularly now, and I am thrilled to see FLEFF flourish during a lull in time.