I was in the cafe in the park earlier, where I saw a poster for this years Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t take part this year: I felt so low a few months ago, so distracted by what was happening in my personal life, that the idea of attending meetings and contributing ideas was allowed to slide. More to the point, I didn’t feel I had any good, solid ideas to contribute.
The poster in the cafe advertised the screenings of about eighteen films, mostly contemporary mainstream fare. While other members of the festival’s organisation team each propose a film to screen at a certain venue, in the past I have preferred to contribute my own thing to these events, such as giving a talk on cinephilia or screening one or two of my own short films. To be honest, though, this year I was out of ideas and would probably have just gone with the flow and advocated a mainstream film to screen.
The thing is, as important as screenings are, I feel that film festivals shouldn’t just be about watching films. Surely they can also be used to say something about films and our relationship with them. That’s why I haven’t just done a simple screening as my contribution in the past. It’s just sad that, this year, I didn’t have it in me to put in the usual effort. I must admit I feel quite guilty about it, but then, there’s always next year.