Saturday, August 27, 2016

Festival hanging by a thread

Well, the Montreal Word Film Festival hasn’t crashed, at least not completely. Arriving in the city yesterday I feared the worst (see Aug. 24 post below). Back in July I’d bought a pass online and expected to be here until next Wednesday. Normally I see five or six films a day. With a massively truncated scheduled – all films being shown at just one venue instead of the usual seven or more – and crowds converging at one spot, would I even be able to get into the films? Not to worry. The word obviously went out and the vast majority of people who usually attend the festival, thinking it had died or was in major crisis – as it is - decided to stay home. So I got into four afternoon and evening movies Friday with no problems, as most people decided not to attend. There were about three-four dozen people at each screening, the historic Imperial Cinema dwarfing them. These people, indeed, are the diehards, as the Montreal media likes to point out. On the bright side, though I don’t take pleasure in saying it, it’s easy to get into every film one wants and attendees are joking they don’t have to make tough decisions about which which of several films to see in any one slot. That’s because there is only one film showing per time slot. Mind you, on the fest’s full second day – today - attendance was up this evening, perhaps because word has spread the festival isn’t a total disaster and what is being screened is adhering to schedule, thanks to a loyal handful of volunteers.

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