My First In Person Event Since Covid Started was at Garden State Film Festival 2022

I took quite some time away from my blog and social media to focus on my writing projects. But I recently - hum... two months ago recently lol!! - had my first in-person event since Covid started, first immersion in a crowd after over two years!!! - and I wanted to share it.


End of March 2022, mask mandates were ending quite everywhere, numbers were down, but I asked myself what number would really make me feel safe enough? We all have different perspectives on that...


End of March 2022 was also when New Jersey's 2oth Garden State Film Festival (GSFF) was scheduled. My film The Last Touch was selected for a screening I thought at the time would mark remarkably the end of the festival run - I thought so until I received new selections!! :P to my immense surprise!! (Vero Beach, HollyShorts Screenings,,,*)


My First Red Carpet in Years!


So my big internal conflict was should I go or should I stay home and stay safe...? The transition back to life, and public life has been quite challenging and we all have had a different approach to it.

GSFF was taking place in Asbury Park, which was close enough that I could make it in person, unlike the dozen ones I missed. It would be my first festival in the US as a filmmaker ever! And potentially the last time my film would play on a big screen! I couldn't miss it one more time! I made up my decision, and started to get ready and count down the days!


I had postcards printed for the first time! I was interviewed at home. And I had to look for an outfit. Ugh!!! That was going to be my first red carpet in years! Dressing up was a game I hadn't played for so long. And I had to take into account that I was going to spend the whole day by the ocean (windy and cold with risks of rain), on my feet, from a screening to a meeting, with a backpack (carrying my postcards, water, food - always carry food in case of an unexpected apocalypse or just because I never know if I'll find the snacks I like)... So with that... forget the heels, forget the dress... that day I would just wear an elegant and simple black blouse, with my Channel vintage cassette necklace, some rugged pants and my good old Dr. Martens boots that are now about 16 years old! Yup!



I was excited!!! But still anxious about diving in the crowd... with or without mask?


MASK or NO-MASK?


Well... I was going to be inside all day long with people I didn't know. No idea if they were vaccinated - I was -, boosted - I was -, and regardless of that, we all have the potential of carrying the virus without even knowing it. Did I want to take any type of risk to catch or transmit it? Hell no! But what would wear a mask really do?

1- Reduce significantly the risks of transmission one way or the other.

2- Increase my feeling of safety.

3- Thus increase my enjoyment of the event.

4- Hide potential salad or spinach unknowingly stuck in between the teeth - I didn't eat any, But those things sometimes just land there and make you feel so awful when you find out you widely smiled at everyone with that green thing stuck there and nobody said anything, but they did watch!.

5- And lastly but not least... something I found out at the festival itself... wearing the mask allowed me to STAND OUT!!! Yes, when in a crowd of hundreds of people, you're one of the three people wearing a mask, that's when everybody else starts to stare at you and... REMEMBER YOU... And I like that... a lot!!!!


So, yes, I was that one girl wearing a mask, taking it off for pictures and interviews purposes only, putting it back right after, and feeling super good and happy. And I think people could really see my salad-free wide smile brightening up my eyes.




A sweet dream that was real...


March 26 2022. That Saturday morning I woke up early, excited to go to my very first in person American film festival as a writer/director. Some wear their filmmaker’s hat. I wore my filmmaker’s backpack, that I patched up myself, geared in full “follow me and come watch my film tonight” mode :)

I wore that back pack all day long.

How many people followed me to the screening? How did it go?…

You can see by the size of my smile how this was a wonderful day. It was like a dream, a sweet dream. And what was sweet about this dream… is that it was REAL.


My first in person Q/A as a filmmaker!

I was so humbled to be part of such a great selection of sci-fi films, including John Gray’s Best Sci Fi GSFF winner, “Welcome to Forever”, one of my favorites!, to connect with fellow filmmakers and be part of what was my first in person Q/A as a filmmaker with an audience that had just seen the movies!!

+ The screening room was 95% full!Um! Excuse me! 95%!! (Did my backpack with the poster work that well!? Lol) ! In a festival… that late… for short movies… what a privilege and gift it was!

+ The cherry… my screenwriter/filmmaker friends, who took the time to be there with me, made this day even more special and FUN!


March 26 2022 was already two months ago, but it seems like yesterday. To more festivals!



*Check out all festivals' updates and info: www.madeinmarsstudios.com.


** English is my second language... so person my French... ness if some sentences read weird.


📸+💛+ Thanks to Mark, Alex, Dino + selfies…

💛+ ThanksShannon, Vicki, Melissa, Keith, Heather & GSFF + Carolyn & Rosie!!!


***


Pour mes lecteurs Français, j'avais posté une partie de l'article dans la langue de Molière... ;)

🇫🇷~Ce matin là, légère et chaudement vêtue, j’endossai mon sac à dos recyclé en mode “qui m’aime me suive…à ma projo ce soir”. Je m’en allai à grands pas à mon premier festival Américain en tant que réal ainsi que mon premier événement en personne depuis Covid.

Le sac suspendu à mon dos du matin à la nuit pour une promo “bat-tambour” Résultats?


Un réel rêve réel...

Vous pouvez voir à la taille de mon sourire à quel point cette journée fut merveilleuse. C'était comme un rêve, un RÉEL rêve réel!

Ce fut un honneur de faire partie d'une si belle sélection de films de science-fiction, de me connecter avec d'autres cinéastes et de faire partie de ce qui restera mon premier Q / A en personne en tant que réalisatrice avec un public qui venait juste de voir les films !!

+ La salle de projection était pleine à 95% ! 95% !! (Mon sac à dos avec l'affiche a fonctionné à ce point!? Lol) ! Dans un festival… aussi tard… pour des courts métrages… quel privilège et quel cadeau ce fut !

+ Cerise… mes amis scénaristes/réalisateurs, qui ont pris le temps d'être là avec moi, ont rendu cette journée encore plus spéciale et FUN !




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