The festival is over.
This was my sixth time as a part of it.
It has marked every beginning of spring for my life in Bucharest. A constant presence in the blossoming of the city.
The great films in the competition are one of the reasons for my involvement. But the people are even more so a reason why I kept coming back.
The ever enthusiastic volunteers, students with hearts open to anything and everything. I am a part of them, even though I’m a bit older now and usually work for the festival from behind my computer screen. So I meet them at the parties and the badges signal our common world. We’re labeled STAFF or VOLUNTEER.
The never stopping staff, making calls, connecting worlds, getting beautiful people from all around the world here, at the festival. The ones who transformed two deaths into a million smiles and intersections of creativity, who made sure “we’ll always remember you” was no empty saying. The ones who always whisper “next next next” in their dreams, feel a gap in their stomachs when March gets closer, and feel a void in their days when April starts. A void tangled up with relief.
The contestants, the guests, the seminar holders. With their cultural luggage trailing around them as they sip their drinks. The where are you from, who do you know, have you ever worked with this director, so have I, such a small world. The smiles, the community. The dances and exaltation. The anecdotes, the lunches and dinners, the shared hangovers, the amateur guided tours of the city that I love making.
and the letting go, the wordless friendships that appear and then might fade away, despite the affection that remains.
They are the beautiful people. The beautiful people I get a glimpse of, that I charge up with every year. Their faces float around in my memory, smiling, moving to a melody, in clouds of smoke and party lights. Their names linger on for several weeks, and then their smiles and fractions of their films remain.
And I remain with the longing, the belonging and yet never fully belonging to their world of beauty-making. I have so many short films floating in my mind, but they’re stuck inside for a very limited audience.
So this is all I have to offer.
A thank you. For letting me be a part of all that.
Till we meet again, all you beautiful people.