The 2020 film festival season has been one like no other. The sweeping impact of Covid-19 has altered cinema-going for the foreseeable future, yet somehow festivals have soldiered on. Cannes was cancelled but Venice, Toronto and London went ahead with a new ‘hybrid’ model that combines physical and online screenings. It is a model that was embraced by the Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF to its friends), until the recent lockdown moved it online only.
Despite the lack of physical screenings at LIFF 2020, one thing that has been little effected is the short film programme at this year’s festival. Which is where I come in. For the first time this year I am a Virtual Volunteer at the Leeds International Film Festival. This means that I have been helping out with programme uploads and will be helping produce content related to the festival.
That content will all be published here on Reel Time and will consist of me watching individual collections from this year’s Leeds Short Film Awards, highlighting one film from each collection that I think is particularly worthy of attention. As I have explained here, short film is an often overlooked form that gives artists fantastic opportunities to experiment and produce daring, original work. Watching these collections will therefore be a challenge and a treat for me.
LIFF is the biggest film festival in England outside the capital, and every year brings some of the most exciting filmmaking in the world to our screens. This year, those screens may be smaller, but there’s still plenty to get excited about. I am delighted to be a part of the LIFF team, and can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all.
Information about the festival programme and access to the festival Player can be found at https://www.leedsfilm.com.