I spent some time volunteering at the Cleveland Film Festival in March 2013. Being a resident of Cleveland, it was a different experience. I only volunteered for four shifts: three in the Hospitality Suite and one in a theater. While I thought being in the Hospitality Suite would have been great, it was very similar to my job as a server. Therefore, I preferred working in the theater. Also, because Cleveland is smaller, it was a very different experience. I really just kind of went with it, but I thought the way they load patrons into the theater was very inefficient.
I saw five films at the Cleveland Film Festival. Reject was a local documentary that focused on teenage suicides and bullying. It used an example of a suicide that occurred in Mentor, OH with a bullied teenage boy. The next film I saw was Casting By. I loved this one. I learned so much about casting and how everything worked in Hollywood during the early years. I also saw Brave Miss World, a documentary about the rape trial of Miss World 1998. She embarked on a journey to tell her story and listen to others throughout the world. Next, I saw Downloaded, a documentary about Napster. I heard a lot about this film at SXSW, so I was surprised to find a half-empty theatre in Cleveland. Possibly because the film is about technology and SXSW is a tech festival as well. On the last day, I saw The Crash Reel. I took my mother to go see this film because it is about snowboarding and the injuries that can come when you do not wear your helmet. It was so emotional, and I know she loved it. Although I had already seen it, I enjoyed being able to catch it again.
Although I only volunteered a select number of shifts and only saw 5 films, it was interesting to see how a small festival ran. I don’t know if I would volunteer again, but it was great to be able to catch some independent films while in Cleveland.