I recently bought a streaming box that has a plethora of different apps. The mindless self indulgence of both short and feature lengths is amazing, it even auto plays the next thing it thinks you’ll like, weird! So I don’t even have to move my podgy fingers. The rise of Vimeo, Snag Films and of course You Tube, has made the whole indie film world much more accessible. My only fear is the momentum of dependency towards the internet is rapid, and film viewings for their intended arena are diminishing. After the blood sweat and tears, satisfaction of completing a film doesn’t certify by waiting hours for the thing to upload, I’m pretty sure it comes from being able to play months worth of laborious love to a auditorium of harmonious film heads.
Seeing your work on a big screen accompanied by a massive sound system must be a rush. No Gloss Festival gives film-makers a chance when others don’t. Showcasing films from all corners of the globe, the whole weekend was perfectly hosted in the dusty old Canal Mills (Not Armley), just on the outskirts of Leeds centre. It’s got this amazing crusty int/ext that I gawked at all day, it felt a bit surreal to be honest, the kind of underdiscovered beauty you only see on screen. Of course the staff and volunteers are what made the weekend possible, but having somewhere so creatively enriched show the films, that isn’t the dull mimeographed interior of a multiplex, was an absolute blessing.
There were some great films throughout the day, but Dom & Joe’s Orange Fever was the highlight for me. They did a great Q&A before the showing of their film, although I really felt for them waiting in the wings for something (anything) in the form of auditive validation after their showing. I can’t imagine how nerve racking it must be to watch others scrutinising your work. The thing is, everyone in the room thought it was brilliant. However in typical British cinema-going etiquette, any sort of expression shackled, no one made a single noise when it finished! Not a peep! I’m still kicking myself for not instigating a clap-coupled with a couple of obnoxious finger whistles.
So another year passes and the sweeping brush- bristles away. I really hope we get to return to No/Gloss as I don’t think I’ve ever felt that relaxed at a film festival, although that might have been the Brew Dog. In all seriousness if you didn’t go this year please make the effort to go to next, you’ll thank me for it and you’ll come away with a bustling head full of your own ideas coat-tailed from this unique experience.