The Morning After: An Ode to SFF 2016
By Mary Beth Bainbridge, exhausted organizer
I love Salem Film Fest. The revolving door of work/fest/after-party is exhilarating. But I have to admit the week-long Fest wreaks havoc on my house. The following accurately describes the scene on Friday morning, 11 March 2016.
The kitchen sink will contain exactly one unwashed coffee cup emblazoned with the SFF logo. It is a residual artifact representing the hectic final Fest morning during which I was frantically running about the house preparing for a day at the Fest before heading to work.
The fruit bowl will bear no fruit, except for maybe a forgotten brown banana. The bread bin will have turned into a holding cell for a lone piece of spotted bread. The fridge will be void of anything edible. The cupboards will be slim pickings with little more than dilly beans. The plants will be begging for sunlight and water. The overflowing laundry baskets will contain three weeks of dirty laundry. The most recent layer will be my entire collection of Salem Film Fest tees.
The kitchen table will be littered with Fest paraphernalia. My all access pass holder bulging with ticket stubs of films I adored. There will be various postcards of amazing documentaries and business cards from interesting people I met during the week. Of course, a few stray SFF buttons will be scattered about the pile. My new Salem Film Fest tote bag will be slung over a chair, filled with some Fest posters. The tired laptop will be out of juice, having sent one last email to a friend asking if she wants to attend a narrative film Friday night.
There will be one pristine copy of the program book for my archives proudly sitting on the counter. And there will be one tattered program book dutifully serving as my bible for the Fest. This essential guidebook will be marked with logistical details, color-coded highlights, and scribbled notes. This bound cheat sheet will reveal phonetic name spellings for intros, underline essential story moments to lead q+a, and a binder clip in the front holding vital Fest information such as filmmaker arrivals. The cover of this lifeline will be tagged with a sticker or two and become a jumping point for post-Fest discussions.
I will not be present at this post-Fest scene, at least, not in any conscious way. My faithful alarm clock will be mercifully silenced. The window shades will be drawn down tight. And I will be happily exhausted and tucked in bed, gratefully sleeping past any hour defined
as morning. Salem Film Fest 2016 slowly becoming a distant memory.