As the leaves change and whirl around me, so does everyone in the office. This is my first year with the festival in an office position and it has been quite the learning curve.
We are one week away from festival and all the pieces are coming together. It has been interesting to see how everyone has different busy times. July and August are crazy for Daniel as he gets the programming team together regularly to review submissions and then corresponds with all the artists. Kerry is really busy pre-August as she gets all the funding and sponsors in place well before the festival. Sage hits madness when programming is locked in August and until the catalogue heads to print in September. Violet seems to be hitting her stride by the time October hits with preparations for the mediatheque library while still offering loads of support to the rest of us. Jason always seems to be pulling the 10-12 hour days as he leads us through the maze of madness. And me, right now I seem to be living at the office and when I am away from it I am still thinking about what needs to be done as soon as I arrive the next day. In the last month we have had Amy (Volunteer Manager), Victoria (Front of House Manager) and Rolla (Print Traffic Coordinator) join the team. Even though we all have our busy periods, where we are the last to leave and first to arrive, right now we are all putting in 110% and working as a team to bring you the magic of the festival.
We had our last pre-festival board meeting last night and it was such a pleasure to see the board and know that they are there as support during the festival. I don’t usually attend the meetings so it is easy for me to forget about their backing but they are there for us during the festival picking people up at the airport, escorting special guests and sponsors at opening, closing and throughout the Festival, moderating Q&A’s and intro’s, attending and helping at special events and they still manage to catch a film or two.
These are all the lovely people that make imagineNATIVE one of the premier Indigenous Film Festivals around. We are puzzle pieces that come together to make a bigger picture and something worth looking at. Without one of us the picture is incomplete.
So don’t miss the beautiful picture we have made for you this year. Some must see events for me this year are The Beat featuring Buffy Sainte-Marie on October 22 doors at 7pm, Phoenix Concert Theatre, Mesnak by Yves Sioui Durand on October 20 at 9:30pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox and a personal favourite of mine since I had the pleasure of seeing it at TIFF 2009, Bran Nue Dae by Rachel Perkins on October 22 at 7pm, TIFF Bell Lightbox.
I’ll see you all soon and don’t forget to come and say hi at the Guest Services table located in the lobby of TIFF Bell Lightbox next to the box office.
Isidra Cruz is a Mexican, Cree, French and African American arts administrator, visual artist and costume designer. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Theatre Production program where she received her BFA (H), specializing in theatre administration and costume design and construction. Presently she is working on her installation, Whitewash and saying goodbye to Cake by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard as it heads off to Uganda in September for which Isidra did the set and costume design. Isidra is currently pleased to be working for imagineNATIVE as the Guest Service Coordinator.