By Caterina Sartori

Festival time: that fast-paced, heightened time when everything seems to be happening at once. So many films to see, so many people to talk to, so much to think about. Choices to make. Back-to-back screenings, big conversations, and parties. The hours blend into one another, day turns into night, all a blur of sensations and colours. High on sounds and images, sleep-deprived, on overdrive, we trot from one darkened space to the other. A whirlwind of a time. A stimulus overdose. 

We love the adrenaline of it all. 

However, of late I have found myself pondering with others who inhabit this condensed, beloved festival time – what does this pace, this energy, preclude? We crave, many of us, a different mode: a different pace to engage with the cinema we love. 

Us lovers of thoughtful, mind-expanding cinematic work, sometimes we need to s l o w down a tad. Allow time for the work to breathe and inhabit us. 

So we thought, Stephen and I, why don’t we give our festival-time in Bristol a counterpoint: access to our lovingly crafted selection of films for a whole month, online, so people can dive in at their own pace. 

Unusual, as a model. How long is a month? We might as well ask how long a piece of string is. There are a lot of days, inside a month, but they also pass by in a flash if you are not paying enough attention.

So this is how we see it: we would like YOU, to make March the month to revel in our film selection at your own pace. Choose your films, watch them more than once (within the 48h watch window!), mull them over, think and write about them. Be slow and intentional about it, but be fast! Don’t let this time we’ve set aside for you, slip you by. 

And then we will see you, Live in Bristol, for festival-time. We’ll all be ready by then.