This year my press credential allowed me to be at the photo calls since I was the only one from my outlet covering the festival. With due diligence, I took advantage of as many as photo calls as possible but it is a hectic schedule. Especially, if one plans to screen the films. It's invigorating but crazy fun!
The photography credential does not give the photographer automatic entrance to films, so one needs to secure a hard ticket for a public screening or attend press only screenings. A well- organized scheduled plan is a must. It takes time to put together but well worth the effort.
The photographers and radio and tv interviewers arrive at designated theaters an hour prior to the premiere of each film. The filmmakers and their entourage gather in a special holding area where relaxation, food and beverages are available. At the designated time to meet the press the filmmakers and their entourage are guided by the festival staff to stand in an area in front of the Festival banner for photographers and then advance to another area for the interviews with various media outlets. The Festival back drop is visibly beautiful and the media is at a comfortable distance away from the guests. This gives opportunity for the right coverage to occur without crowding or one outlet dominating the space.
My first photo call was for one of the opening documentary films Kailash. I got great shots of their filmmakers, cast and crew but most impressive was to observe the gentleness at which Kailash and his wife moved from space to space for those who wanted to photograph or interview. His kind demeanor created a peaceful atmosphere with a humble man. He gave everyone plenty of time to do their job.
I was lucky enough to have a hard ticket for his film and could hardly wait to get into the theater to view the documentary. I was anxious to understand what this man and his mission was all about.