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Taking It to the Streets
by Karen Pecota

I entered the Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) 2009 mid-stream due to a prolonged work assignment. I realized that my coverage would take on a different twist because, sadly, I had missed the initial festival hoop-lah and specific early events for the press, with the exception of the round-table-talks involving filmmakers—my favorite venue.

In order to tap into the festival buzz, I hit to the streets, as a normal film fanatic, to stand in rush lines for particular films where I missed the scheduled press screening. I would have preferred to view the films with my film colleagues to engage in appropriate critique. But, I was now ready for adventure as I journeyed toward the rush lines. Priority number one was to arrive early along with my essential survival kit to endure standing in the designated line for at least an hour. I was fortunate to get a rush ticket for everything my heart desired. And, just as fortunate to be able to flash my press badge to receive a press ticket—meaning it was free to me.

One evening, while waiting to get into one of the rush lines I had the privilege of hanging out at a local ice creamery with one of the festival organizers. To chill and converse about the festival, over the best ice cream in town, was the perfect ending to a perfect day. We optimized film, food, rest and relaxation in the warmth of a fabulous New York evening.

On another occasion, I met another festival volunteer while standing in the wait-list-line and talked for about an hour then we sat together in the theater. We kept in contact even after the festival. She is privy to the industry because family members are involved in the acting scene.

Wait-list-line was made easy standing with my daughter even in the pouring down rain and the snack company kept us stocked up with strange munchies while we waited.

We did see people shut out of films who waited for at least a couple of hours and sure they are disappointed but I was impressed with the great attitude of the film fans to figure out something else to do and move on….they are assured to getting into something else. The atmosphere was invigorating.

The Volunteers are super helpful!. They really want to be there so that’s what motivates these people to give excellent service with a positive attitude and go out of their way to help.