Now that the pandemic is winding down, it’s the perfect time for film festivals to get going once again. That said, there are still many safety guidelines that should be followed when attending film festivals, both at home and worldwide. Let’s go over some of the essential guidelines that you should be following when hosting or attending a film festival in this post-pandemic world we live in.
Follow All Laws
Different areas have different laws concerning how one should behave during the pandemic, and since film festivals are held worldwide, each one is likely to be subject to different laws. A good example of this would be a film festival held in an area that still requires masks and social distancing, while others may be held in areas that do not require these measures anymore.
Be mindful that even if you don’t agree with these laws, you should respect the area you’re in and do your best to comply with them. After all, there could be legal repercussions for disobeying pandemic laws, such as fines or even a festival being shut down.
Know the Rules of the Festival Beforehand
Just as you should familiarize yourself with the local laws regarding the pandemic in the area where the festival is being held, you should also take the time to read up on what rules the festival you plan on attending has regarding the matter. This will help you to know what to expect and to come prepared.
For example, if you’re required to wear a mask, you’ll want to know before you show up maskless as you may not be allowed onto the premises. Social distancing rules may also affect seating arrangements, so that’s something you’ll likely want to be prepared for as well.
Be Prepared for Cancellations
While the pandemic is finally easing up, for the most part, there have been spikes in infection rates here and there. This means that if infection rates go up in an area where a film festival is being held, it might be cancelled. This is just something to keep in mind so that you aren’t overly surprised when it happens. While this is an inconvenience, it is the right of those holding the festival to decide whether or not they think it is safe to proceed with the festival.
To counteract this problem, you can use the ultimate film festival list to give yourself multiple options. That way, if the festival you plan on attending gets cancelled, you can pick another that works with your schedule and budget.
Be Prepared to Show Proof of Vaccination
If a film festival requires proof of vaccination, make sure that you have it on hand. This could be a physical copy printed out on a piece of paper or card, or it could be a virtual copy on your phone. In either event, make sure you have the documentation required of you by the festival.
It also goes without saying that if you are not vaccinated, don’t use fake documentation. While it may not be illegal in some cases, it is disrespectful to the festival organizers and your fellow festival-goers.
Respect Other People’s Decisions
Speaking of respect, you need to be prepared to meet people who may have different views regarding the pandemic than your own at these film festivals. If you see someone wearing a mask or practicing social distancing, even if the festival organizers or law doesn’t explicitly require it, don’t give them a hard time. Some people just feel safer by doing these things.
Also, be mindful that film festivals are places where people come to enjoy themselves and experience the art of film; it isn’t a place to attack one another over different beliefs. If you disagree with someone’s opinion on how the pandemic should be handled, feel free to express your disagreement respectfully, but don’t stir up trouble by attacking them.
Report Policy Violations
If you notice that someone isn’t following the guidelines or laws that apply to the film festival you’re visiting, don’t take it upon yourself to police them. Instead, report them to someone who can handle the situation correctly. This is the best way to handle these incidents without stirring up trouble, as previously stated.
Be Respectful, Sensible, and Prepared
The #1 guideline to follow when visiting or hosting a film festival in this post-pandemic era is to know what to expect. This applies to the laws in the area where the festival will be held and the temperament of the people who will be visiting the festival. While not everything can be predicted, having a good game plan going in will make your experience much more enjoyable.
Above all else, be respectful of others, and don’t let your personal beliefs cause conflict or distract you from the beauty of a film that you came to enjoy. The pandemic wasn’t fun for anyone, so use the festival as a way to take your mind off of it and feel better.