Volunteering at an independent film festival probably isn’t most people’s idea of fun and I’ve no idea how it became mine, but this week and next, I’m volunteering at the Raindance Film Festival. I volunteered a few years back and had a great time, but since then life and mainly work commitments (the small matter of having a gallery to run in my spare time) stopped me from doing it again. But this year, I’ve got more time on my hands so I offered to help out again. I love film festivals but unless you can somehow blag a pass (I’ve achieved this once) it is either very expensive or you’re faced with the choice of deciding between umpteen films. But by volunteering, I’m saving myself the money and procrastination.
Last night was the opening night and as befits the name, it was a dreary rainy night, but what a great night it was. I was ushering for the opening night film, a none-too-difficult job of just making sure people could find their seats (including Mick Jones from The Clash!!!), after which I got to watch the film for free. The film was Weirdsville, a Canadian slacker comedy directed by the same person who did Pump Up the Volume. Its no Citizen Kane, but it was really funny and set the tone for the evening nicely. Before the film was a prize draw (what is it with raffles at film screenings lately?) for a guitar which was drawn by Mick Jones – sadly as a volunteer I couldn’t enter.
After the film, naturally was the After Party which was at Sound in Leicester Square. I wouldn’t normally go to a nightclub in Leicester Square, especially not on a Tuesday night, but as ever there was the irresistible pull of getting something for free. So a group of us went down there, all still resplendent in our festival t-shirts and feasted on free Cobra lager. The music was pretty good (mainly current indie stuff, then a live band along the lines of Hot Chip), Russell Brand was there, along with a lot of wannabe actors hoping to be discovered. Us volunteers stuck together, finding each other easily due to the t-shirts (it was still possible to tell a lot about a person by the way they wore their t-shirt). It was good fun considering we were a bunch of people who didn't know each other at the start of the day.
I showed remarkable restraint and left at 11.30 - I'm not as young as I once was and it was a Tuesday. I'm still absolutely exhausted today though. My keyboard has looked inviting as a pillow and I was tempted to crawl into a discarded box in the corridor for a nap earlier.