After the grief of chronic illness, I’d given up on love and joy. But attending film festivals lit a bright new path back to myself
I was five years old when I fell in love with cinema. We were watching Pinocchio in an old theatre, crowded and noisy with parents and kids. I had a Heart ice-cream clenched in one hand – a grown-up’s ice-cream, a special treat. As the story unfolded, I felt sad, then scared, happy. So many feelings! The emotions were hard, and also thrilling. It was magical.
I was an aspiring film-maker in the early 90s when I first attended Sydney film festival. Initially, it was just one more thing to wedge into the chaos of my life. End-of-semester deadlines were looming and sometimes I’d dash to a session, then rush back to uni to edit a film. But I loved it – being in a crowd of fellow cinephiles, the applause at the end of films, the excitement of discovery. Days spent throwing off your life, forgetting everything and seeing the world through different eyes.
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