Thursday, 28 June 2018

Tips for travelling to Film Festivals


M&J are in Toronto at the Female Eye Film Festival this week for the closing night screening of our short film, MENTAL. I have been following MENTAL on its festival run with M, for almost two years now and as such, I have gotten pretty used to prepping, packing and settling in at hotels.

Here is my advice on how to prep for / approach this type of travel:

Pamper yourself ahead of time

Schedule anything and everything salon wise that makes you feel ‘put-together’ before you leave. Get your nails done or enjoy doing them at home, wax (if that’s your thing), get your hair trimmed and dyed if it will add swagger to your walk. Invest in whatever personal grooming makes you feel great and able to put your best foot forward, prior to travelling.

Pack light & stylish

When flying, my packing regime is centered around never having to check luggage. Regardless of the length of my trip, I only ever bring two carry-on bags to be able to step off the plane and leave without waiting at the carousel.

Here’s how to do this:
• Roll your clothes - it’s a great way to fit everything in and bonus, it prevents wrinkling.
• Bring layers - better to have several thin items than a single bulky one.
• Favor black, white / neutrals - this way all your clothing can be paired together, resulting in multiple outfits from only a few garments.
• Aim for business casual - most festivals have a relaxed, albeit professional atmosphere in the day, mixed with an expectation of glamour in the evenings. Planning a ‘business casual’ look allows for stylish comfort during panels/screenings while being easily glammed up with costume jewelry, scarves or a sharp stiletto for late-night parties and networking.
• Limit bottom options (i.e., pants, skirts) - the best thing to invest in is a black dress pant. Wear it with loafers or a stylish flat for a day look and dress it up with a pair of heels for the night.
• Limit shoes - at the most I bring three options: an ankle boot/good flat (weather dependent), a sneaker and a dress shoe.
• Pack a small, simple clutch as a purse option that can fit into one of your two carry-on bags.

Get Grounded

When you first arrive at your accommodations, and you are travel weary, the best way I find to take a few minutes for myself and get grounded is to have a foot soak. My mother taught me this one and M loves it too. I draw the bath, grab whatever book I am reading, roll up my pant legs and plant myself on the edge of the tub for at least 15 minutes. I tend to do this multiple times during festival trips in particular, as it's a great way to de-stress between events.

Those are some of the ways to chase your film from screening to screening and stay sane while doing so. As always, I hope they prove helpful. Disregard what does not. Bon voyage and all the best to you on your festival adventures.

- J


*J, These are fantastic! It has been so great traveling to these places with you. Thanks to you (and your mom) for teaching me the foot soak, such a great way to relax. I’ll add that meditation helps me sleep and / or just relax when my sleep has been disturbed by different time-zones- M

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Maira Gall