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Fast Foreword: The Editor's Column, Summer 2021

By Tom White

A blue and white graphic that reads "fast foreward, The Editor's Column."

Dear Readers,

Just as we thought it was safe to reflect on, process and move forward from the maelstrom that was 2020, the Delta variant—a faint whisper when I was assigning articles for this issue, now a thunderous roar as we go to press—is throttling our momentum, if not our resolve. Nonetheless, we persist, in a beyond-2020 world, applying the lessons we learned from the deep dive we all took—as a business, as a community and as an organization—to redefine our core values and reengage with a renewed vigor. 

Given the ingenuity that festivals, distributors and exhibitors exuded in reimagining their respective delivery systems, I sought to poll the field about what worked well enough to continue in a hybrid form. Addie Morfoot reached out to some of the leading festival mavens to get their take on the silver linings, as well as the limitations. In the Euro-Nordic region, broadcasters, funders, and distributors are mulling over the impact of VOD—an obvious necessity during the pandemic—on other delivery platforms. Lauren Wissot reports on a session from CPH:DOX about new paradigms going forward. And what about independent filmmakers who have been in it for the long haul and who have a significant canon to maintain? How do you shake that long tail? Mark Kitchell, a 30-year veteran, discusses his strategies in polishing up his work, identifying a range of platforms for it, and defining and reaching his core audience.

Closer to home, we at IDA are sequeing into our next chapter. Jina Chung, our Senior Director, Development & Partnerships, offers a vision for values-based fundraising as a means to build on the work she already started to support the grassroots community. Former Executive Director Simon Kilmurry, who made a tremendous impact in positioning IDA as a field leader and a field builder, passed the mantle on to Rick Pérez to sustain the momentum. I speak to Pérez about his goals for a more international IDA.

Yours in actuality,

Tom White