Let the festival fever linger…

With the film festival behind us, it’s important to take advantage of this time to reflect on the impact of the event, the message it transmitted, and the spirit it delivered. 

I was so fortunate to catch almost all of the films and take part in the unique stories that inspired them.  Anyone who was a part of the festival knows that there were movies of every imaginable style, genre, and theme, and through them I traveled on a journey of laughter, shock and tears. 

It’s very rare to have the opportunity to experience one venue that can take you on a reflective rollercoaster through nearly any and every emotion, but that is exactly what the South Side Film Festival was for me.  I felt the pain that lost love causes in, “Love Sick Love,” and I am still pondering the deeper meaning of life that was symbolized in, “On Homeostasis.”

My heart was truly touched by the stories of the three young women in “Actually, Adieu My Love,” and their bravery and ability to overcome tragedy made me both grateful and determined to be a strong woman.  Yet, there wasn’t much time to dwell on the harshness of reality because 20 minutes later I was enveloped in the trials and tribulations of a group of young New Yorkers in, “Last Call.”  This movie was funny and touching, but it went a step further as I connected with it personally though my life as a former New Yorker.  It is that ability to enjoy, but also ponder and connect, with these films that makes the festival such a beautiful event.  Each and every film is an artistic gem in its own regard, but the influence of the festival as a whole is truly its own masterpiece. 

Because of these amazing films and their ability to inspire the South Side community, change and progress has occurred, and spawned further art.  I’m referring to the boxing films made during the festival workshops that tell the true stories of young men in Bethlehem, and how boxing has changed their lives.  Without the festival these stories wouldn’t have been told, and these boys would have never had the opportunity to use art to express their love of boxing. 

Over the past week I have witnessed so many different aspects of life come together beautifully to produce a festival of development, sharing, and compassion.  I have come to appreciate the power of film and the resolve of my community, and I hope that we can continue to hold on to the magic of the event despite its end.  I have found inspiration in films that I would have never expected to connect with, and I urge you to keep exploring the arts. 

Don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone and experience novel forms of art.  We’ll have to wait till next year for the 7th annual festival, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to find your muse.  Take the time to shift your perspective, and reexamine the everyday art that we take for granted.  The factors to instigate your novel, sculpture, or screenplay are likely right in front of your eyes- all you have to do is open them. 

I’m lucky enough to find inspiration in my everyday life- my family and friends drive my quest to enjoy and create art…what moves you?

Happy Fathers Day



  1. One can stay connected with films throughout the year, too. The SSFI presented monthly “Third Thursday” free film screenings at the Victory Fire House. They usually start around 7pm. If you ever need to know more about them, their website is pretty up to date. The July 16th title isn’t up yet. Give them a break, they’re all volunteers and they should rest a little after their monumental festival…

    And you can find them on Facebook and Twitter. Just search for “SouthSide Film Festival” Or, if you need the personal touch, Jeff Vaclavic is the owner of Deja Brew – and one of the friendliest deli owners in South Bethlehem.

  2. feedback like this keeps us going. you are a very good writer. i’ll have to check out your future posts to make sure stay hip on bethlehem’s scene. but it’s good for us to have confirmed our intentions were received well and that you felt welcome as someone new to the fest.

    luckily you won’t have to wait until next june, we do monthly screenings free to the public every Third Thursday. there’s a link under our community tab on our website.

    we’ll pass the posting on to the filmmakers…

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