COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on arts and entertainment schedules across the world; the Roaring Fork Valley is no exception. Neither is Aspen Film, which had to stream its annual ShortsFest due to the virus. During ShortsFest, the organization typically runs Making Movies Matter, an in-class program that connects filmmakers to local students.
That hasn't stopped the festival's filmmakers from stopping by Roaring Fork Valley classrooms—albeit virtually. Aspen Film's Education and Outreach Manager Mary McClure says that filmmakers have more time to give, thanks to stay-at-home orders.
"We have a handful of filmmakers from around the world that are available to do a Zoom call with a class and have a one-on-one discussion with the filmmaker," says McClure. "It's pretty amazing to have filmmakers from all around the world be available."
She notes that normally, filmmakers would be busy running between screenings and meetings, and a pause in life has allowed for a new dialogue between filmmakers and students that's been unique to the experience of COVID-19.
"Kids get to see these filmmakers from all around the world, and they realize that they're in the same position and that they get to ask about their lives around the world and everybody's experiencing the same things," added McClure. "They really truly realize how well aligned we are as people."
And watch some inpiring films while they're at it.