Well, then. As drastic as the film festival shift was from in-person 2019 to at-home 2020, so too do the pieces move from then to now, with a more complicated dynamic than ever. Last year, we soaked up endless hours of great films from the safety of our own homes (or the rare theater, where possible).
While some festivals opted for in-person-only events in 2021, others did their best to present at least some options for at-home viewers, though the access restrictions ruffled more feathers than the generous virtual festival offerings earlier in the pandemic.
Nevertheless, just like the many hard workers who put sweat and elbow grease into making sure this year’s fests went off as seamlessly as possible, we also stacked the deck with as many hands as necessary to offer a smorgasbord of coverage over at Festiville, our home base for all things fest. Some members of our all-star team of correspondents (Mitchell Beaupre, Kambole Campbell, Dominic Corry, Isaac Feldberg, George Fenwick, Brian Formo, Gemma Gracewood, Alicia Haddick, Ella Kemp, Leo Koziol, Jack Moulton, Jonathan White and Lise) hit the ground running, returning to in-person festivals for the first time in a year, while others remained at home to peruse the (somewhat more limited) digital options.
Whether in the flesh or through the ones and zeroes, our team took in—among other things—royals of the Shakespearean and real-life variety, young lads and lasses coming-of-age in Indonesia and Naples, and cowboys and cowgirls of all shapes and sizes. With the dust settled, we present our selection of the best that the 2021 fall fests had to offer, with, as always, some help from the Letterboxd members attending alongside us.