I kept thinking CSFF X-Edition was unconventional in that we hosted it all online, just owing to COVID19 side-effects. Little did I know recovery from that crisis would affect this year’s festival. The pandemic aside, Xi-Edition was faced with numerous challenges, both in human and financial terms. So what you’re going to read is about to blow your mind as these four main experiences stretched our potential beyond our comfort zone.
1. Unexpected Absenteeism
We did launch our edition early last year back in December 2021. Yet, though early it may sound, we lost a batch of volunteers to their other commitments. By April, we thought we could revamp this absenteeism with another round of recruitment. Little did we realize our inconsistency in assigning the timely tasks to them, had kept them off track or even demotivated. Only in batch 3 did we conclude the same recruiting approach: very close to the festival peak period in October! After all, we managed to retain some volunteers from batch 2 and most in batch 3.
This only goes to show volunteers need recruiting with strategic coordination or delegation. Or else, we’ll take the old route by onboarding them only close to the main festival month!
2. Lack of Money is the Problem
I have to say, even though I/we approached our prospects in the last couple of months, none of them responded positively. Even the promising ones got back to us just a week prior to our screening days! Which might go in vain for both sides. This problem left our core committee to much uncertainty.
Somehow, to save our edition, we had no alternative but to inject our reserved funds to only necessary expenses. A more proactive for our next edition would be to tackle such an issue way before it gets too late. Then, money would solve many problems and turn into our “friends”!
3. Timing Matters
Call it superstitious as you may: this might boil down to our core issue of 2022! We felt like no matter where we turned or who we sought help from, became uncooperative. Even those we expected to be most helpful to our inquiries, turned their back for some reason, beyond our control. Or this resulted from decisions against our own instinct?!
Therefore, what we could do was only to manage what lied within our control, yet remain efficient for our stakeholders. And as our course was already decided, we might as well ride along, yet play safe!
4. Positive Attitude
At some point of time, I asked myself if I should give up. Then, I thought about how far we’d come and how responsible I should be for my team committed to our joint mission. These questions – if not answers – alone kept me going on till the end of our 11th edition.
As a result, most of our core team and surviving volunteers dedicated their late hours to their task completion, be it production or stage design. As promised, we managed to have fun together in our wrap-up party 😉
As the saying goes, “You can’t always have a good day. But you can always face a bad day with a good attitude”. That simply means, in every situation, one needs to find our ways out, either on our own or with help. However, to reach our true potential, one should try the former before getting to the latter. Of course, only in those tough moments can one realize who truly cares for them and their cause. What’s next for CSFF? Join us or watch us!
PS: I did apply for a small grant to keep our CSFF 2022 afloat. Yet, its main condition is for that grant to be used for 2023! So let our 12th edition enjoy the residual income from our 11th one!