In the age of Vimeo and Apple TV, film festivals can feel like a quaint throwback to a bygone era. Why haul ass to a sterile screening room somewhere to catch the same indie short you can see on your iPhone in bed? Sure, going to a cinema is an immersive experience, but most of us are lazy sods who will take convenience over quality any day of the week. If we can't see it in our pajamas, why see it at all?
To compete, a festival needs to be something more than just a schedule of screenings. It needs to be a happening, a be-in, a temporary autonomous zone—something where the context adds to the content.
Enter MIX Festival, New York City's annual queer experimental film festival extravaganza. Now in its 28th incarnation, MIX transformed a raw warehouse space into a 24/7 art and film hub from November 10 to 15, comprising thousands of square feet of installations (including a massive yarn-and-fabric work by Diego Montoya), screening spaces, artists, and activists. Every year, the event is spearheaded by the people it represents, meaning "queer" is standard and "experimental" is always to be expected.
This year's festival featured filmmakers from around the world like Lasse Långström (Sweden), Stephanie Winter (Germany), Nataly Lebouleux (UK), Tzuan Wu (Taiwan), Sonya Reynolds and Lauren Hortie (Canada), Soyoon Kim (South Korea), and Kemar Jewel and Andrew Paszkiewicz (US) on the opening night alone. Photographer Zak Krevitt documented the week-long event, highlighting the individuals that make MIX not just another festival, but a community-cum-spectacle.
All photographs by Zak Krevitt. Follow Hugh on Twitter.