On Sunday I got the opportunity to spend some time at the Temecula Valley International Film Festival, and boy was it good to be back at a festival. It had been far too long. People at festivals just treat films differently. Everyone who is there genuinely loves film and you get to see films that you may never get another chance to see in your life. I imagine it must be similar to how people interacted with movies before home theaters, Netflix and Hulu.
The reason I went was because the film I recently edited, Persimmon, was showing there. It was great to see it on the big screen again! And to see another audience interact with it. To hear it mentioned in the audience before it started and feel the emotions coming from the seats around me. It's a powerful thing to see a film you worked on with an audience of fresh eyes. Reminds you of why you make films.
I would urge you to go to a local film festival. It doesn't have to be one of the big ones like Sundance. Just go to one nearby, see what some of the local talent is creating. Hear some fresh new voices. Interact with the filmmakers, they're usually more than happy to talk about their films with you. See the other side of this vibrant independent community. I promise it will change your views of cinema viewing and you'll be hooked. So go and be inspired.
If not, let me know and I'll see if I can take you to another one and help you see what you're missing :)