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Hannah and Mackenzie: The Whatever, Linda team on the real reason filmmakers do festivals

Meet Hannah and Mackenzie, two women standing at the intersection of legacy media and new tech, making 'Internet odysseys,' like their new Web series Whatever, Linda, alongside TV and films. In the coming months, they’ll take Globe readers on a journey about what it's like to be 'upcoming' in a business that won't stop changing.

Last week when our article came out, we didn’t get hard-copies.

We instead sat at an airport in Washington while waiting for a connecting flight that would take us to Wilmington, N.C., poring over The Globe’s website with a weak Internet connection and a big McIntosh apple shared between us – a Canadian breakfast in a very American city. We were trepidatious: What was the article going to look like? How would we come off sounding? What if there was tomato sauce from lunch the day of the photoshoot, unnoticed at the time, but glaring in the cover photo?

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As the article slowly loaded on our browser, we leaned in – stomachs in butterflies – to read it together. There was no taking this back, whatever it would be. It was going to be out there.

And it was good, really good. (Thank you, Kelly). We shook out the butterflies, looked in each other’s eyes, marvelled a bit longer, our feet off the ground, then headed onto the flight that would bring us to the Cucalorus Film Festival, where our short Cheese would be screening that Saturday night.

We got into Wilmington (the city where Blue Velvet was filmed, right on the Cape Fear river, the top of the Deep South) and made our way to the hotel. We settled in, did some (a lot) of social-media follow-up, ate food, got a lay of the land, then finally headed out to the festival. We only had one night here and somehow had to balance the demands of ensuing projects with having fun and actually being at the festival. It felt bonkers to attend, after the week we’d had. But Cucalorus has a reputation for being one of the most fun fests to attend, and when they help you get there and put you up, how can two ladies say no?

So we got to it: a boozy, bourbon-y cocktail tasting attended by filmmakers in a low-key, prohibition-feeling bar; beers in the filmmakers’ lounge with old and new friends; catching a 7 p.m. feature-film screening of Spring; and then finally our short screened in front of a feature called This Afternoon.

The room was small, the audience smaller, but we had a Q&A right after Cheese screened, moderated by none other than DIY filmmaking queen Ingrid Veninger. It was short and sweet, just like our little feminist comedy made for $700 last winter. And the feature was great: cinéma vérité, also made for peanuts, by Stephen Cone.

Afterward we all headed to an outdoor party on the “festival grounds,” and proceeded to make fast friends. It’s amazing how festivals can be so similar to summer camp, for adults – especially when the drinks are free. We connected with Stephen quickly, and frankly we’re already imagining future collaborations and sharing prior work.

Making art is not impartial; people want to work with people they know. And that, in large part, is the reason people attend festivals in the first place: Watch stuff, get inspired, figure out who your next project might involve.

Cucalorus was intense, organic, a whirlwind. We got to touch the Atlantic Ocean and, just as quickly, touch down in two U.S. cities before finally coming back home – and hitting our pillows.

Waking up for work the next day was, well, tiring. We were still working on adrenalin. But one thing’s for sure: Adrenalin is one powerful drug! And right now, we’d say we’re a little addicted.

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