It’s kinda strange writing this editorial, with a show tonight and through the weekend (see ad opposite page), and knowing Lesley-Anne Hoxie will not be there (see obituary page eight).
We’ve all discussed it these past few days – what a blow it is to lose someone not only so young, but someone who was so involved in the community. That’s something that is not as prevalent these days. Housing shortages/cost tend to lead to a “hollowing out.” You have younger people who can’t afford to stay, or leave for better opportunities elsewhere. People who are in their primes and generally give a damn.
As opposed to people like me who have been in Lions Club for fifteen years and at 54 years old, still check in on the younger side of the membership’s spectrum.
Lesley-Anne was such an ambassador for the town, particularly when she served as Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Manager.
What follows are just a few of the texts that filmmakers sent upon hearing of her cancer battle.
“After many, many, (many) rejections, MLFF was one of the first film festivals I’d ever gotten accepted to. You [Lesley-Anne], along with the rest of the MLFF team, helped Ariel and I feel like real filmmakers, and I credit the warmth and support of Mammoth for being one of the key bolsters that helped me to believe in myself as an independent filmmaker and artist.
– Emily Ann Hoffman
“I just want to say thank you for being so kind to me on my trip to Mammoth Lakes. The 2018 festival was one of the best and most memorable times of my life. Thank you for being a part of that experience. Many of us filmmakers are so grateful for people like you … You’ve done so much for the filmmakers, and all of us will remember your kindness.
-Matthew Victor Pastor
“Hi beautiful light, I wanted to reach out to you because I hear that you are in the midst of a battle.
I want you to know how incredible and wonderful you are. My students and I came from Kazakhstan for the MAMMOTH LAKES FILM FESTIVAL back in 2019 and you made everything so easy for us. You took on so much. I pray that your pain goes away and that you feel the embrace of eternal love surrounding you.”
-Sarah Louise Wilson
“Lesley, we came through MLFF virtually a few years back and you were so supportive and interested in our documentary. Your small gesture of appreciation made such a huge impact on our lives. I hope this small gesture of sharing our well wishes for you might also be helpful. thinking of you.
– Michael Beck and Star Rosencrans, filmmakers of Feather and Pine, 2020”
“Lesley and MLFF was such a monumental and impactful experience for me. I was able to bring my friend, Danielle, the subject to the animated short, who was battling stage 4 breast cancer. Danielle has since passed, but that weekend at Mammoth Lakes that she shared is such a precious memory. I am forever grateful to Lesley and the team at MLFF for the opportunities and memories.
– Elizabeth Hogenson MLFF alumni (2019 winner for animated short).
You don’t just replace people like Lesley-Anne, people who show up and are enthusiastic and committed and reliable. As Shira Dubrovner observed, “One person can really make a difference. One person can make them [visiting filmmakers] feel like kngs and queens.”
When I spoke with Madeleine Roy, Madeleine told me that during the 2021 Summer Shakespeare production of “The Tempest,” that Lesley-Anne loved the fact that in our scene together, I [as Caliban] had to kiss her feet [as Stephanie] every night.
Funny. The little things that bring us such delight.
I don’t have anything more. Other than I hope Lesley-Anne gets her wish and is sitting up there in the afterlife having her drink with Oscar Wilde.