Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Working The Film Festival Circuit

Seven months ago on September 21, we wrapped on production of our film MOTHER; the first short film that I had directed. Like most projects I take on, I studied everything I could, listened intently to those around me, and then allowed my gut to just push through. Most people never see short films. Think about it; when was the last time you saw a short? And I bet watching the Oscars, you go to the bathroom during that category.

The short film is an amazing form to tell a full story in a very small window of time. Just this past weekend, after the world premiere screening of our film, Hollywood actor Kevin J. Ryan paid a very high compliment to us stating how we managed to pull off that very thing with our film.

I knew after post production the next step was attempting to get into film festivals. And there are tons out there. Weeding through all of that is a job to find the ones that make the most sense for your project (and I’m sure everyone uses different criteria when deciding). I started submitting in January and have had numerous rejections. It started to become a part of my normal emails. And then we got one and another and this past weekend we attended our first festival as the film team.

We had our World Premiere screening at the beautiful Paramount Theater in Boston at the Boston International Film Festival. We were told they had hundreds of submissions and we felt honored to be among some incredible short and feature films. (I particularly want to shout out to Tom in America that stars Burt Young and Sally Kirkland, The Loyalists, Home, and Paddy’s in the Boot from the ones I got to see.) We were also extremely lucky to be screened on both Saturday and Sunday in two of their locations. Some of our actors, producers and supporters showed up Sunday night to see our hard work on the big screen. I can’t describe that feeling in words. We had to leave before the awards ceremony on
Monday night (because yes, I do have a day job that pays bills) and I was stunned to find out the next day that we had won the Indie Soul Best Director Award for short films. To say I’m honored is an understatement. Had I been there in person to accept it, I would have mentioned how this film was a beautiful collaboration that allowed this stage director’s transition to film be a smooth ride because of the enormously talented people in front of and behind the camera.

We also were part of the Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival, the third longest-running International Film Festival in North America, and the Oldest Independent Film Festival in the world. Some major filmmakers have gone through this festival and while we didn’t screen, we did win a coveted platinum Remi Award where more than 4,300 category entries had less than 12% place according to their press release. We are absolutely over the moon about that.

Next up: The LAIFF Awards in Los Angeles. We are an official selection and waiting until the end of the month when they announce nominations for their awards for May.

So this ‘film festival thing’ may just be starting for me, but I can already see that each will be a unique experience and a wonderful opportunity to meet other people in the film-making industry. I’m grateful to constantly be changing my creative endeavors and look forward to what the rest of 2015 has in store. Appreciate those that read my blog that show such amazing support to me too. Grateful for that more than I can even share.

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