Monday, June 23, 2008

Fallbrook Film Festival, Part 1

I first started submitting to film festivals in January. One of the first I entered was the 1st annual Fallbrook Film Festival because heck, it's the nearest geographically. I've always liked the quaint small town feeling of the avocado capital of the world.

Not long after I submitted - but significantly before the deadline for entries - I got a phone call from one of the festival directors. This was my first phone call from a festival director and I was excited beyond measure. She called to tell me that she loved the movie and how refreshing it was after watching endless submissions about middle-aged men having affairs with young women.

Tip for Filmmakers Making Movies about Middle-Aged Men Having Affairs with Young Women - Do NOT submit this film to film festivals in which the majority of the selection committee are women over the age of 40.

The director went on to say that while she could not officially confirm my acceptance into the festival, she felt that she could impress upon the selection committee how much she liked my movie. She wanted to know IF we were accepted, would we be available on April 25th to be the opening night film? And would we like to participate in any of the workshops? I promised her everything short of the moon.

Three months go by.

I am at school, it is 5 minutes before the final bell will ring, and I have forgotten to turn off my cell phone. It usually doesn't get a signal in the classroom anyway. For some reason, today, I not only get a signal but I get a call. I immediately fish it out, intending to turn it off (I have to set an example for my students), but I notice on the caller ID the name of the Fallbrook Film Festival Director. I have never answered ANY call in my classroom. But there was no way I was going to miss this one. I stepped just outside the doorway, and the festival director informed me that Defying Gravity was indeed an official selection. After ending the call, I was so excited that I yelled to my students, "Guess what! My movie is going to be in the Fallbrook Film Festival!!" And the students, thrilled at any opportunity to cheer loudly, cheered loudly. YAY!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Riverside International Film Festival

The Riverside International Film Festival was fun but uneventful. Craig and I attended both the opening and closing night parties, and I realized that champagne makes conversation with strangers a whole lot easier. Including Michael York, who was there to receive a lifetime achievement award. He definitely deserved it. He was truly a classy gentleman who gave an eloquent and heartfelt acceptance speech. He also seemed truly interested in each person who approached him and asked for a photo. (Who would do something like that?) The other gentleman in the photo is Dr. Dhillon, who is the director of the festival. Another very nice gentleman.

Defying Gravity was shown on a Friday night at 9:30 because they figured we were well suited for the 'late night' crowd. Unfortunately, there was not a big late night crowd. About a dozen people at most. But, the cool thing was that we played in a multiplex. This was our first appearance in a multiplex!

We did not win any awards. They only gave out one award in each category (feature narrative, documentary, short, etc.) and these were determined by audience votes. The winner for narrative feature was a movie called 'Flyboys'.

Stay tuned for more about the Flyboys ...