Alright, alright, so I’m WAY late with my “Weekend Mishmash” post. As you might have noticed, it’s already Monday night, and according to the rules of my blog, I should be focused on food right about now... but alas, I’m still playing catch-up after a crazy film festival weekend. The good news, however, is that Dan and I survived. Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo!
Despite the stress of technical difficulties, no-show volunteers, and low attendance during the televised Saints game (darn you, football!), I managed to “enjoy all the moments,” as my pal Deb suggested. Here are the top ten reasons that I’m happy to have co-hosted the third annual Big Easy International Film Festival (even though I missed all my blogging friends amid the hullabaloo):
1. Thursday night’s party at the Kerry Irish Pub was a lot of fun. Busy, yes, but I was still able to hear some terrific acoustic music (thanks, Chip Wilson!), meet several friendly out-of-town filmmakers, and snatch a mini-muffuletta and a couple “turtles” (shortbread cookies with pecans and a dollop of fudge) from the dwindling food spread.
2. My father and stepmother attended the party, while my mother brought a friend to see a few films on Saturday. It was sweet of my folks to support our festival, and I was happy that they were able to see us in our element. So, thanks, Mom and Dad!
3. Our volunteers were awesome, as always. I loved catching up with those from previous years – like wacky Gary, affectionately known as the “dancing doctor” – and I was delighted to meet new folks, too – such as Tina, the model-turned-chef.
4. The filmmakers seemed to have a wonderful time at the festival – enjoying the nightlife of New Orleans, encountering new filmmaking pals, and getting the chance to share their stories with others. I, too, loved meeting such diverse artists from all around the country – including places like Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New York, Baltimore, and Austin.
5. As usual, the post-screening question-and-answer sessions were enlightening and hilarious. Filmgoers heard funny behind-the-scenes tales, learned a little bit about filmmaking, and discovered the inspiration behind many of the films on display.
6. Dan and I were both exceedingly proud of the overall line-up. Ranging from twisted dark comedy shorts to engaging feature-length documentaries, the list of quality films seemed to impress the filmmakers as well as the filmgoers. We grinned every time someone told us how much he/she was enjoying the experience, but we couldn’t help but wonder... how come ALL festivals don’t present such equally stupendous films?
7. Although one feature – an amazing film called How I Got Lost – only attracted a handful of cinema buffs (darn you, Saints!), most of the screenings had at least thirty folks in the theater, and three of them – Trapped in Katrina, The Magistical, and King of Oak Street – lured well over a hundred people each.
8. Sunday night was a great relief. Following the brief awards ceremony, Dan and I packed up the festival paraphernalia and headed into the Quarter (and, later, the Marigny) to celebrate with the attendees, many of whom expressed admiration for our event. Despite its small size and intimate vibe, it’s well organized as festivals go, and we’re apparently more accessible and active than most festival directors – another reason to feel proud.
9. The theater staff – in particular, Brian, Jack, and David – were fun and accommodating, which definitely helped to minimize the stress of this whirlwind event.
10. I must admit, too, that I was grateful to David, who gave me, Dan, and the volunteers all the free popcorn and soda we could stomach. Although I’m paying for it now, I was more than happy at the time!
P.S. Isn’t it just like me to begin and end a post with a shot of food? Guess I honored "Monday Munchies" after all. Hehehe.
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