This past weekend, I had to put my Florida Keys travel guide aside and focus on one of my other ongoing projects: the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival, a small independent film festival that my husband and I began five years ago. For this year's fest, the opening night party took place at Hollywood Billiards, while the actual films were screened at Raleigh Studios on Melrose Avenue. It was inevitable that filmmakers would ask about the origin of our name – given that the entire event took place in Hollywood, not Beverly Hills – but a change of venue was unfortunately required this year. Hey, better to have taken place in the wrong neighborhood than not at all, right?
Anyway, despite the fact that I'm stressed out from my never-ending travel guide work and still recovering from a head cold, I enjoyed plenty of moments from this weekend's event. The party on Thursday night was, of course, a highlight – as were all the informative, funny, and often poignant behind-the-scenes tales revealed during the post-screening Q&As. One particularly touching moment occurred after the first drama program on Friday night, when Pauley Perrette (zany Abby Sciuto on NCIS) revealed her own personal connections to To Comfort You, the short drama in which she stars as a dying young woman.
The rest of the festival was just as memorable. Although our attendance was lower than in previous years, those festival-goers that did attend seemed pleased with the film selections – which always makes me and Dan feel proud. So, despite snafus like having the wrong HD deck on Friday and fighting L.A. Marathon traffic on Sunday, it went fairly smoothly.
And, as always, we couldn't have done it without our awesome volunteers, especially Jen, Angel, and Doug (thanks, guys!).
But, of course, now that the weekend is over, I've had to double my efforts with the travel guide to make up for lost time. Although I was able to get a little bit done in the projection booth – including a post about other film festivals – there's a lot left to be done before I can put the Florida Keys behind me for a little while. Of course, it doesn't help that Dan and I will be in Michigan in roughly two weeks – a fact that has already conjured up visions of lighthouses and tall trees and places that are a world away from southern Florida. I swear, the life of a nomad sure takes some getting used to – for one thing, it's hard to leave our friends and family behind in each port of call – but at least the scenery changes a lot.
6 hours ago