Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Festival Decompression

It has now been a few weeks after the week of the festival. Still tired and still adjusting to the lack of social overload I find that I am simply exhausted. It is now time to cocoon away in hopes of repairing the damage of lack of sleep, too much alcohol and the bad habit of checking my phone every 2 minutes for the next crisis. Oh wait, I even got a cold—I think my body is telling me something.

The 2010 Newport Beach Film Festival was a great success—or so I am told. Having to “work” the entire event, I know more about what films had the crankiest audiences and what screenings had problems with focus, projection or sound. I forced myself to screen one film, but that was because I wanted to sit with my boyfriend and his mom-but later realized that I was actually more worried about the copy of the film that we were playing. Sigh.

I have to say that it was in impressive event. Opening night was simply spectacular, with white archways as you walk in, glowing fountains that people danced around, a high-rise stage so everyone could see Cirque du Soleil lifting men on top of other men and everyone walking out with Stella Artois glasses in their hands and purses. That was just the beginning. The rest of the week was filled with great parties every night and sold out screenings for the line-up of great films.


To me, the festival is about bringing movies to any audience, an audience that loves to see great movies, movies that they could never see anywhere else. The hunger to see great cinema is within every viewer, it is just simply how you satisfy this craving. The festival provides something for everyone, you just have to sift through over 300 films to find it.

One of my favorite films of the season was THE WILD HUNT. From the moment that I screened this movie on my laptop to freaking out in the projection booth when the aspect ratio was off, it was my favorite film all festival. The audience was a mixture of family, friends, industry acquaintances and eager viewers that all stayed glued to their seats when the end credits rolled because they all had to digest what they had just seen. Awesome.

This year was a challenge. Everything just seemed a little difficult. From putting the program together to screening the program, something was always tough—easy was not a part of our vocabulary. Maybe that is why we are so exhausted. Maybe that is why this festival seemed to take a little bit more out of us. We scraped our knees for this to work and it feels like we are going to need a little bit more time to heal.

These wounds create the best scars. They are reminders of what the 11th year really did to all of us and what it will take for year twelve. I am so thankful for the support that was given through all of this. I am so happy for all of the new friendships that were created and proud of the team that I get to call my coworkers, because we all know that we are crazy to be doing this year after year. And although it has been a couple of weeks, it has taken this much time to get back on my feet. Now we start the whole thing over again—open for submissions on August 1, 2010!