Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cleveland Recap

What a blast! This was really my first festival experience from the inside. I never realized how many people are brought into town for this. Being one of the only local directors I was able to spend time almost every day at the fest chatting and networking with many very cool and creative people from all over the world. Gigantic thanks to Bill Guentzler and the diligent, friendly staff and volunteers of the Cleveland Film Society.

The party at the View was sweet. Both our screenings sold out, and second theaters were added for overflow. We nearly broke the record for a Midnight showing. On Sunday we had an even bigger audience and a great Q & A discussion afterwards (pics here.) As is always the case - had a blast with our crew and cast - Perren, Jocelyn, Bryan, Rick Montgomery, Pat Milo, Adam Muskiewicz, George David Phillips, John Chaffee Jr., Larry Zjaba, many others including Shelley Delaney who was in two films at the fest -- nice reviews and articles from Cool Cleveland, Scene, Akron Beacon Journal, The Plain Dealer, and The Sun.

I was on two educational panels at Cleveland State University. The first was "Regional Filmmaking" with Tyler Davidson - producer of the opening night film Swedish Auto; and Relative Obscurity director Jeff Rosenberg. The second was a "Digital Technologies in Filmmaking" with Punk's Not Dead director Susan Dynner; Kurt Cobain - About a Son director AJ Schnack; and Deadpan Valentine director Robin Lindsey. We got great questions from the audience, so major thanks to moderator Evan Lieberman for the invite.

Milo and I sat in the audience for the panel on distribution which featured The Ten director and Shaker Heights native David Wain; indie distribution maverick and director of Flannel Pajamas Jeffrey Lipsky who gave us some very specific advice about how to move HT forward; as well as distributor Ryan Bruce Levey who became my drinking buddy and gave us a plethora of good advice. We also gave a Hero Tomorrow screener to Shaker Heights native Jamie Babbit (pictured above) who was there with her new film Itty Bitty Titty Committee. I missed her film as it was playing opposite ours, but I did catch a peak, and really dug what I saw – Milo loved it.

Besides the folks mentioned above I highly suggest checking out super-nice guy Brooke Silva’s A Map For Saturday, Tayor Neary's Liquid Vinyl, Joanna Kohler's Boxers, Kruti Majmudar's Memsahib and Jesse Block's Brotherly Jazz, and I was blown away by Manufactured Landscapes and Transylvania.

It was just an amazing week, and to top it all off my dear Mom managed to put a copy of Hero Tomorrow into the very hands of Halle Berry, but that tale must be told by Mom.



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