Thursday, April 5, 2012

One Seriously Lucky Woman

Today I feel like such a lucky woman. I slept really well last night and have already had my coffee, so I'm wide awake and feeling really lucky.

These past few years have taught me so much. As I sit here reflecting on all that has happened and all that is presently taking shape for Abandoned Allies, I am overwhelmed by how incredibly lucky I am.

Here's what's running through my mind (in no particular order):

  • This is my first film, and it's a pretty damn good one.
  • I've learned a lot while making it, so the next films I make will be even better.
  • The final run time is about 60 minutes--longer than we originally planned because so many people got interested in what we were doing. 
  • I interviewed seriously impressive people: community leaders, anthropologists, published authors, Vietnam veterans, Green Berets, the first recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War, and one of the nation's leading sniper experts.
  • I've gotten to spend time learning about another culture, their language, and their values. They've allowed me to eat dinner at their house, meet their families, weep over injustices, and talk about the important things in life.
  • My dream of making a film has finally come true.
  • The stress of making this film has shown me that hardship makes you stronger, smarter, and more humble. It also helps you value the great relationships in your life.
  • I've worked with really talented, kind people who have generously offered their time and expertise to help make Abandoned Allies even better. And many of us have become friends as a result.
  • Now the fun begins: finally sharing the film.
Yep. I'm one seriously lucky woman.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Film Festival Submissions

The festival world has exploded and morphed. These days, it is not only a way to screen films to hungry filmgoers or a marketplace for getting a distributor. Festivals are your next opportunity to develop your fan base and usually your first opportunity to engage your fans in a live event / theatrical context.
-- Jon Reiss (@Jon_Reiss), author of Think Outside the Box Office 
I feel like Jon summed up my motivations well in that quote. Festivals are a great place to share this film with people who appreciate the art of filmmaking. It's where our distribution deals might be made. It's also a place where I can engage with audiences that aren't already familiar with the subject matter.

Yet there are sooooo many film festivals. Each of them have submission fees, deadlines, and guidelines. It can be overwhelming.

Websites like Without A Box make it easier, and for that I'm grateful. The site makes it easy to browse festivals, watch for deadlines, and pay submission fees. The fees add up quickly, so you need a game plan. I've been chatting with a fellow filmmaker, and he seems to have the process down. It's very inspiring.

I'm going after some of the festivals that are obvious, local, or relevant to our subject matter. There are also some that cater to female filmmakers, which is pretty cool. 

It's important to recognize that this is just one part of our greater marketing / distribution plan. There's a lot more work to be done, but it's all very exciting!