Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Omaha Film Festival 2007 – Tuesday, Day 1

We’ve been planning this thing for a year and it’s finally here. It’s an interesting process of putting the hundreds and hundreds of pieces in place that it takes to make a film festival. Things like getting venues, securing advertising (on a budget), developing and printing programs, tickets, ballots, and passes, not to mention going through the process of finding and screening hundreds of films and developing a great schedule. So you plan and you plan and you come up with what you think are fantastic films that you would be happy to pay to see at another festival, and you secure a great location to show all of the films, and you secure three fantastic local venues for your festival parties, and you hire bands to play and you get t-shirts and water bottles and film trophies made and all of the other things necessary to pull this off. And the day before the festival starts, you sit back and wonder. Is anyone going to show up??

Well, the city of Omaha has stepped up and said yes, we’re going to show up. We were selling tickets first thing this morning, even before our booth was set up and the ticket sales were steady throughout the day, peaking dramatically before our first screening tonight. Several of the filmmakers and screenwriters made it into town so it was a treat having the opportunity to meet and talk to them, and it was also great seeing a lot of the faces from last year’s festival that are back again and ready to experience some great cinema.

So, opening night.

We were honored to have Mayor Mike Fahey give our opening address before a nearly packed house. He had some very kind words to say about the festival and art in our community and expressed his support in what we were doing. Thank you Mr. Fahey, we appreciate you and the support you’ve given us. After Jeremy, Jason and I spoke for a few minutes, we kicked of the first of our feature films, “The TV Set” and had a fantastic crowd response. Everyone (that I spoke to at least) really enjoyed the film and enjoyed the atmosphere that we created.

After the film, everyone was invited to the Ice House Live to hang out, have some fantastic food and drink and enjoy the excellent musical performance of Chris Saub. The party was very well attended and with all of the filmmakers and screenwriters in attendance, I saw many business cards changing hands. I love to see all of the networking going on, as long as I get first crack at directing any high budget feature films that are discussed. I’m joking. Mostly.

Here’s my thank you paragraph. The biggest round of applause goes to all those that came out tonight and supported the festival. Thank you for coming and thank you for enjoying what we’ve created. The next huge round of applause goes to our unbelievable volunteer staff that took all of the things that we wanted to do, and made them happen. Thank you Julie and Jenna for making that happen today. Another round of applause goes to Denny and Ryan and the staff at the Westwood Theatre. You’ve got a fantastic place to show movies and your support of what we’re doing means the world to us. Major props also to Brian and Bob and the staff at the Ice House for helping us host a fantastic opening night party. Everyone had a great time. And my last huge thank you goes to Chris Saub and Matt and Steve for providing your incredible music. Your talents added tremendously to making a very professional and comfortable party. Thanks a ton guys.

Day two is, well, right now actually. I’m going to try to get a bit more sleep than I’ve gotten over the last few nights (though it’s not looking good at this point).

Come on out and check out our Wednesday screenings. We’re showing two fantastic feature length documentaries, “Prison Pups” and “Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath,” three great feature films “Approaching Union Square,” “The Death of Michael Smith,” and “Run Robot Run!” and we’ve added something new this year as well. We’re screening a short documentary block that runs at about and hour-and-a-half and contains three unbelievably touching documentaries “Los Cartoneros-The Cardboard People,” “Building Bridges,” and “Alex Scott: A Stand for Hope.” Check out the website for more information on each of these films and the events throughout the rest of the week.

Support art in Omaha.


Post a Comment

<< Home

free web page hit counter