Friday, March 02, 2007

Omaha Film Festival 2007 – Thursday, day 3

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Whoever wrote that song should been punched. Well, actually snow would have been okay, but 14 inches is a bit much. I guess the song doesn’t say “let it blizzard, let it blizzard, let it blizzard” so for now the songwriter is off the hook. For now.

So yes, attendance was a bit marred by the biggest blizzard to hit Omaha in the last decade, but the show(s) must go on. While many of the restaurants, banks, businesses were closed around us, the Omaha Film Festival was open for business. Ironically, the theater that we’re using was actually closed as well during the day, but we trekked along the frozen tundra that was Center Street to the theater owner’s house to pick up the keys. When we got to the entrance of his neighborhood and looked down, down into the unplowed/steep hill that lead to his house, I felt a bit uneasy foraging on and quite possibly getting stuck and stranding the three directors of the festival, so without hesitation, Jeremy jumped out of my Explorer and ran (well, skipped and hopped actually) down the shin deep, icy filled, steep road (insert heart-attack here) to run the last couple of blocks to the house. It was freezing cold outside, but fortunately it was warm in the truck so Jason and my tears of laughter didn’t freeze. After obtaining the key (my precious), we made the trip back and get the theater set up.

So our doors were open, the radio stations were called letting them know our doors were open, and we sat back and waited for people to come. And while attendance was lower than in previous days, people still came! Major thanks to all that braved the elements (and the unplowed parking lot) to come out and enjoy some great cinema with us.

The highlights of the evening included Q&As with two of the film’s directors, Ari Carrillo, animator and director of the short film “A Cock & Bull Story” screening in short film block 1, and Lincoln Stalmaster, producer of feature film “A Lobster Tale.” Since both films ended at the same time, I was unable to be in both so Jeremy moderated the Lobster Tale talk and I sat in on the short film talk. I know that Ari will be in town for his second screening and Lincoln was hoping to be here as well so be sure to check out both of those films. By the way, Ari came here from Florida and Lincoln came from California. Sorry for the weather guys.

Be sure to come out to Friday night’s screenings. We are screening the feature length documentary “Summercamp!” as well as the second (final) screening of our incredible short documentary block. Feature films include “Swedish Auto,” “Tomorrow Is Today,” “Independence,” “Simple Things,” and “Mr. Dungbeetle” along with a special screening of “My Brother” starring Vanessa Williams. The filmmakers and lead actress for “Independence” will be in attendance for a Q&A after the film and weather permitting, the lead actor for “Mr. Dungbeetle” will be in as well so come on out and check out some great films.

Thank you to everyone that braved the weather Thursday night and thanks again to the Westwood and all of our fantastic staff.


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