Sunday, September 14, 2008

Estes Park Film Festival – Day 3 – Sunday 9/14

Today started like any other day. Hot tub. A dip in the pool. A relaxing drive out to the mountains where we saw Elk (from a few feet away) and snow (which was even closer). In a 20 minute drive, the temperature dropped as many degrees and we sloshed through the snow and got some amazing photos. Not your typical Nebraska scenery. Then back to town for some all you can eat Indian food. Not a bad way to start your day. The festival got started at 2:30 with a documentary (which sadly we missed) but we were able to sneak in at the end and listen to the Q&A. After hearing the filmmakers talk about their film, I’m really looking forward to getting a screener of it and checking it out for myself. After that, we left the theater and were greeted with a packed sidewalk, all anxious and ready to see the short film block at 4:30. Several of the filmmakers that I’d met over the last few days were there, and there were four filmmakers for that short block that were in attendance so it was a great opportunity for everyone to see each other’s films for the first time.

Film block #3 had eight films and the block kicked off with “The HIT.” The audience really seemed to enjoy it and laughed and gasped at all the right times. It even got two rounds of applause and a few approving nods from folks in the audience that knew who I was.

The other films in block #3 were extremely well received as well and the packed house responded enthusiastically to all of the films. After the films were over, the five of us filmmakers got on stage and did a Q&A and every film had audience questions, so the mic time was pretty evenly distributed. It’s always cool to talk to an audience of appreciative movie goers.

After the Q&A, everyone exited the theatre while the festival volunteers set up the closing night party and we were all treated to a wonderful dinner. Our good buddy Tom (see previous post) was the caterer and we had some incredible Italian food. After the meal, everyone filtered back into the theatre for the awards ceremony. All but one of the winning filmmakers were in attendance, so it was great to hear all of the acceptance speeches. I won’t publish a full list, but the winning feature was “Broken Fences,” the winning documentary was “Beauty Mark,” the winning student film was “Coons,” and the winning short was “The Quickie” (my predicted winner).

After the awards ceremony, they screened their last film of the festival, the documentary “The Listening Project.” Since we’d already seen the film (screened at OFF’08) we snuck out and I took the opportunity to do an interview with Sean and Cliff, so be sure to look for that in an upcoming OFF the EDGE filmmaking podcast. And while we were talking, I recognized the look in their eyes. I see it every year on the last day of OFF. Awesome festival fellas. Pat yourselves on the back.


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