Sunday, March 01, 2009

Omaha Film Festival 2009 – Saturday, Day 8

Seventeen screenings with films starting at 10:00am and running through 11:45pm in three theaters. That’s about 32% of the entire festival in one day. Sounds like a real treat huh? Today was actually a fantastic day. We went through ten feature films, four documentaries and 27 shorts in three short blocks and in spite of the snow and the ridiculous cold (remember it was 60 degrees out just a couple of days ago) we ended up having some pretty good crowds. The two biggest gatherings were for the special screening of “Sunshine Cleaning” (of which I only got to see about half) and the locally produced film “Grapes: the Story of an Aspiring Serial Killer.” Saturday is also the day when most of the films have their second screening so the filmmakers that were in town for their first screening typically stick around for this one too and we had some tremendous Q&A sessions today.

The crowds that surprised me the most were for the documentaries. People came out in good numbers and the Q&A’s for those are always engaging. I was also pleased with the turnout for the shorts programs. We played all of the shorts except for the Nebraska Short block and people really seem to be enjoying those.

Now with only one day left, I’m starting to feel the melancholy that comes with planning an event for a whole year and finally see it winding down and elation due to the fact that it’s winding down! Sunday will have the two remaining feature film second screenings, and then we’ll have our awards ceremony, followed by the best short film, feature film and documentary, based on the audience choices throughout the week. Gathering the ballots after every screening and tallying them up afterward, then summarizing them and presenting that award is always a fun and interesting process as we get to see what the audience’s reactions are to the films that we’ve chosen to screen.

Tomorrow’s e-mail will be the wrap up and will have all of the thank yous in it, so for today I’m signing out and looking forward to a week’s worth of sleep. And a new thank you to the mystery person that brought us the tall cans of RedBull this afternoon. We couldn’t have gotten there without you.


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