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Apr 5, 2008

My Film Festival Initiation (or, Confessions of a Film Festival Virgin)

Here I am, 31 years old and a self-labled "movie buff" (yeah, I know), and yet I had not been to a film festival up until 10 days ago. Via an email sent to Mrs. Fletch, we heard about the 7th Annual Arizona Black Film Showcase. The purpose of the email was not only to inform people about the event, but also to recruit for volunteers. So we decided to do it.

After helping with set up for a youth boot camp prior to the weekend, we got our complimentary passes to attend the screenings. We went Friday night and saw several films, with the standouts being Ballou to Chiles to Swine, Liquor & White Women. It's safe to say that our favorite was Chiles, a 20-minute comedy short about the struggles of meeting future in-laws and the first impressions people have of different cultures.

On Saturday, we were scheduled to volunteer some more, and we each got our respective duties. Mrs. Fletch's job was to be an "usher," standing outside one of the theaters and helping the viewers figure out what was playing and when. This became a bit complicated as the day went on, as the films got slightly off schedule. Meanwhile, I was scampering in and out, tasked with setting up the chairs, handing out the mikes, and being the timer for the several Q & A sessions that followed many of the films.

We didn't get to see much of the films on Saturday (though I got to see a fair share monitoring when they started and ended), but it was still a fun experience. Though we didn't get to see or meet any of the featured stars on hand (including Pam Grier and Lynn Whitfield), we did get to meet and talk to some terrific upcoming filmmakers, including Kofi Oliver (Vista/View) and Leon Lozano, whose film Something Is Killing Tate took home both the Best Feature and People's Choice awards.

All in all, it was a great experience, and one we will most likely hope to duplicate for next year's Showcase. Moreover, it was a chance for me to see some short independent films and for Mrs. Fletch to help push me into making some of my (our) own. In time. To top it all off, today we attended a screening of short films playing at the Phoenix Film Festival, including one produced by a certain LAMB, but I'm saving my thoughts on that for another upcoming post...


4 people have chosen wisely: on "My Film Festival Initiation (or, Confessions of a Film Festival Virgin)"

Daniel G. said...

Sweet. I'm gearing up to volunteer again for the MSP Film Festival here in a couple of weeks. It's always a great way to get outside of the mainstream fare for a weekend or two.

Nayana Anthony said...

That sounds like soooo much fun. I also have never, ever been to a film festival (I'm thinking TCM's 31 Days of Oscar doesn't count), but I've always wanted to hit them, especially Sundance and Cannes.

Hey.... LAMB field trip.... :-D

Mrs Fletch said...

Field trip to Sundance in 2009? Yesssss.

nick plowman said...

Sundance....oh how awesome that would be. And then Toronto, Cannes, Berlin, you name it, I wana do it. Someday. Jeez I hope so!