Last week was wonderful. We attended an independent film festival with great movies and presentations. Opportunities were presented us to personally meet a variety of filmmakers, actors, distributors and others involved in the arts and film industry. Must say it was inspiring and enjoyable week long experience.
The festival celebrated Women Make Movies 40th Anniversary featuring Lourdes Portillo, her work is outstanding. She is creative, intense and sincere. Also featured was Milestone Films’ “Project Shirley” with founders Dennis Doros and Amy Heller to discuss “Project Shirley,” a campaign to restore and re-release the films of the late Shirley Clarke, a great American filmmaker.
The series began with “Love, Marilyn,” by Academy Award®-nominated director Liz Garbus, and on the next to last night a documentary, “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel,” with a Q & A by director Lisa Immordino Vreeland. The last day of the festival concluded with the film, “An American In Paris,” celebrating the 100th birthday of Gene Kelly at an outdoor venue and was introduced by his wife, Patricia Ward Kelly, who is a film historian and journalist, and is completing a book about her late husband.
What did we take away from this experience? That creativity springs from different and is not only beautiful but an eye opener on how different is so wonderfully and colorfully expressed in literary and art forms. Being different is not as odd or strange as one may think. It also motivates one to continue on the path of creativity knowing and accepting being different is a key to success. We also learned of the intensity and strong desire, push, to birth these works by their creators.
Two artists we kept meeting, at different events on our week long experience, were Phil Solomon and Vanessa Renwick. What a joy to take in their works, one of many “wow moments” for us during the week.
All those who were associated with the festival did a great job and are to be commended. There were great volunteers and staff on the front lines who worked with all; filmmakers, artists, attendees, ensuring everything ran as smoothly as possible as the festival was taking place at different locations and theatres.
The uniqueness of an independent film festival and artists was a great way to see all the varying expressions of creativity, talent and ability. It provides knowledge through documentaries and gives one an appreciation for a variety of creative styles and perceptions on life and living.
The documentaries and films by well known and new independent filmmakers were quite moving, some to the point of tears, such as, “A Suitcase Full Of Chocolate,” the story of Sophia Casma, with piano performance by director Lincoln Mayorga, a noted studio musician in Hollywood; some informed you and other films made you think and laugh.
Films, presentations and Q & A’s were all well attended.
“Big Boy” stars up and coming actress Dawnica Martin, the film is directed by Thomas Hackett and produced by Willie Rockefeller. “The Sapphires” was inspired by a true story of four Aboriginal girls who are talented singers. The film stars, Deborah Mailman-AFI Award-winner, Jessica Mauboy – Australian pop sensation, Miranda Tapsell, Shari Sebbens, and Chris O’Dowd. “The Sapphires” was directed by Wayne Blair, and will be in theatres next year. If you or someone you know is in the fashion industry, “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel” will be out next year, a documentary we truly enjoyed and know my mother would have loved, as she designed…it is by no means boring.
Although we were not able to attend all the screenings it was a wonderful experience for us and heard good reports on all the films and activities.
Should you have the opportunity to attend or volunteer when a festival is in your area do so, you won’t be sorry.