First off, I'd like to thank everyone for bombarding me with texts and phone messages from Silverdocs this weekend. It's always nice to be reminded that everyone is having a grand ol' time at another high profile film festival and the only reason you're not there is because your film was rejected. Thanks, assholes.
Just kidding. The text bombing on Thursday night is one for the ages, and I really wish I could somehow upload the phone message AJ Schnack left me last night, as he and Mike Jacobs celebrated their Silverdocs victories. Speaking of victories, check out this impressive array of awards handed out to friends/acquaintances over the course of the past several days:
KURT COBAIN: ABOUT A SON (AJ Schnack), "Cinematic Vision Feature Award"
AUDIENCE OF ONE (Michael Jacobs), "Beyond Belief Award"
THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg), "Witness Award"
SHOTGUN STORIES (Jeff Nichols), "New American Cinema Award" (Grand Jury Prize)
THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg), "Lena Sharpe Award"
PRETTY IN THE FACE (Nate Meyer), "Best Screenplay" and "Best Writer/Director"
THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg), "Adrienne Shelly Award"
I'd like to first say that none of these are surprises, because they're all extraordinary works. That said, I'd like to congratulate everyone anyway. I would also especially like to congratulate Nate Meyer, who can't attend a film festival without taking away at least one award. PRETTY IN THE FACE has now been recognized for its acting (Florida Film Festival), its writing and directing (Nantucket), and its everything (Sarasota's "Independent Visions" prize). I love when this happens. Maybe the film is too small to land a big distribution deal, but the well-seasoned, professional jurors at these festivals can spot talent when they see it, which means more than anything if you ask my humble opinion. Nate and I talked a lot about this before embarking on our no-budget cinematic journeys. To look at this year's PRETTY IN THE FACE resume, it appears that his decision to take the plunge more than paid off.
As for THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK, enough already, people! How many awards can one film win? Apparently quite a lot. I have a confession to make. I've yet to see the film. I know, it makes no sense, but I'm planning on catching it at The Human Rights Watch Film Festival next week. I might see it on the 28th, to really put me in a chipper mood on my birthday.
As for KURT COBAIN: ABOUT A SON, AUDIENCE OF ONE, and SHOTGUN STORIES, if these films don't make my top ten list at the end of the year, they'll certainly be in the top twenty.
Seriously, people can talk about cinema being dead, but it's only June and I've seen enough great films to call it a year. I'll leave you with a stream-of-consciousness list of titles to show you just how good it's been...
GREAT WORLD OF SOUND
SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY
AUDIENCE OF ONE
THIS IS ENGLAND
LAKE OF FIRE
PRETTY IN THE FACE
HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS
BILLY THE KID
KILLER OF SHEEP
LOW AND BEHOLD
THE URIM AND THUMMIM
BY MODERN MEASURE
12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST
THE KING OF KONG
And I haven't even attended the NYFF yet. Man, it's actually kind of bonkers. Not to mention REVOLUTIONARY ROAD! Ha. Either way, I'm inspired by all of the great work I've seen this year. Congratulations to everyone, even if you've never won an award. We're making shit. That's a pretty damn good victory in its own right.