So, I guess I can finally go public with this now, as Indiewire just published the official lineup. Pack your bags, kids, because COCAINE ANGEL will be having its North American premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival next month in good ol' Austin, Texas!
I don't really know what to say, other than I am humbled, thrilled, and honored by this news. All of this is too dreamy to be true, and it is infinitely more than we could have imagined when we embarked on this ridiculous mission just under one year ago.
Now that I'm back from Rotterdam, the smoke has begun to clear. What I'm left with is a feeling of calm satisfaction. Granted, if our film had really made a splash, there would have been more than one interview and more than two new booked festivals. In this case, I think silence is a negative. But I don't care one way or the other. I'm choosing to look at this in a way different to my normal approach to life. I'm only focusing on the positive responses, of which there were plenty. I know what we made, I'm not delusional. So to get a genuinely positive reaction out of so many people is more inspiring than I could have imagined. I don't know how, but it truly does justify the fact that I am sitting in a pile of debt, living at home, and feeling like a lonely little boy who wishes he had a pretty little girl who liked him back. The rush of sitting in a packed theatre to show your film to a roomful of eager strangers is one of the coolest sensations I have ever felt. I can't wait to feel that sensation again.
Everyone seems to agree that this year's festival wasn't stuffed with any brand new, must-see revelations (I had already seen THE DEATH OF MR. LAZARESCU and REGULAR LOVERS). But that, too, has only inspired me. I can't wait to get another pass done on DAYDREAM, at which point pre-production begins. I don't want to wallow in the bleakness of the majority of independent/festival cinema. I want to make something that makes people tingle with joy and recognition. I want to capture TRUE FUCKING LOVE. Perhaps this is an even more difficult task than trying to bring something new to the 'drug docudrama' genre, but I have the film pulsating inside me and I know that with a little bit more money and means, we can make something truly distinct and special.
That said, one of the best compliments we've gotten is with regards to the light/humorous approach we took to the potentially hopeless subject matter of COCAINE ANGEL. People seem to get the comedy, and not think it's 'hip' or condescending, which was our intention all along. We simply didn't want to depress people into frustration. Hopefully that adds a breath of fresh air to the proceedings. Seeing that other festivals are eager to screen us, I think I can safely say that it does add a bit of a fresh breath.
I'm going to post my take on all of the films I saw (at least 20 features, at least 10 shorts) this week. But now that I have the baggage of being on the other side of the movie screen, I'm not going to give ratings. I'm simply going to give my honest opinion, which is all that I ask of those reviewers who were kind enough to watch our film.
Back to painting in the morning. Reality... it's fantasic.