Monday, October 5, 2009

multi-festival wrap up

The Woodstock Film Festival was outstanding. The crew and I entered the weekend fairly ignorant of the town, the festival, and the laws of the state of New York concerning the transportation of humans and alcohol in the same vehicle (no citations were issued in the end). But we left feeling very much in the know, re-inspired about independent film, and excited to return. From literally our first moments at Taco Juan's where we collided with Bill Plympton and a subset of the NYC animation crowd to our last, eating (more) amazing sandwiches at Maria's, we were surrounded by fun, creative people, lots of movies, and music. Whoa was there music, mostly in lieu of sleep.

Some of animation's finest young talent making music late night at the WFF.

I want to mention some of the amazing films from the WFF, as well as some of the filmmakers who we enjoyed hanging out with. Highlights of the animation show that I hadn't seen before included The Man in the Blue Gordini, Backwards, and The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9. It was also great to finally meet the two programmers, Bill and Signe, whose work I have admired and who have been directly responsible for sharing The Incident at Tower 37 with many new audiences recently. Like the Martha's Vineyard festival crowd. I was pleased to hear from those who attended the MVFF, namely Bill, Signe, and Backwards's Aaron and Lisa that Tower 37 was quite well-received by the audiences there. Maybe Islanders are extra-sensitive to water issues?

More shouts out to other late-night festival friends from WFF: Joey from Sundial Pictures (our adopted tour guide in Woodstock); Joy, Noel (Twins Are Weird) and James who animated the great WFF trailer; and long-time friend J. Markus from RoboFresh who we hadn't seen and jammed with in far too long. Stay in touch, everyone.

The past month also included the Moondance Film Fest, another 10th anniversary festival like the WFF. I regret that my commitment to Moondance was less than it could have been because I was too excited to spend time with my family in Boulder, but I was glad to have seen a few shows and to have spent an evening talking with Ryan and Jonah, the filmmakers behind Living Death Valley. It was an inspired programming choice by the Moondance folks, in my opinion, to couple our animated narrative fantasy with their live action non-fiction "portrait of a landscape" (my own term) given the two films' thematic connections.

Some other Moondance selections we enjoyed were the wild live-action/animation combo short called Elephants and the hilarious live-action dog film called The Littlest Greyhound. I was very happy to hear that Tower 37 was awarded the Moondance Calypso award, the description of which (from their website) is:
This award is to encourage a spirit of enterprise in saving the environment, habitats and wildlife by creative individuals from around the world. The award is presented to the person who expands knowledge of our world, seeks to improve our quality of all life on the planet, and contributes to the betterment of humankind.
You can't beat that! We were also acknowledged as one of the three Audience Favorites for Animation. Thanks to all who came, saw, and supported our film.

I will end this post about the past by looking ahead yet again. Three NYC screenings are in the works for the next few weeks. You all should go. I can't promise late-night music but I am quite sure they will each be outstanding programs.

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