It’s hard to wait, when everyone you run into asks, “So how’s the movie?” The only way I can get through this is to distance myself a little, pretend I never made a movie and focus on other things. (Ha!) Was it all just a dream? Does it have any value? How do you get any kind of art out into the world, anyway? Is it all destined to wind up in a drawer? Does anyone care?
Then all of sudden, three things happen:
Mark von Schlemmer, who runs the Show Me Justice Film Festival in Missouri, whom I met at the Maine International Film Festival this summer, e-mails me to ask if I’d like to screen Warrior Woman next March at the University of Central Missouri as part of a “Women’s Week” program. Sure! Get a little motion going. Screen the film for an appreciative audience. Talk a little bit about the film with people who might be interested. And, who knows, possibly make a few contacts. So this feels good.
And then I get the rejection e-mail from Sundance. Definite disappointment. I knew it was, at best, a crap shoot, but still… Sundance is the festival everyone knows about – “Hey! Why don’t you take your movie to Sundance?” It’s got the prestige, the buzz, the contacts, the possibilities. The e-mail was careful to point out that they had had over 11,700 submissions for 180 slots. Not good odds, and I knew that all along, but still, it hurts, and calls down the “woe is me, this will never get anywhere” mindset.
So it’s especially great that the very next day I get an e-mail from the Cinequest Film Festival inviting us to screen as part of their New Visions Competition, February 28 – March 11 in San Jose, California. Not as splashy as Sundance, but a very good, well-regarded festival. As my friend Courtney says, it’ll be warmer and a lot less crazy. Validation! Movement! I’m totally thrilled. They immediately send me a packet of all kinds of materials we need to gather for publicity purposes. Yikes! I have my work cut out for me, and I couldn’t be gladder.