Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Ups and the Downs

[Cheryl Scungio always plays the sweet soccer mom. But not in my movie.]

I received a follow-up email this morning from The Heart of England Festival, where "Smalltimore," is screening on June 8th in Tamworth, England. It was a list of the awards nominations, which, I am sorry to say, "Smalltimore," is not on. I told you before that I would share the disappointments with you as well as the shining moments, so I thought I should let you know.

To be honest, the only reason I thought we MIGHT have a shot at a nomination, and, indeed, the only reason I submitted to this festival in the first place, is because there are awards categories for both, "American Feature," and, "First Film (by a director)". The HOE is only in its second year, so I thought it was at least possible. I am a little disappointed, but not crushed or anything, and I still plan on going to the festival (somehow).

It will save me some money in the long run, because "Smalltimore" screens on the first day of the festival, and the awards ceremony is on the last day of the festival, so I would have stayed in Tamworth all week, but I probably will just stay a few days now. It might work out for the best altogether, because there is another festival at the end of that week that we might get into, and if I can get into and go to that then I won't feel like I am missing anything in Tamworth, though "Smalltimore" would still be eligible for the Best of Festival Award.

I don't really have any delusions of grandeur, and as I have said before, if "Smalltimore" wins an award for anything, it would likely be for the soundtrack - 37 original songs by 11 Baltimore artists - of which I am very proud, and I would love, love, love for those artists to receive some well-deserved kudos.

Romantic comedies are a hard sell at festivals, at least romantic comedies that don't have big stars in them. When most people think, "film festival," they think, "weird," "unexpected," "bizarre". And "Smalltimore," is none of those things. In my completely unbiased opinion ;) it is simply a story well-told, that most people can relate to, with a solid cast, cinematography above and beyond what is expected of most indies, and a killer soundtrack. So, I am happy to just get INTO a few festivals.

The timing of this notice is probably good, it is a minor test run as to how to deal with the blows as I will inevitably start receiving some rejection notices very soon. For the next six weeks I will be hearing yay or nay from at least one festival per week. In a way, I feel like every submission is a long shot, with the exception of certain festivals like the ones that are specifically centered around female filmmakers, though there are only a couple of those. There are a few that, I'll admit, if we don't get into, I will be rather upset about.

But on the other hand, I know I'll be fine no matter what, and I stand by the movie no matter what. I know that I (and a whole lot of other people) really worked my ass off and did the absolute best I could do, and just getting the thing DONE is equivalent to "success". If I was a person who was very beholden to what other people think of me, I wouldn't have put myself out there (i.e., making the movie) to begin with. It's all good. It's all very, very good.

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