Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hey! We won a prize.

Two weeks ago, KITCHEN HAMLET showed at the 8th annual Tupelo Film Festival. The folks were incredibly friendly by email, wonderfully communicative, and just welcoming in every way. I was so hoping to be able to go, but it turned out to be the weekend of graduation at Smith College (where I teach). Since I had to miss last year's (my sister got married), I thought I ought to show up this time. Also, my wife Adele and I were leaving the next day for a 20th anniversary trip to Paris. (Hmm, there's a sort of marriage theme to this post.) (While I'm being parenthetical, if you're going to Paris any time in the next few weeks, you owe it to yourself to see the Anish Kapoor installation at the Grand Palais.)

In any case, I wasn't able to go to Tupelo. I was doubly sorry I hadn't attended when I got an email from Pat Rasberry, who runs the festival, telling me that KITCHEN HAMLET had won 2nd place in the Features competition. (By the way, the 1st place winner was I Become Gilgamesh, and the 3rd place winner was Joyride.) This is our first award, and it would have been great to be there to receive it. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled about it. I'm of course appreciative to the jurors who selected the film.

Most of all, though, I was struck again by the astonishing work of so many people who contributed to KITCHEN HAMLET. Some of the most obvious include our Hamlet, Pat Shaw (also a playwright, whose first musical is about to open), and all the actors who give such lovely performances, and Mark Yeazel, our Director of Photography, who created the deep, saturated look of the film. I'm deeply appreciative also to the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Fim/Video Studio program, where Jennifer Lange brought me in as a guest artist and paired me with Mike Olenick, our fearless editor. Also, all the designers, crew, volunteers, musicians (Mike and Ruthy, et al), friends, and the list goes on and on. In any case, I thought about how many people had been willing to devote themselves to this project, in ways both large and small. Wow.

So, thanks to every last one of them, we won 2nd place in a film festival in Tupelo, Mississippi. It may not seem like that big a thing, but it sure as well wouldn't have happened without them. Thank you.

PS We're showing June 5th at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival! Spread the word!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where Have We Been? (Appalachia, mostly)

So a year and a half ago (give or take a couple of months), I was merrily writing blog entries. Then a little something happened: I started a new job. It's a terrific job; I'm very happy to be there. Still, some things had to slide, and this blog was one of them.

Here's the good news: Kitchen Hamlet wasn't sleeping, even though this blog was. We've shown at three festivals so far, and I've been able to attend two of them. We've shown as an official selection to date at Southern Appalachian International Film Festival (SOAPIFF), Appalachian Film Festival, and the Garden State Film Festival (GSFF).

You may have noticed a pattern. It's like a little game of "Which of these things is not like the other?" Yes, we appear to be popular with festivals that have "Appalachia" in their name. While that might be surprising for a film of Hamlet, it's maybe not so surprising for our film of Hamlet. We did film in Ohio, though not formally in the Appalachian portion of the state. And the film has an intentional rural feel.

Still, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to a certain amount of relief when we heard from the Garden State Film Festival. It felt good to add a festival outside of Appalachia, or even just one without "Appalachia" in its name. Plus, it was close enough to drive to. And I did.

I'll write next about the trips I've made to festivals so far, as well as the other festivals we've been selected for. One's in the south, and one's not, but there's no "Appalachia" in the name of either.

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