Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Highlights from Kent

The Kent Film Festival. Where to begin? Let me start off by thanking Patrice and Frank Galterio and the Kent Film Festival staff. They ran an awesome festival that felt good from when I went to their offices to grab my festival passes and goodie bag until the last film was screened. Frank and Patrice make you feel like family, for the weekend I was part of their filmmaking family.

This past weekend I enjoyed some good films, talked with fellow filmmakers from all over the country, and had a few celebrity spottings, but at Kent even if you are a celebrity, you don't bring that Hollywood vibe with you. Kent is to chill and laid back for A-list egos. There are many memorable moments, but if I typed them all, this blog would go on for to long. Besides I figure you, like me, have lots to do in your day and reading this blog may not be your first choice. In lue of that, below are my highlights from the 2010 Kent Film Festival. The order is fashioned like Letterman's "Top Ten."

10. Getting a goodie bag: The Kent goodie bag came with, a festival program, festival promotional items, a  gallery magazine, a peace stick to promote a peace day event in the fall, and samples of make-up (which was my personal fav). I almost forgot to mention that the goodie bag has the festival and is reusable. I'll be showing it off next time I go to the supermarket.

9. Filmmaking Workshops: This year, Kent hosted a documentary workshop with director Sandra Cosentino and producer/director Joseph Consentino. I missed this one because it ran the same time as my screening of After the Headlines. The festival also had a workshop on the the Red One, a revolutionary new camera that provides a 35mm scope on a digital budget. Adrian Correia, a cinematographer that uses Red one is his work led the workshop. It was a bit technical for me but I still had some great take-a-ways.

8. The Screening of Company Retreat: Company Retreat is a mockumentary written by actor/writer/director Campbell Scott (currently on TNT's Damages). Before the screening they had a meet and greet with Campbell and afterwards there was a Q&A. I made sure to introduce myself before I asked my question.

7. Seeing Baghdad Diary: This powerful documentary follows taxi drive Fadil Kadom's and NBC cameraman Craig White's story of what life was like leading up to the war with Iraq as well as the aftermath, videotaped by each of them, you get a keen sense of the personal risks each men took. You also the Iraq war from a humanistic, not political perspective.

6. Seeing Bakhtiari Alphabet: This documentary took me to Iran, where I learned about the Bakhiari people, a nomadic tribe that has seasonal migration. The director of this film is a fellow Connecticut who happens to live in Bethelem, CT. She is just a few towns away from Waterbury. The film took her eight years to complete. Now I call that dedication.

5.The Networking Parties: These special events allowed filmmakers, screenwriters, directors, and producers to talk shop, float around our business card, and really get to know people on both a professiona and personal level.

4. Spending Saturday with Karim: It was great to have the hubby by my side on Saturday. He was with me all day Saturday and it was a very long day. I take comfort in knowing that he supports my film and writing endeavors. Making films is a lot of hard work. Karim has had my back from the beginning of this process.

3. Patrice and Frank Galterio: This husband and wife team are the co-founders and directors of the Kent Film Festival. They go out of their way to make every filmmaker feel welcomed and supported. They gave After the Headlines it's premiere, of course they were going to make the list.

2. Seeing Mow Crew: Karim and I checked out this feature at the Saturday night screening. I believe Taylor Toole, the writer/director won best film (check Kent's website to be sure). An honor that is well deserved. The musically driven story follows  a young landscapper from Martha's Vineyard, who struggles to maintain his lifestyle and relationship after he and his girlfirend are offered an unexpected music recording contract in Los Angeles. I got a copy of the soundtrack and have been playing it since I got in the Q&A after the screening.

1. The Screening of After the Headlines: I don't mean to be an ego maniac, but the best highlight of the festival was when I sat down with the audience to watch the film. It was nice knowing I had friends and family in the audience. I'm glad Jaye Maynard, the lead actress in the film was able to be there. I received a lot of local press leading up to the screening which was also nice.

In closing, I just want to say I had this feeling like "I arrived." I know it is going to take a lot more work to stay around. It's time for me to get back to the foundation of filmmaking, the writing. I had a great time at Kent and hope to back again next year, even if I don't have a film to screen.

1 comment:

Bob Lasprogato said...

AAliyah - I'm sorry I haven't been able to make any of the festivals to support you and "After The Headlines". On the other hand I've been working on other projects and adding to my acting chops, as it were. I'm very happy to have been associated with you on this project, and hope to have the chance to work with you again.