Although I've been back in Connecticut for two days, I'm still trying to adjust to the jet lag while also jumping back into the thick of things I left a little over a week ago. The adjustment is tough, but I'm hanging in there.
I'm really excited about this blog entry. Part of this feeling is because I have yet to come down from my high of taking home two honors at the AOF Writer's Award Dinner. The 2010 Action on Film (AOF) International Film Festival was a great experience for the screenwriter and filmmaker in me. I'm not just saying that because I won an award either. Instead of going on about how wonderful the festival was, I've decided to condense my memorable moments into a top ten list. To be more specific, I'm going to give you my top 10 highlights for this year's phenomenal AOF Festival.
My Top Ten:
10. Getting to AOF and receiving a warm welcome from the staff, Del, and Josh. The AOF team knows how to make you feel at home. "You may be independent, but at the AOF you're never alone."
9. It's nice to get to a festival and see familiar faces. AOF is festival where you connect with old friends and have an opportunity to network with a plethora of directors, producers, screenwriters, and actors from across the globe. Shout out to, Ron, Bob, Matt, Michelle, Steve, Caitlin, Laura, Dominic, Stan, Kely, Pascal, Michael G., and Raymond. All of you made my second year at AOF a memorable one.
8. I love getting a goodie bag. The AOF goodie bag included an official program, AOF t-shirt, perfume samples, other promotional items as well as screening postcards for most of the films screening at the festival.
7. Attending the Free Sunday Brunch Symposium and Speakers Series on Sunday, July 25, 2010 at El Portal Restaurant from 11am to 1pm. The fantastic seminar had a panel of incredible filmmakers and industry leaders who are making a difference in the field of film, video, and technology. Speakers included, Mike Flannagan of Video Symphony; Raymond Forchion, award-winning actor, writer and producer; Matt Sconce, director and 2010 AOF nominee for 'Best Horror;' Kely McClung, veteran actor, writer, producer and director; Matt Furman, screenwriter and co-founder of Triskelion Films, a production company with the goal to make CG Movies affordable to any filmmaker; and last but not least, Stan Harrington, a multi-award winning producer, writer, and director; he manages the World Famous Stella Adler Theater.
6. Attending the screening of Confessions of a Thug, a Hip-Hop musical that follows the life of a drug dealer. The film was produced by Raymond Forchion and starred writer/director Daron Fordham. I really enjoyed the Q&A with Raymond and Daron.
5. Meeting Mark Ruffalo after the screening of Stan Harrington's film Small Days, written by Tim Mc'Neil. Mark was sitting in front of me at the screening and I didn't even realize it until after the film. Mark hung out with the cast of with his colleague's from Small Days and even made an appearance at the after party.
4. Attending the screening of my short film After the Headlines. While my audience was small, it was full of heart and made up of fellow screenwriters and filmmakers who gave me their word that they would come check on the film. Thank you for a fabulous Q&A after the screening. Shout out to, Ron, Pascal, Bob, and Claire.
3. Getting nominated for 'Best Produced Screenplay and attending the 2010 AOF Film Awards Dinner. Although I didn't win I was honored to be in the company of extraordinary screenwriters, filmmakers, producers, and actors. It was a great way to spend my last night in Pasadena.
2. Attending the Writers Dinner for a second year in a row. The fact that I was once again nominated was big kudos for me. Events like this one are one of the few acknowlegements I get as a writer so it means the world to me.
1. My number one highlight from this year's AOF Festival is winning the Hollywood Scriptwriter 2010 Written Word Award and also being first runner-up for Best Short. Throughout the year I get my share of rejections, so to come home with two awards illustrates that I continue to make progress as a screenwriter.
As you can see, I did a lot in the week. It was a real privilege to return for a second year. I'm looking forward to the AOF in 2011. I guess that means I've got my work cut out for me. Back to the writing. Thanks for reading.