Friday, November 10, 2006

And The Award Goes To

Ok so easily the worst part of a festival is the hooky award show. I mean not only do festival directors not know how to throw a party, but they never get any of the “celeb’s” that they always advertise on their flyers (false advertising is crime in this country). So I am not going to lie...I really wasn’t looking forward to the award show. I mean you really never want to go, but you have to go. I mean you just might win an award. Well not us, we don’t tend to win awards because we tend to talk shit on people all the time (just ask the guy sitting at the table with us when we began to tear his film apart – well almost till his said “that’s my film” – I felt sorry for him).

Anyway, we were invited here and we needed to make an appearance. I’m just doing my alcoholic-angry filmmaker bit when I realize that the screenwriter that I know, the one that I saw the first day, is producing this award show. I was really caught off guard…I mean I know like everybody up in this motherfucker. And I will have to say that this is the first time that I have been to an award show that has a producer…and I go to a lot of these things.

Well, they have an attractive venue, a good DJ (well he’s ok…but the ATL isn’t know for it’s turtabilism so I cut him a break “so you have no Wu- tang? about Redman?...Madlib?....what do you mean who is Madlib, you are a DJ”)…and the bar is scheduled to stay open throughout the whole ceremony. Fan-fucking-tastic….that’s all I needed to know.

So this thing is being produced by Ms. Redila Shaw and she has a full night of entertainment including musical artists and a fashion show. I mean I was impressed, you are lucky if you get stale cheeto’s at these things, this was like flying first class (yeah...cause I fly first class all the time). Now I will say that I since I didn’t not know the MC or any of his posse (but I did know Evander Holyfield who is his EP and was in attendance) I felt really old. I mean I don’t think I could rock sequent Chuck Taylor’s but hey, who the fuck am I. Nonetheless, this guy did take his job seriously as did all of his back-up dancers and the entourage was killin’ it on the stage. I mean I couldn’t understand a single thing he was saying (you can blame that on the combination of the acoustics of the hall and the 5 beers I had in my bloodstream)…but he meant every word of it and his posse brought props for added effect.

In addition to this was some spoken word, more DJ interludes and then they actually played clips from each of the nominated films (except for Sex, Love & Z-Parts – I mean WTF?)…which is really a touch of class because normally by the time the award show happens the festival director has done the math and realized that a fair number of checks are not going to clear and has drastically reduced the award show offerings and is drinking up the door revenues (literally) before people realize that the whole thing is a scam. To this festivals credit, they didn’t do that…and unlike almost every other festival I have been to, they have a physical award trophy and not a Xeroxed copy of a bullshit certificate you banged out on your laptop and printed moments before the winner is announced. And even though I think I got fucked in the voting (I mean when do I not get fucked in the voting, that’s why I am always drunk – but I was pretty sure that we were ineligible to win an award so I wasn’t too pissed) I was happy to be nominated (along with 15 other shorts – uh are you a little indecisive?)

So, we got loaded at the award show. I mean by the end we had 10 empty beer bottles on our table. We were the only table with alcohol on it….do people no understand what to do at a festival…do they not read this blog?

So…believe it or not, this is the best festival I have ever attended. The combination of an accessible venue, ‘lax security, free admission and people who actually want to watch films makes this the best festival we have ever attended and I am happy to say that the Urban Media Makers Film Festival is Cooprdog certified. So when you apply, definitely apply to this one, Cherlie will take care of you and unlike many large festivals I have attended, there weren’t any real technical problems. People are very sincere in Atlanta, there is really good food (just not in the Waffle House) and these are really nice people.

Ok...that’s my story and I am sticking to it…



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