THE LOST PRINCESS AND THE SANTA FE FILM FESTIVAL
I am now here in Santa Fe, the festival starts tonight and I thought rather than creating a new journal page each day that we are at the Santa Fe festival, I would update this page each morning (or evening). As I go through each day I will start the new day at the top of the page, you'll see!
Day #4 through the end!!! Well, if you've been following this report, the evening of fun and frivolity continued, in one way or naother, through to the end of the festival. We arrived at the beautiful Scottish Rite Temple very early, on a cold and crisp Saturday morning dressed in costume. Around a hundred people came to the screening. We gave a taste of the opening of our show with some whips and swords and some comedy. It seemed to go over well. We even had some Rennie Freinds show up, including Countess Mary and Gang, and "The Clan Tinker". We've worked with The Tinkers at the ARIZONA FESTIVAL, a nicer bunch of people you'd have a hard time finding.
Don Juan was able to meet with Raney from KIDS FIRST, who've been fine supporters of "The Lost Princess". Their festival is extending to an even broader spectrum of cities throughout the United States.
Also the Santa Fe Film Festival directer Jon Bowman came to see "The Lost Princess" with his eight year old boy. During a gathering on Thursday night he came up to out table and said that he recognized us from the movie. He said "You have a great film there". and that he was pleased that finally there was a film that he could watch with his son at the festival. I feel honored by his words.
After the movie wemet with kids and autographed posters. It was so cute watching the kids hug Esmeralda, and treat her like a real princess - very sweet. The rest of the day we all rested. Tried to see more film. I know that "Don Juan and Esmeralda" went to see the collection of shorts "Love is found in Strange Places". New friends, Steven and Whitney of "Squish Kitty Productions" had their short, "Ugly on the Inside" shown in that selection.
Later that evening we attended the awards ceremony: The 6th Milagro Awards. I will not list the awards, but will say that the ceremony was at once funny and light-hearted, and yet trully respectful of all the filmmakers involved. Watching it I was proud to have The Lost Princess included with such good films. One of the films taking an award was "English as a Second language", a moving and sensitive film about the immigrant experience. And that is a weak description of it. It is a movie which tells the story of some of my friends who have entered this nation and struggld ot stay. Don Juan and Esmeralda chose to go see that film instead of attending the banquet.
At the Awards Banquet ($100 a plate) I met with a bunch of very nice people, very nice. Let's just say that I had one of the more fun evenings of the year. I got to hold Kit Carson's rifle and even sat in ALi McGraw's chair!! Talking with these fellow, and often struggling independent filmmakers, we oncluded that the experience of community that we experience in the Ren Circuit, is very similar ot the spirit of community among these filmmakers; the desire to support one another, share information, give each other a leg up. I was warmed by the community of people (especially at some of the parties), the openess and support. Plus I was very impressed by how well the Festival treated all of the filmmakers. I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to them! Thank you!
Day #3 (Friday) This has been an early day for us. The three of us went to a press conference dinner at the Hotel St. Francis. We showed up in full costume with whips and swords in hand. We caused a bit of a stir, got some pics taken, and were able to talk a bit about our film. The press conference was dedicated to visiting filmmakers.
After a breakfast we walked around the Plaza. This is one of the oldest settlements in the US, the buildings and narrow streets make it seem like you are in Spain, or some other European country. After shopping and touristing we went and watched a selection of short films called New Mexico Shorts two. A collection of some interesting, some wierd, some funny and some sad shorts. An hour and a half well spent. "Don Juan" and "Esmeralda have checked into the Hotel Santa Fe, and we are preparing for an evening of fun and frivolity. We may see another film.
Don Juan and Esmeralda are to arrive today! (And the weather is to be warmer by a few degrees.) I am going to watch a few films today. One of which, I hope, will be "Ugly on the Inside" - a dark comedy short made by Steven and Whitney Boe, a delightful couple I had the pleasure of meeting last night at the party.
Don Juan and Esmeralda did show up. And I did get to see "Ugly on the Inside", by our new friends Steve and Whitney. A very fun short, I wish them lots o' luck!!
I also saw a very moving feature called "English as a Second Language". Powerful and inspiring, it really humanizes the immigrant problem, and what happens when you are pushed to yur moral limits. A sensitive film.
Last night we went to the VIP party at eh San Francisco Bar and Grill. Again, excellent music and good food. I began to recognize people and faces. Jon Bowman, the director of the festival here came over to us and told us what an excellent film he though "The Lost Princess" was. There is a buzz going on around town, or at least among the festival goers, so we're hoping for a good turnout on Saturday.
After Don Juan and Esmeralda returtned to their hotel I went over to the filmmakers room at the Loretto Spa! Free alcohol! (my goodness!) Conversation and beer flowed. So did ideas and information. It's really joyful to talk to passionate and creative folk, I just love it! I think I left around 1am.
So far its a cold cloudy morning here in Santa Fe with highs in the teens and a low around 7 degrees! There are a few screenings this evening (I plan on attending some) and the opening party tonight! I am staying with an old freind, Lee Ramey, who is living here in Santa Fe. Some of you might recognize his name - he was a fellow member of THE JONGLUERS - the A Cappella madrigal group that we formed over 20 years ago. Our beloved friend Bodge (Baj) was a member of the group too! And I just spoke with PRINCESS production designer Maria Jones - on her way to Florida with thoughts of us here!!
Afternoon: Went and picked up my festival pass and "goody bag" this afternoon. Very nice volunteers. Good goodies too! Walked around the Plaza (downtown) and stopped into the Ore House (Party there on Friday night) and chatted with some locals. Very friendly people! I met a man (John) who has been selling newspapers on the street for 19 years, a delightful character and very pleasant fellow!
Evening: First film I saw was not an independent feature, but a "studio" film with Judy Dench - "Mrs. Henderson Presents". This was a "sneak prevue". What an excellent, moving and touching film, (very funny too!). I loved it. The theater was packed with people even though it was bone-chilling cold outdoors (around 10 or 11 degrees!). Santa Fe really supports its film festival! I went to the opening party at the El Paseo Music Hall. Lots of folks! Great music! Good food! And some fun people. I met qute a few "locals" who had recently moved here to Santa Fe from L.A. There was a buzz about The Lost Princess, which actually suprised me! Lots of folks knew when and where it was performing, so mayhap we will get a good turnout. I also had the opportunity to get into some good conversations with fellow filmmakers, which I think is what these parties are all about! I left the event shortly after Midnight.
THE LOST PRINCESS will be found in Santa Fe New Mexico at the 6th Annual Santa Fe Film Festival on December 10 at 10am at the Scottish Rite Temple! We will also be presenting a short performance of the DON JUAN AND MIGUEL SHOW before the screening. Whips! Swords! and some Comedy! Come watch!!!
The whole festival is filled with elegant and excellent films of all types and genres, it is really an honor for us to be part of this primo event! AND YOU CAN JOIN US!! Jose, Dakota and I will be attending the VIP Party on Friday night (December 9th) and you can be there with us. The festival (known from for its taste in parties as well as well as in films) is having a live webcast featuring interviews with different filmmakers and us! Over 100 filmmakers and special industry guests will be there. Now you can be there with us - just log on to www.santafefilmfestival.com/webcast from 8pm to 12am MST (9pm – 1am CST, 10pm – 2am EST) and join the party! There will be another webcast on Saturday night at the awards banquet from 5:30pm to 7:30pm MST (you can figure out the rest of the time zones) We'll be there too, so join us on the web. Or come in person. We'd love to see you. Santa Fe is a beautiful and historic city and the film festival has a reputation for excellence. Any way, just check out their website for further information. (www.santafefilmfestival.com) Oh, if you do go to their website, check out the films and what they have to say about THE LOST PRINCESS. I'll give you a taste — they call Don Juan, Esmeralda and Miguel....
"A blend of the Three Stooges and the Three Musketeers on Expresso, THE LOST PRINCESS is wholesome family fun zinging with grown-up nuances." - Steven Davis
These folks from the Santa Fe festival are a lovely bunch of people who have been treating us very well. If you show up (on the web, or in person) I'm sure you'll have a great time!
Another film note — Duncan and I recently sat and watched EL GUSANO, which, frankly, I couldn't watch until we were completely done with LOST PRINCESS. It holds up suprisingly well — relentless in its forward movement and, at times — what did Duncan say? - "brutally funny". And, since we've released LOST PRINCESS, interest in our 26 minute short has increased. Cool!
Enjoy your holiday. And as an old friend said "Be good, do well"