Thursday, May 2, 2013

Guests of a Nation - West Chester Film Festival

This past weekend was the screening of Guests at the West Chester FF, and we felt so welcomed and inspired, if not honored to be able to have our film screened alongside the caliber of films we saw there.

West Chester is a quaint, historic town that is freakin' cute.  Lots of great little shops and restaurants and coffee shops with tons of character.  Ample parking garages (free parking on Sundays!), brick sidewalks, and a pretty safe atmosphere with the nearby University providing a college-town safety vibe.  I want to film something there now...

We got to meet some wonderful filmmakers, one of them being the "Ryans" from the short documentary film, Invincible Pep, which was about Ryan Quinn's Grandfather's lifetime story of working as an iron man who built many landmarks in Pittsburgh, and survived several near-death experiences on the job.  We got to also meet the Grandfather, who was a fun guy, and promised to get us strong iron men for husbands if we visited Pittsburgh.  ;)    

Some of the films I was able to see and that stood out to me were Record/Play, Invincible Pep, and Harry Grows Up (hilarious!).  I wish I could have also seen The Framing of Joe Paterno, Voices of Time Before They Are Silenced, and El Invento, but alas.  Maybe someday at another festival.

one of the venues filling up before a screening
The reception of Guests by people took me a bit aback (in a good way!).  It seemed like as soon as word circulated that we were the people involved in the making of Guests, people would approach us just to express how much it touched them.  Several people from the film festival's board came up to say how much the film stood out to them when they were going through and selecting films for the festival.  Truly, it was kind of unreal how many people the story seemed to not only resonate with, but felt the need to tell us how it made them feel or how much they enjoyed it.  It made me feel both delighted and humbled at the same time.

The screening we attended was very full, and there were audible gasps and murmurs during it.  A fun Q&A time after a screening got us questions such as if we filmed it in Ireland (I wish!), and if our actors were Irish.  We got some chuckles when we told them the actors were from NY to PA to DE.

Overall, we felt the West Chester FF was fantastic.  The organizers did a great job: provided nice venues, workshops, galas, good attendance at the screenings, and overall made filmmakers feel like a valued part of the film festival.  I hope to get the chance to return with more films in the future!

Mesah with writer and fellow producer, Alex, and actor, Shawn
Tomorrow (Friday) night, Guests will be shown at the Montclair FF, and we recently learned that we were accepted at the Diamond FF in Philly, and nominated for Best Fiction & Best Student Film!  Looking like another busy month!

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