The Central Authority reminds you to watch “The Central Authority”.
We’ve been very grateful for a successful festival run so far. We were honored by Poor Life Choices Film Festival as Best Dark Comedy Feature and by Bare Bones International Film Festival as Best Comedy Feature. We’re so thankful to all the brave film festivals that are continuing to have virtual and hybrid events as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, I was reminded that art is alive and well. The Hollywood industrial process has been under tremendous pressure. The indie film world, also slowed, is still at work too, even though COVID remains with us. I say this because I’ve been judging the Quarantini Film Festival, a monthly fest founded by Dana Olita that supports and awards filmmakers making socially-distanced short films during this difficult time.
I have learned and been reminded of a few things while judging the Quarantini entries:
Art finds a way. I’ve seen some great films submitted to Quarantini Film Festival. Where there’s a will, there is a way, even under un-ideal circumstances.
Sometimes, constraints embolden our creativity. Doing a lot with a little is part-and-parcel of low budget film making, but the constraints indie filmmakers are creating under are unprecedented. I’ve seen amazing creative risks taken on screen in the last three rounds of the Quarantini Film Festival. Some hit and some missed the mark, but when business-as-usual goes out the window, we have to ask what’s possible. I’ve witnessed tremendous creativity under the pressure of the pandemic.
The pandemic has many people committed to speaking their truth, directly or indirectly. I’ve seen heart-wrenching drama shorts, contemplative docu-dramas and wicked comedies that all hit home. All of us have a story to tell that’s part of this larger pandemic narrative.
The truth is many film festivals and the whole culture of film festivals going forward is uncertain. Theatrical exhibition is still difficult and frankly, unobtainable in many areas. Your larger press outlets like Variety, Deadline, The Hollywood reporter, et al, are only really covering the larger festivals that have film markets. That gives sort of skewed picture of the filmmaking landscape in general. Indie filmmaking is alive. Indie films are being shown. It may not be on a large screen, but you can get your work out there on online fests like Quarantini. Seize the moment. You’ll never know what you’ll learn, how you’ll grow or who you’ll impact.
I work from home. I’m used to it. I’ve been busy, even as there’s a great deal of uncertainty in the entertainment industry. Today, I took a breather and set out to the task of cleaning. I cleaned my office and I emptied out my purses, which I hadn’t cleaned out since the lock down began . It was like going though a mini time-capsule.
What was in my purses:
promotional materials for a film festival screening I attended
coin change for parking
assorted colored pencils, highlighters and post-it notes for marking scripts on-the-go when I chose to work at cafes
an extension cord for plugging my lap top into an electrical outlet at a cafe
a movie ticket
Cleaning out my purses hit me hard. As I cleaned, I felt like I had just been through a strange time warp. We don’t know what the future will bring, though we’ve been told there’s a “new normal” coming. What I want to emphasize here is that, yes, all of this made me blue today. However, I quickly pivoted to my gratitude for those experiences and the hope that I can have them again soon when it’s safe to do so.
The film festival promo materials reminded me that I love film festivals and seeing my work on the big screen. I am grateful to all the film festivals that have ever screened my work.
The breath mints were comic. Though we’ll be wearing masks for awhile, the mints reminded me that we need to keep a (minty) fresh perspective. Let’s not get stuck into to many ruts or bad thought grooves at this time.
They stopped enforcing most parking ordinances since the stay-at-home order in Los Angeles, so I haven’t needed to feed a meter. Admittedly, parking Los Angeles has been way easier. I am grateful for the days in Los Angeles when scoring a parking spot was the biggest of my worries. I now know there are far bigger things to have anxiety over. I’ve had to learn how to better manage my anxiety.
I love my home, but sometimes I need to get out of the house to work more efficiently. I get TOO comfortable. I am grateful for all the times I’ve had great coffee and a great work day and even run into old friends. I hope to enjoy this again soon.
The extension cord reminded me of how lucky I am to have basic utilities and that all of my utility services are still going, despite the pandemic. Those working to keep our water, power and sanitation going are essential workers too and we owe them much for their service at this time.
A movie ticket…There’s much discussion right now of how to move the industry forward during the pandemic. Fortunately, I am very diversified. Some are not and it’s been difficult to see how many friends and colleagues are anxious and suffering right now. The movie ticket is my reminder to rebuild. The movie ticket is my reminder to adapt as best I can. There will be no Dark Ages of Entertainment if I can help it.
Instead of yearning for the past, what can we do to bring our appreciation into the future?
I always love to see projects I’ve been in succeeding, especially people who are talented and work hard. It was such an honor to attend the awards ceremony of the Silicon Beach Film Festival this past week to cheer on “The Spirit Room”, a horror short I had a supporting role in. “The Spirit Room” won Best Horror Short, its second award to-date.
For more info about this great film and the team behind it, check out the film’s IMDB.
My fellow producers and I are actively planning season 2 and we have two more episodes for season 1 currently in post production. If you’ve ever wanted to get into producing a talk show, now is a great opportunity to get involved with our show. Check out our Patreon offerings!
Congratulations to the super-talented cast & crew of The Spirit Room, helmed by Adam J. Ung. The Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival awarded the short Best Horror Short. I was honored to play the role of Peggy Wily in this award winning film. Learn more here.
Powerhouse producers & directors came on What Women Want Talk Radio to show us what more inclusive filmmaking can and should be. Listen to this compelling interview with the teams behind two successful films, Murder in the Woods and Seeking Valentina.