Monday, April 8, 2013

American Documentary Film Festival 2013

We just spent the last weekend in Palm Springs, CA for the 2nd annual American Documentary Film Festival, also known as AmDocs. AmDocs is a truly unique festival in that it is exclusively documentaries. It is the third largest film festival of its kind in the country. We were so humbled that our film was selected for this festival. Seeing our film up on the big screen again after the World Premiere in Chicago was an incredibly surreal experience. It screened at Century Theaters at the River in Rancho Mirage on Friday morning. 

Colter also road tripped down from the Santa Cruz area to join us for the screening and we could not have been happier. At the end of the film, I looked over and saw Colter crying and I was tickled to death. You could really see how much of an impact this film has had on his life, even though he has seen the film umpteen times. The screening was followed by a Q&A and a handful of people had questions for Colter. The passion was truly alive in the theater.

The rest of weekend was spent watching many other amazing films. Some truly remarkable stories were told even by young filmmakers like ourselves.  It was very inspiring to hear the filmmakers' stories and how their films came to fruition. Some of the films were extremely low budget and others were not; some were local and others international. It was enthralling to watch the narratives executed in a graceful yet non traditional way. We were exposed to a variety modes of documentary filmmaking- cinéma vérité, observational, expository, and performative- and saw how different techniques were utilized to tell the most compelling story. The most refreshing characteristic of a lot of the films was the minimal use, if not complete absense of, good ole talking heads. Many films were moving away from the the "sit down" formal interview technique and gravitating towards a more casual and spontaneous approach. It was fascinating to hear the filmmakers' logic behind their tactics.

The energy at the festival was contagious and we cannot wait to return to AmDocs next year...and hopefully in the future, we will have a feature of our own showcased. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chicago International Social Change Film Festival

This past weekend, we had the privilege to attend the Chicago International Social Change Film Festival for the world premiere of our film. This was a very proud moment for all of us. We were some of the youngest filmmakers there. It was pretty surreal especially since the three of us just graduated in June from SCU.

Our film screened on Sunday at 10:00AM at the Showplace Icon Theater in downtown Chicago. The festival grouped films by theme and ours was placed under "How Communities Can Bring Justice to the Criminal Justice System". The other films including "Love, Dad" told compelling stories and each complimented each other very well. Sitting in a full sized theater with strangers watching our film for the first time was a surreal experience.

After the film there was a panel discussion. Directors from "American Colter" and Love, Dad were represented. Additionally, panelists included highly noted experts in the criminal justice field, professors, activists- ultimately people involved with changing the policies and people who are passionate about the relevant issues. It was a moving, near two hour discussion that had the only audience asking questions about the films and issues at hand.

We look forward to hearing back from more festivals and spreading Colter's story all over the world.

Stay tuned for more updates.