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.