Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sarasota Diffusion

If you're a baseball fan, you know how easy it is for a batting average to plummet; by contrast, you also know the difficulty of raising that same average even just a few thousandths. Last time we talked, our festival BA was .250 and sinking. Today, I proudly declare we're at .333. It took a little research because a number of festivals seemed to have completely forgotten to notify us(Brussels and Gen Art, I'm talking about you). Not bad. The balance swings in our favor.

There is palpable excitement about the deadCenter Film Festival in Oklahoma City. America's breadbasket awaits. And I must personally thank the rookie French fest Festival de la Peur for inspiring the title of this post. It was he who wishes to 'diffuse' our film in the south of France. The actual geographic center of the lower 48 states of the USA is Lebanon, Kansas in the middle of a hog farm. For all fifty, it's just outside Castle Rock, South Dakota.

The latest addition to our promotional materials family is the press kit. Now, I had this item completely wrong. I thought it was a colorfully decorated folder you opened like a flower to reveal glossy production photos, rich filmmaker bios printed on 45lb paper and a polished DVD screener of your film. Nope. It's just a common word document. But within that simple file extension is your film in prose, like a Hemingway short story. Alex worked tirelessly on it. I gladly contributed some of my recollections of how the film came about and how I came to play Archie and so on. Our current screener, which is sent to media outlets and any eager distributors, is also rather comprehensive. It contains the film, a press kit with stills on CD and a small note with our festival laurels and laudatory bullet points from the various reviews we've received.

My brother Greg, a relentless promoter of the film, recently handed me an article about some technological breakthroughs at his Alma mater, Georgia Tech, that are somewhat related to BC. The headline reads, "'Nanogenerator employs human body as battery'". The first line of the article reads, "Someday, you may be able to charge up your iPod or cellphone just by taking a walk or even plugging in to your own bloodstream." Read the rest here. The scientist behind all this is Zhong Lin Wang, whose specialty is nanoscience, which is the science of very, very small things, i.e. objects measured in nanometers like atoms and molecules. For a primer, read here. To those who aren't big science fans, it might kickstart your ADD, but be patient and read the whole page. Fascinating. And if you really have a lot of time on your hands, you can read the article on Georgia Tech's website and compare it to the AJC article. Georgia Tech's article has better pictures like this one.

Chris, another avid promoter of BC and brother of mine, recently put up a poster for the film in his classroom. He teaches 10th grade English at a public school just outside Atlanta. The heading for the bulletin board where the poster sits reads "Man's Inhumanity To Man." Hidden meaning? No. Just coincidence.

In less than four hours, Alex, Katie, Adam, Hugh, Emmi(Hugh's wife), and I will depart for Sarasota, FL for the film festival there. Alex is flying, but the rest of us have opted for the classic road trip via station wagon, which leaves at 5am. I don't know how anything can live up to Cinequest, which was like seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. Nevertheless, the program at Sarasota is stellar with new films from cinematic giants like Lars von Trier and Aki Kaurismaki, and classics from Norman Jewison, Francisco Rosi and the inimitable Jacques Tati(I speak of Playtime, screening in 35mm). Honestly, looking at the program, I'm not sure exactly how our film snuck its way into this one. We're in exclusive company. On Saturday, we screen opposite Lars von Trier's new film, The Boss of it All. Head to head with Denmark's finest. Personally, I'm thrilled about the films showing. Alex and I plan on staying for a week and renting scooters and maybe retiring.

Closing note. I donated blood yesterday. My blood type is O+. It's also CMV-(cytomegalovirus, which is a type of Herpes virus found in nearly 60% of the world population aged 6 and over). So this means my donation usually goes to patients who are immunocompromised (chemo patients and babies). If you have the time, you should donate, too.

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