Despite having been to San Francisco and even living in Northern California for a lot of my childhood, I had never been to Mill Valley. If you have never been, I highly recommend it. It's a very romantic and magical place. You might compare it to Carmel (if you've ever been), only it's a little less, um, sleepy. In other words, you can still get dinner at 11pm if you want.
The Festival has a lot of support behind it (Lucasfilm, AMPAS [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences], Whole Foods), and because of their generous sponsors, they are able to really take care of their filmmakers. We were nominated for, and later won, the Best US Feature Audience Award (shared with the stunning PARIAH).
While we were there, I got to see BUTTER which had a stellar cast and was a pretty funny (thinly veiled political parody) film. I also ran into Michelle Yeoh, who I've known for years, whose film THE LADY received very strong word of mouth and also won an award at the Fest.
GIRLFRIEND played its first (sold out) showing across a bridge and down the road a bit in San Rafael, Ca. at the Rafael Theatre. San Rafael doesn't have the quaint, village-like feel of Mill Valley proper... it somehow feels like a cleaner version of Haight Ashbury... at least the part that I saw, which was a four block stretch of 4th Street.
Our next showing was in Mill Valley, but neither Justin nor I could be there, so Evan did the Q & A himself. I hear it was a great success.
After a great two days in the Bay Area, we drove home to LA before Justin went off to the Festival in Ghent and I headed for North Carolina to make a little money on the Disney film I'm working on.
North Carolina, while beautiful (see below), is not a place I will necessarily be rushing back to. Truth to tell, I'm not much for nature - and there's lots of it there. Lots and lots of it. We were shooting additional photography on the Biltmore Estate. 80,000 acres of stunning foliage. The first day, it poured rain on us, but the second day was pleasant enough.
During that first week in North Carolina, I found out I would going to New York for the weekend. Friday, I'd be helping out during ADR for the Disney film and maybe have some free time in the city before flying back out on Sunday.
I arrived into JFK and, while waiting for my bags, met a very nice woman from San Francisco (but who is Malaysian). She is an architect and was in New York to see a performance by her favorite dance troupe.
Since she needed to get into Manhattan and my cab was being paid for by Disney, I offered to share the cab to my hotel, after which, she could continue on (for far less money) to her destination.
We talked all the way into the city and when we arrived at my hotel, exchanged cards. It was just the beginning of what was going to be a great weekend... and the beginning of e new idea I will tell you about in the next blog.
This has been a short(er) blog than usual, but the next will be coming soon!
Thanks for reading!