I had hoped to post some reports from the Nashville Film Festival, but a few things prevented me from doing that. First, we were staying with family that didn't have an easy-to-jump-on internet connection. And, more importantly, I was just too busy having a good time at the festival (and elsewhere). Quick Feet, Soft Hands was well received at both screenings. Unlike comedy or horror, where you might have the laughs or shrieks of an audience to gauge audience reaction reaction, with a drama like mine you get no such cues. But the Q&A after the screening helped me see that at least some audiences believe our time and efforts were worth it. There were lots of thoughtful questions and comments -- not a single "What camera did you use?" or "What was your budget?" Instead I was asked questions about the story, how it evolved, how I came to cast Jason and Greta. There were even some audience members who raised their hands to say some kind words -- no question, mind you, just a compliment. And after returning to Virginia I found that Betsy Pickle (Knoxville News-Sentinel and Scripps Howard syndicated columnist) had some nice (dare I say blurbable?) things to say in her online column. Needless to say, all of this feels good.
I'm sure there will be other things to say along the way as this film screens in different places, and in different ways. For now, I'm glad the thing is done, glad it's out there, and glad that it's beginning to find its audience.
Other films: Ashley and I did some filming in Nashville for a documentary we're working on, so I didn't catch nearly as many films as I would have liked to have seen. Of what I did see, my favorites were In the City of Sylvia, Alexandra, Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind, Voda and City of Cranes, the last two of which are short films featuring superb cinematography.
Of the features, I am particularly glad I saw In the City of Sylvia, which I caught with Darren Hughes, who drove over from Knoxville to see it for the third time (he saw it twice at Toronto). Were it not for Darren's tip I probably wouldn't have caught it -- I somehow skipped over it in my perusal of the NaFF catalog. But it's an exquisite gem of a film. A tale of a young man's attempt to track down a woman he met six years earlier, it's as if Eric Rohmer set out to remake one of his Moral Tales sans dialogue. To say anything more would probably ruin it for future viewers. So we'll leave it at that.
All in all, it was a good year at the Nashville Film Festival, premiere and otherwise. Thanks to Mandy McBroom (Shorts Programmer) and Brian Gordon (Artistic Director) for putting together such a solid festival.