Monday, November 8, 2010

The American Film Market in 5 Hours

After attending the Festival de Cannes/Marché du Film for the first time two years ago, I've been a huge supporter of film markets -- an international sea of people are in the same place, for the very same reason: to buy, to sell, to look for money, and to talk about their projects. Chances are, if you stand in the same spot for five minutes, not only will you run into a few people you know, but you're sure to meet someone new too! 

For the last six weeks, I've been urging VFF filmmakers and fans to rally behind my American Film Market (AFM) mixer suggestion, to no avail. Because of the timing of The Valley Film Festival this year, I couldn't justify the expense of purchasing a badge. And so, I tried to sweet talk filmmakers attending the market to give me their tales from the trenches. On Friday, Lucas Figueroa (VFF10, Because There Are Things You Never Forget) emailed to say he was still trying to figure the market out.

Harmony Rebecca Jupiter (VFF09, All Dressed Up) is a VFF10 judge who happens to work for Recreation Media , one of the many companies with a suite a Loews Santa Monica. Because of our crazy schedules this week, neither one of us had a moment to meet up to exchange films, so Harmony invited me down to the market.

Even without a badge, I feel I got a full experience in half a day! 

The minute I walked into the chaos, I spotted Straw Weisman (VFF09 Trunk), and en route to the elevator, I thought I saw publicist Freddy Krepistman. I made my way to the 8th floor, where I waited for Harmony to meet me (see, without a badge, you can't actually explore the suites), we had our ten-minute pow-wow, and then I joined the Lobby Rats until my next appointment. 

I DID see Freddy Krepistman, who was making the rounds with financier Richard Ortiz. Without any asking on my part, it was inquired as to whether 1 or 2 million would suffice VFF. Just the thought made me feel all warm & fuzzy inside, but I know better. 

I took my $6 Pellegrino poolside, where I waited for Lucas, and watched the sunset. Since late August, VFF10 filmmakers have been involved in my everyday life, and some I consider my new BFF's right now. Such is the case with Lucas, and it was great to get to know him as a person before the festival opens in 4 days. 

From there, I moved west to Laemmle for the screening of A Man's Story - a documentary about fashion designer Ozwald Boateng. I don't know what film was screening prior, but Harvey Weinstein (looking good, I might add) and what seemed like the entire Weinstein Company poured out into the lobby. I was inches away (like 4) from Mr. Weinstein and tried hard NOT to eavesdrop, but I couldn't help it when he pulled out his smart phone and showed off pictures of his new baby. See, even Media Moguls have soft spots. 

I found out about the screening via a Facebook post on the AFM page by producer Al Clark. Full disclosure: I'm familiar with Al Clark's work and a huge fan of London to Brighton, but I knew nothing of Ozwald Boateng.

Not any more! Ozwald Boateng is amazing! This documentary followed him over 12 years (1998-2010) from divorce to having his collection stolen, to finding love again, to catwalk catastrophies, to his reign as king of House of Givenchy, and so much more. It was over 90 minutes but you wouldn't know it. The pacing was perfect, the soundtrack rocked, and every single scene was engaging. 

The downside to the evening? I was suddenly conscience to the fact that my clothes weren't tailored, which made me wonder how long it would take to learn to cut & sew, and a reminder to support my friends with couture lines: Tara Matthews Swimwear and Suno.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Al Clark, but if he returns to L.A., I'd love the chance!

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