Festival #2 in Review

As I mentioned in my last post going to the Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival was going to be bittersweet because Catia wouldn’t be with us. She’d be home nursing our newly born baby. Because our first kid was born two weeks early and the festival is a week after the due date, we figured the new kid would be three weeks old. And her OBGYN says that ovens usually cook the same, so we were in the clear. I’d attend the festival and as a happy side bonus, sleep like someone who wasn’t up all night with a newborn. Win win!

Well, you know what they say about plans…

…three weeks before the festival, all quiet. No baby. Two weeks, all quiet. A week out, all quiet except for my rightfully pissed off wife who was feeling a ton of pain and aches 24/7. So the cutoff day for me to attend would be Monday. Have the baby Monday, I get on a plane Wednesday. First screening Thursday afternoon. No problem!

Monday came and went.

Tuesday came and went. Cancelled my hotel, got a voucher for my flight, and hoped the baby would be born on Wednesday so I go Friday, in time for our second screening on Saturday morning.

Wednesday came and left. Trip officially postponed.

It’s a bummer to not attend our second film festival and see the movie with a new audience, one who doesn’t know anyone involved with the movie. But I was proud that Closure would be well represented.

Beau stayed for the duration, and sent back photos:

VB Beau

Not pictured: intense humidity. After all, it’s Florida in June. (Photo courtesy: Beau Genot)

Also in attendance, one of our actresses, V. Lucas!

Beau and V

V. Lucas and Beau Genot (Photo courtesy: V. Lucas)

In addition, one of our investors/co-Producer Laurence Leonard flew down from New York just for the screening. So we were well represented.

And it went well! (So they said). The audience was engaged, stuck around for the Q and A, and came up to Beau following the screening to say how much they enjoyed the movie and how they could relate to Nina’s journey. They also vowed to spread the word. Or so they said. Catia and I were still at home. And Catia was getting LARGER.

Two days later we had our second screening, at 9:30am.

Closure screening poster.jpeg

No confirmation as to whether or not Manolo Blahnik attended. (Photo courtesy: V. Lucas)

Word must have spread because this second screening was packed. More Q and A, more fans. Which is what festivals are about, meeting new people in the industry and getting festival audiences to watch the film.

Sunday afternoon the festival wrapped. And Sunday evening, Catia and I were able to introduce our latest collaboration:

Me and Max.JPG

Me and the little dude. (photo courtesy: Catia Ojeda… you know, the one who did all the work bringing this kid into the world)

Did I miss out on the experience? Absolutely. But ABSOLUTELY worth it for this little dude.

Mom, dad, baby and big brother are nesting and trying to get sleep when we can. In the meantime, we are under consideration for nearly 20 festivals from mid-August through the end of November. And with a little luck (and if the programming gods are in our favor) I’ll get back on the festival circuit soon.

In the meantime, I hope you all enjoy a full night’s sleep. Please tell me what that’s like!


Coming up next: more festivals? And taking steps towards distribution.

Raise a Glass!

In my last blog post I wrote about the steep drop on the roller coaster of Closure’s (and my) career. Rejection after rejection after rejection after-

-well, you get it.

But things will turn around, right?

After publishing that post a few more rejections came in. I (briefly) considered retirement. I threw an enormous pity party for myself (no one came). But then…

Ding!

We have a bite! We are officially going to our second festival!

VBWFF_Official_Laurels_2018_OFFICIAL_SELECTION.png

Great grapes! We’re going to Florida!

That’s right, the Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival. We are thrilled. ¬†Another chance to show our movie to a paying, public audience. Actually, TWO chances:

Thursday, June 5th
5:30pm
Vero Beach Theatre Guild

Saturday, June 7th
9:30am (GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, VERO BEACH!!!)
Costa d’Este Beach Resort and Spa

After the cycle of rejection and hard work (I am still working 30 minutes to three hours A DAY on this movie, months after we completed our edit) this is an exciting development. A beautiful beachside location. Lots of movies. And apparently, even more wine (don’t forget, film is second fiddle in the name of the festival).

But this festival is slightly bittersweet, because-

“Oh shut up, Goldberg. We’re all tired of your complaining, Mr. Movie Man. Just close your trap and enjoy yourself for one minute.”

I promise you, I am enjoying this moment. And I will enjoy my entire time at the festival. I mean, how could you not enjoy Watson the Waterborne Wine Waiter!

Screen Shot 2018-04-18 at 9.49.59 AM.png

I’m pretty sure he walked this viognier over directly from France.

But someone will be noticeably missing.

Catia is pregnant. Like, VERY pregnant. Like, by the time you read this blog there might be another squishy bundle of joy in our arms. I am NOT COMPLAINING about having another child. We asked for it. We literally made it happen.

But this means that she will not be joining in on the adventure to Vero Beach. We thought about all traveling as a family, but taking a three-year-old and a newborn across country is a recipe for disaster, very expensive, and since we wouldn’t be sleeping much I wouldn’t be working to my potential at the festival, making connections and networking as much as I can.

We wanted to take our baby moon (a.k.a. a brief vacation before the newborn chaos begins) to a festival together in March or April. A grandparent or two would have stayed with our older kid and the two of us could have celebrated our film together at one of eight festivals in San Francisco, or Dallas, or Nashville, or Atlanta, or New York, where we first met and lived for a long time.

But no, we got rejected. From all of them.

Again, I’m not complaining. I will very happily attend VBWFF and take in every adventure and opportunity I can (plus, enjoy sleep in a hotel room without an infant crying every 3-4 hours). I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. It’s just bittersweet that the woman who is my muse, my partner, my soulmate, and the inspiration for the script can’t go.

Catia and I started dating nearly ten years ago. I was instantly smitten. I remember very clearly on our third date as we were in a fantastic Italian restaurant in Astoria, drunk on the early stages of love as well as great food and wine, she told me that she booked a role in a play and would be leaving town for three months. While my heart wanted to scream “don’t go” at her I knew that she was a talented actress and the worst thing I could do for her career (and her soul) was to get in the way and be anything but encouraging. I congratulated her and told her it will be an amazing adventure. I said I’d miss her but knew that she had to take the opportunity. And, if she’d let me, I’d come visit and watch her onstage.

A month later she left for the job. And we kept dating long distance. And I did visit her…

…twice.

And proudly watched her perform at Riverside Theatre…

…in Vero Beach.

Alex and Catia Vero Beach.jpg

Young lovebirds at the poolside restaurant at the Costa d’Este Beach Resort and Spa. Nine and a half years later, our movie will screen in this very same building.

In June I will happily celebrate the movie and all the hard work everyone has done. Beau and I will definitely network, socialize, see other films, and meet a lot of people…

…and I will raise a glass or two in honor of the star of our movie. Next festival, we’ll do it together.