Lunch with Jonah
Keep the emails going to Bill and the gang—they’re amazing. I talked to Tammy yesterday and she had some new jokes. Provocative (of course) and very funny.
We are going to be in Providence a week from Friday! The film will be playing in Sacramento this weekend so please go! It is being called the MUST SEE of the festival:
Malibu a week from this Saturday…
So a small summary on this past week in Phoenix (for me) and Cali (for Jonah).
It all starts on Friday night…Dorris, a wonderful Phoenix Film Festival volunteer, picks me up. My plane is late but Dorris is on top of things: she called Continental earlier and is right on time. She is a senior citizen (although doesn’t look it) so I am thinking people are going to assume I hired her. The film is about the elderly and here I am rolling around with my senior citizen entourage. Just like most of Phoenix, Dorris is way too nice and also incredibly smart. Over the next two days we bond quite a bit. We do lunch, spend some time at her renovated house, and gossip about the rapid development of Phoenix. I am dropped off in front of a beautiful hotel. I quickly take of my sweater; its 70 degrees and almost midnight. I pass out once I hit the bed.
Saturday morning comes and goes quickly. I get the chance to meet up with a very old friend and we hang out with Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World. Nice guy, talented actor. The films at Phoenix are incredible. By Friday night I only had the chance to see a couple but they are really original and very entertaining. Our screening goes very well even though it is early on Friday morning. Saturday night I get a chance to call Jonah who is in San Fernando with an international film festival. I later find out that Jonah has lunch that afternoon next to Steven Spielberg. But in a classic Jonah moment, and part of this incredibly anti-climactic story, the J-man doesn’t find out until afterwards that he was sitting next to this God of filmmaking. Jonah may be good at filming senior citizens but he can’t say hi to Spielberg when he eats a hamburger next to him for two hours.
Saturday and Sunday went so well I have to call Tammy and let her know. Two screenings and two standing ovations. I continue to wonder if I shouldn’t be living on the west coast; everyone is so sincerely nice. Not to mention, Phoenix treats its filmmakers better than any film festival in the world (not that I am an expert but I don’t know how it could get much better). They pay for everything, know everyone by name, and run a tight shift. I didn’t know it was even possible to run festival with this sort of success.
Sunday night I get a call from Jonah who informs me that we have won the San Fernando Int’l Film Festival for Best Documentary! Wow! After I get off the phone I go back to the awards ceremony under the tent. Phoenix has already announced the winners of Best Documentary and Audience Award. Unfortunately Room 335 is not a winner. But then, just as I get ready to head off for some much needed sleep, the festival directors get in front of the microphone to announce Best Film. The winner of the festival is…Room 335! It’s weird to actually win a festival and when I go up to the front of the stage I am nervous, almost embarrassed. I look at the trophy and know this will make Bill very happy. I am shipping this right to him. It’s going to look great on his desk.