April « 2009 « War Against The Weak – Blog

Archive for April, 2009

Delray Beach Film Festival

Monday, April 27th, 2009

War Against The Weak has been accepted to the Delray Beach Film Festival screening on Saturday, May 23rd at 5:00pm. Join us if you can and please let anyone you may know in the Florida area from Palm Beach to Miami to come out and support. Here is a link to the festival website. You can click to buy tickets at the bottom of the page.

Hope to see you there.
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Beverly Hills Film Festival

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

The Beverly Hills Film Festival was certainly an interesting and validating trip. Our screening went well. Justin Donais, Glastonburykids, who we met at True/False showed up and one of our actors in the film, Brigitte Hagerman was there as well. While waiting in the lobby I had the pleasure of meeting Mardik Martin, the writer of such films as Mean Streets and Raging Bull. The man is 79 and so full of life and funny. I watched him give a seminar to screenwriters as he shared his experiences of working with Scorsese and how to pitch your script. Really nice guy.

At the Friday night party I wound up meeting a group from Alaska with a short film titled Way Up North. Levi A. Taylor’s creation is a 20 minute Rock Opera that’s a mix between Sin City and the last half of From Dusk Till Dawn without the vampires. Lot’s of blood and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Very entertaining. Also had a good time talking with Way Up North Cinematographer, Mike Collier. He told me when someone learns he’s from Alaska they always ask him about Gov. Palin. I don’t know about Palin but if other Alaskans are like this group then Alaska is ok with me. 

Sunday night was the awards dinner held at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Real swanky place. Before it started I wound up meeting John Stamos in the lobby. He was there with Bob Saget, not for the awards show, they just happened to be staying there. In the back of my head I was thinking Full House reunion? The awards dinner started and I wound up sitting at a table with the crew from Way Up North and sitting next to Larry Hankin. Most people will know Larry as the upstairs neighbor on Friends. Super nice guy who also had a short at the festival called The Outlaw Emmet Deemus and The Porno Queen. Larry was kind enough to give me a copy. It’s hilarious. As he says, “It’s Don Quixote on a motorcycle”.

The awards part of the dinner started and Way Up North wound up winning Best Short and Best Editing. Best Documentary went to Life After Death, written and directed by Shawn Thompson. When we lost I figured, oh well, no big deal, we didn’t win. They then moved on to the next award and opened the envelope, “and the award for Best Feature Film goes to…” I was absolutely shocked. I honestly could not believe they called out War Against The Weak. I’ve never heard of a documentary winning for Best Film. It truly was a great feeling especially for anyone that works in this business. We’ve been working on this project night and day for almost 2 years and anyone can tell you it’s a grueling process. We do it because it’s what we love. I just wish Justin and the rest of the crew were with me. It would have been that much more if everyone was there. Still, it was an incredible night and I hope more good things happen for the film as we move forward.


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Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Full Frame is considered the premiere documentary film festival in America. Out of 1200 documentaries, 60 are selected. We were in some good company and the filmmakers we met were great, as well as seeing familiar faces from other festivals; Gita Pullapilly and Aron Gaudet with their wonderful film, The Way We Get By, David Simpson, Milking the Rhino, and Ondi Timoner, We Live In Public. I met a bunch of students from Dayton, Ohio that came down to watch films, interact and get advice from filmmakers. For all you Deadheads it was definitely a trip to meet Wavy Gravy. There was a documentary made about his life called Saint Misbehavin – The Wavy Gravy Movie, directed by Michelle Esrick. Michelle told me they have been working on it for ten years. We were also able to reconnect with co-directors Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri, October Country

We had a great audience for our screening and the care that goes into the technical aspect is amazing. We had a 350 seat makeshift theatre in the conference center at the Marriott Hotel in Durham. Nothing against the other festivals but it was the best looking projection we’ve had so far. Afterwards the crowd kept us for an hour. The questions didn’t seem to end but Justin handled every one very eloquently, as he always does. Again shock and awe at discovering how America influenced the Holocaust. The location of the festival had more significance for us being in North Carolina. Sterilization didn’t officially end in North Carolina until 1974. Very disturbing. Today the Governor as well as State Representatives are trying to give reparations to those who were wronged.  

Southern hospitality was in full force. Peg Palmer, Executive Director, Sadie Tillary, Director of Programming, Stephanie Barnwell, Manager, Programming and Special Guests, and the whole staff were absolutely fantastic, especially Lani Simeona, Hospitality Coordinator. She went above and beyond the call to help us with whatever we needed. All around an exceptional festival for documentary filmmakers and film goers alike. I highly recommend  Sons Of Cuba, the festival’s opening night film.  It’s a fantastic documentary about young boys in Havana who train to be champions. Unfortunately it was the only film I was able to watch because our film was screening at the Beverly Hills Film Festival the following day. Justin stayed to represent the film at Full Frame as I boarded a plane for Los Angeles.


2 interviews with Justin.




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