Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend, I took a long gambol through the golf course that serves as my parents' backyard (literally) in the Coachella Valley, home of an amazing music fest that happens every year in April. (It's a Burning Man-type crowd--you can't beat a combo of lots of inebriates, great live music and the hot desert sun--whoo-ee. Good times.)
My walk was timed to the golden hour as I wheeled out the door in my orange Adidas. iPod securely fastened, Persols lodged on my nose, I gave all the old geezers rolling by in their custom golf carts a thrill (I swear one had a Rolls Royce grill). And did I mention it was hot?
On my return trip to the homestead, as I walked, I kept my face turned to the right to keep the setting sun in my sights. Looking up to my left, I saw the already-risen moon. Uh, yeah--good sign, planets in alignment and all that jazz. Listening to one of my favorite Italian pop songs by Jovanotti called Ciao Mamma, I must admit I got a bit verklempt as the sun sank below the palm trees.
The month of June scares me a bit with all its newness. A move across the country to reclaim New York City as my home base, new digs, new friends, new adventures. And there's a returning, too, to old stomping grounds. My alma mater, Sarah Lawrence College, is having a weekend-long reunion a few days after my arrival--3 days filled with parties, luncheons, dedications, midnight breakfasts, new art works by SLC students, seminars, a dinner/dance/tour at the UN Saturday night, capped off by a champagne brunch Sunday morning. Nice--can't wait to see old friends and make new ones.
The following week, I continue my interview series with Jennifer Venditti, the first-time director of a wonderful film called Billy the Kid. Look for my interview with this talented young woman here soon. Look for her documentary to screen next at the Los Angeles Film Festival in late June. It's an official selection of the fest in the section dedicated to the best documentary film work of the year. The films compete for the Target Documentary Award, which carries a $50,000 unrestricted grant. The prize is determined by a panel of prestigious jurors and the film will also compete for the Audience Award for Best Doc Feature. If you can, go experience the fest my friends at Film Independent put on--an incredible roster of films and special programs shown in venues all around L.A. (yay Doug, yay Rachel) and nice location (the festival will be hosted in Westwood Village for the second year). And, you can be at the beach in only ten minutes.
In Brooklyn on Sunday, June 10th, I will be attending a function at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) as part of their Sundance Institute at BAM series of screenings and events. Called Four Independents That Turned the Tide, the afternoon starts with screenings of films from four seminal documentarians at the Rose Cinemas. (I'm seeing Nick Broomfield and Joan Churchill's Soldier Girls.) Following the screenings, there will be a panel discussion with Nick Broomfield, Barbara Kopple (Shut Up and Sing!), Albert Maysles and Raoul Peck (Lumumba), moderated by Documentary Film Program Director Cara Mertes.
The following Tuesday, for the first time, I'll be attending SilverDocs, June 12 - 17. I'm so excited to finally be going to this! I'm set to board an Amtrak at Penn Station for the three hour ride to Baltimore. I love riding on a train, it's very sexy to me for some reason. Ah, five days of doc geek heaven. Look for lots of filmmaker interviews, reports on seminars and other assorted fare from the fest later in June.
As I head east to pursue things both professional, and otherwise, I want to thank all the amazing filmmakers, producers, writers and friends for their inspiration and support. Special thanks to Tamara because your words of encouragement and vote of confidence are particularly meaningful. (Girl, what ever did happen to all that freakin' footage we shot?! LOL)
Move over, Giuliani, there's a new bitch in town.