Last week was the Queens World Film Festival screening of "We Had Plans," and Kelsey & I had such a lovely time being part of the festival! Unlike last year when I was only able to attend the kick-off & trailer parties and my own screening, we attended the kick-off & trailer parties, some press events, AND 3 of the 6 days of the actual festival. Out of the 144 films, we only got to see 5 shorts (including ours) and 3 features (plus the special honoree screening of the brilliant Smithereens). We loved what we did see though, and hope to see more at next year's festival, which we also hope to be part of with our latest project because we just love this festival! I've attended a lot of local festivals, and none have matched Queens World in bringing filmmakers together, and making them feel welcome and part of something bigger than just themselves and their films. There's so much genuine love, integrity, dedication and hard work coming from the festival, especially from Executive Director Katha Cato, who I find so inspiring. There are festivals that have been around much longer than Queens World, but don't feel even half as organized or momentous.
As for our actual screening, it went very well. We screened in a church, which was cool & a bit ironic considering our film and the feature in our block both have LGBTQ characters. Because the feature was having its NY premiere, most of the 40+ audience was there for them. But we had a few people in the audience there for our film, as well. The Q&A was fun and the audience response was wonderfully attentive. Kelsey & I had our favorite moment of the night when a woman from the audience came over and said, "I loved your film. It was like a one sentence novel. The characters will really stay with me ... more than most." We were in awe of that moment. It was truly spectacular. She got the film and what we were going for. It felt great.
The rest of the festival was a lot of meeting filmmakers, watching films, talking film and generally just celebrating film & Queens, which is really what I would love to be doing most weeks. So, like I said, fingers crossed we'll be back again next year!
See some photos below. We hope to add more when the festival releases all of theirs, particularly from our screening.