This past weekend, "Arm Bar" screened at the AMC 25 theater as part of the Urban Action Showcase. UAS is an action oriented festival in its fifth year. The festival is a two day event, the first day, oddly enough, being the awards ceremony. They held it in the Michael Fuchs theater at HBO, which is a beautiful space with a large screen. (see below)
All the content creators watched ten-second clips of their shorts, features and fan fiction before a very long awards process. My favorite part of the awards was learning about Lu Feng, a prominent actor and choreographer for Kung Fu in the 1970's. He traveled from China for the event and gave a very short and sweet acceptance speech after being honored for his achievements in the genre. There were too many nomination categories to even dream about revisiting here, but I only submitted for the shorts category. "Arm Bar" didn't win anything, but it was nice meeting all the content creators at the ceremony and learning about their specific journeys. One screenwriter, Aaron, even made it to our screening the next day! Thanks, Aaron!
The actual screening was held at the AMC 25 theater in Times Square. Christina and I arrived together and met Latresa, Victoria and Ricardo (who were all actors in the film) at the theater. The event was a very pricey $30 for general admission, and Latresa cleverly was able to get the three of them in for free by doing press for the event under her brand Millennial Renaissance Media. When Christina and I got there, they were already deep into work, interviewing people for the fest. The festival rented out the fourth floor of the AMC theater and set up a small, but interesting comic con. We wanted to get our moneys worth, so we went to see "Crippled Avengers," a classic Kung Fu flick, starring Lu Feng. It was great to see one of his films after learning about him at the awards ceremony prior. After that was our shorts block. It had one major hiccup, as we all sat through the first half hour of a feature that was supposed to be programmed later that night. It was quite painful to watch, as well. Finally, one of the coordinators came out and explained the issue and we got the show on the road. I was initially wary as to how our film would look and sound on the big screen, but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. There weren't many people in the theater, (maybe 20... I was expecting way more for 8 shorts) but we got some laughs in the right places as well as some great reactions to other parts of the film.
All in all, it was fun to share this very different type of screening experience with some of the cast and crew and meet some new people along the way. (See pictures below!)