I spent Saturday and Sunday at Blackbird Film Festival for a screening of my short “Night In,” and to teach Seed&Spark’s Crowdfunding to Build Independence workshop. I really enjoyed the festival last year when I screened “Enough,” so when they reached out about offering the Crowdfunding workshop, I knew I’d like to attend again. I planned to submit my latest short “The Gaze,” but when the deadline was approaching and I realized I wouldn’t finish that new project in time, I decided to submit “Night In,” since it’s always a fun one to screen in front of an audience and I had only recently released it online.
I again drove up with my amazing mom and we had a fun time over the weekend together. We didn’t get to experience opening night because we were actually coming from Toronto, where I taught a workshop as part of Hot Docs. And We didn’t get to stay beyond Sunday morning because I had a 6am flight to catch for more workshop teaching (this time in beautiful Grenada)! But from what we experienced all-day Saturday and Sunday morning, it was another strong lineup with uniquely curated blocks and tons of opportunities to connect with other filmmakers. I especially enjoyed spending time with some of my NY-filmmaker friends who I don’t get to see very often outside of when we happen to be at the same festival. The overall local attendance was excellent, with most screenings averaging 75 people. Opening night had 125, I was told, and even the 9am Saturday block had 60. My screening, The Dark Side, was unfortunately the lowest attended with just over 50 people; but still a solid turnout when compared to most festivals and especially when considering the late hour, genre focus (for a non-genre festival or audience) and the fact that there was only one local film in the bunch. Like last year, I felt the horror Q&A was more rushed and less personalized than all the other blocks, which was disappointing (my only real critique of the festival and one I will offer feedback on for hopeful improvement), and “Night In” didn’t get the laugh I had gotten used to with genre and especially women in horror fans, but it was still well received. And it was just nice seeing it on the big screen again after a year since the last live screening I was able to attend. All in all, the weekend & festival were a lot of fun, and I hope to be back again next year!
Local Vegan Treat:
Brix Pubaria has a great vegan menu, with vegan s’mores as a listed dessert. I didn’t try it but hope to next time!