Summary: Tonight was opening night for the Sunscreen Film Festival for 2010 in St. Petersburg, FL. Among the 100+ films shown during the festival, 4 of them will be films that I worked on, so I will be attending the 5 day festival and blogging about it.
1) Celebs walking the red carpet with an escort of Star Wars characters surrounding Billy Dee Williams, who played Lando Calrissian. R2D2 kept chirping and weaving in and out of everyone! Billy D and all of the celebs really took their time walking in, talking with everyone, and giving standup interviews with many reporters and camera crews.
2) The showing of feature Black Dynamite, a 2009 release. Black Dynamite is a spoof of 70’s blaxploitation films like Shaft and Superfly, and it makes fun of low budget film production in general of a few decades ago. It was hilarious, with dozens of laugh out loud moments. It is not suitable for children under 15, and even mature teens should have parental guidance due to the language and sexual themes, but it was funny and people were talking about it up and down the street after the show.
3) VIP party at the St. Pete Museum of Art. No dancing or craziness, but plenty of chances to talk with other people in the film industry. It was cool to see Billy Dee Williams and Bill Cobbs just sitting in chairs talking one on one with anyone who stopped by to talk film. I exchanged business cards with about 20 people I met, and look forward to making new connections for film projects.
4) (highlight for me) – Re-connecting with the scriptwriter and crew from The Perfect Guy, a short film I directed and acted in. It was great to see Cassidy, Devon, and Evan. Spending time talking with Tom Garrett of the University of Tampa film program. Tom is a ball of energy yet easy to talk to, and has generated alot of momentum at UT. He’s bringing 75 of their film students to the festival this week. Seeing all the great filmmakers from Southeastern, including several that I’ve had the pleasure of working with like Topher Harless and Dan Prevette, both of whom star in Spinners at this year’s festival. It was great to talk with St. Pete Times film critic Steve Persall about the local indie film scene and the flurry of festivals we’ve had in the area.
Here’s some pics from Day 1:
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