I just recently returned from the Angel Film Awards, which is part of the Monaco International Film Festival, where the screenplay for our next project, “One Hand Clapping,” was up for a screenplay award.
At this very same festival last year “Dreams Awake” won two awards; one for Erin Gray for Best Actress and the other was the Independent Spirit Award. As this year rolled around the festival people contacted me and asked me if we had any other projects going on.
We of course did have “One Hand Clapping” in development, so I went ahead and sent them the screenplay, not really thinking about it one way or another. And actually I had pretty much forgot about it, until they finally contacted me and told me the jury loved the script. And that it might be wise to pack my bags to Monaco because I could get a surprise there. I of course read that as a sign that some type of award was in the stars.
Yet I had to think about it some, since flying to Europe is a big commitment, time wise, energy wise, and yes financially. And I was certainly busy with getting our project going. But hey, it’s Europe and a good excuse to go. So we got it together to go … but then a funny thing happened there this year.
A little background first on how awards are given out at film festivals, which seems to vary a lot. Some have lots and lots of entries and are very competitive, and the awards are few and far between, being hard fought for. Lots of people show up, but only a few are winners. Others are more low key, and are more generous with awards. Some of them invite all the nominees, and others only invite the winners. I have been to all sorts of them. Monaco is one that usually invites only the winners. They may get a lot of entries, but they work hard to whittle down to the final winners.
So when going to this Monaco festival one does expect to win something, but not always sure what it is. In all fairness to the winners though, I understand that the Monaco festival does get a quite a number of entries. But being a small festival they can only entertain a fairly small crowd at the actual festival.
Now to the situation that occurred there this year. Apparently it was decided to change the rules this year. Meaning that not everyone wins, toughing up the competition even more. And most people did not know this, until it was announced just before the awards ceremony.
At first I was a bit irritated, because like I said going there is a big commitment for us, and I didn’t want to feel it was a waste. And not for just us, but others who had traveled here. But then I thought about it for a few minutes, and something dawned on me. Wait, this is not why we do this, why we make films. Getting awards is just an extraneous activity, and nothing to get worked up about. I thought, we were going to have some fun while in Europe, so just let it go, Jerry. (I have been working on an involved blog entry about why I do make films, and will post it once I’m happy with my ability to communicate it in a coherent way.)
So we all headed into the theater for the event. They did the screenplay awards first, which would be followed by all the film awards. Well at least I would know soon, and could enjoy the rest of the event and be happy for all the filmmakers. Hey, we won a couple awards last year. It was time for some of these other filmmakers to shine. Plus, I always feel meeting other filmmakers and seeing their work is the best part of it all anyway.
A number of screenplay awards went by in various categories, and I figured we were probably out of it. But then suddenly, surprise, surprise, the screenplay got announced as winner! And it threw me off a bit, because I really hadn’t thought about what to say, not that it would be too difficult. Just being honest about how you feel at that moment is usually the best thing …
And hey, we got to meet Donovan there, and party with him. How cool is that! And we gave him a copy of “Dreams Awake.” Turns out he’s into these types of things. (He was there with a David Lynch film on meditation and did some music for it.)
As far as what all this means, I humbly leave all that up to you…
HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL!