This year I won the an award for my feature screenplay "About A Week" in the comedy-drama category. Last year the directors of the festival had asked me to be in the Acting panel at the lecture, and I was fortunate to be aside the great Robert Z-Dar and shared some very special moments and had a lot of laughs.
When Kristina Michelle, one of the producers, asked me to be in the acting panel again, the screenwriting panel (since I won this year as a writer), and the directing panel I jumped on the opportunity. If you know personally, you know how much I like to talk about my passion. But the true reason I take these opportunity, is because, as a long time teacher, I know that you re-learn what you teach. And being in these panels, and having to inspire young film makers, has revived my flame even more.
Sitting along the great actor Joe Estevez, and director Gary Jones and other incredible talented individuals, I realized that regardless of what you've done in your career, we're all in the same boat.
Joe Estevez said: "Be positive...20 years ago, I change my mindset and noticed the changes in my career." Gary Jones, who was showing "Axe Giant," and in addition to his priceless contribution to the directing panel, spent hours chatting with me in the lobby of the festival.
People have said that I'm a passionate person, and seeing and listening to Gary Jones, made me feel good to see that he was as passionate as I am.
Talking about passion, last year I was approached by a charming woman, who introduced her 17 year old son and sought advice for college. We connected, exchanged numbers, talked a few times over the phone and emails, and upon my return this year, her son, Ryan Colegrove came to me and we basically spent most of the time watching the same movies, and attending the same lectures.
Ryan, who enters Columbia Chicago as a director, had to projects in the festivals, and won first place in each category.
After the Award ceremony, Ryan, his mom and I, spent another 4 hours chatting and realizing how much we had in common. What a treat it is to meet beautiful people, who share your passion.
Next year I'm gonna submit SNOW, and probably a bunch of other things.
Saturday morning I attended the monologue competition, and I took the 2nd place in my category. Not bad, but this was more for me to experiment this particular monologue. It was fun, and was glad to be a part of the competition.
Since we sent SNOW to 18 Film Festivals around the world, let's see what comes next.
Remember, you are beautiful and life is beautiful.