Right off the bat, I'll say the Bellmore theater on Long Island is an awesome place, and a big supporter of the indie filmmaking scene. They also host the Long Island International Film Expo each year, which of course I entered a few months ago. Since I'm a Long Islander, and since my film's pretty cool, I thought for sure I'd get in. Alas, I was rejected. That was months ago.
Flash forward to the screening of Purgatory Comics at the Bellmore theater. I wasn't kidding back then when I said the response was strong. There was a huge turnout, and everyone genuinely seemed to enjoy it. The folks running the theater, who by the way are awesome and kind folks, noted the positive response. I was talking to one of the owners and she'd asked if I got into the LIIFE (she's also on the decision panel, and she couldn't remember). She mentioned my film came so close . . . but ultimetly they only had a few slots and it came down to "eeny, meeny, miny, moe." I mentioned that I was really hoping to get into this one, and for a moment I thought she'd slide me in, but no dice. But, she acknowledged that it was an enjoyable film and she wished there was more room to get me in there (and she was genuine about it).
Flash forward to today. I'm at lunch with some coworkers and I get a very friendly phone call from a lady from LIIFE. She says that another film that was accepted may not screen, and there might be a spot for me afterall. I got pretty excited, and I was also honored that my movie really WAS next in line like the first woman said. The lady on the phone went on to compliment my movie and she said she'd call me back soon. About an hour later she called me back and said that the other film was screening afterall.
The poor women felt so bad, and she went on to compliment Purgatory Comics some more. It's no big deal, as I'll be in Europe for most of the LIIFE anyway (sour grapes). But to commemorate my "almost" selection, I made this laurel:
The sad part is, this isn't even the first film festival we ALMOST got into! Months ago I also entered Acefest, and their rejection stated, and I quote, "Your entry made it to the final round of the selection process! However, with just a day and a half of festival programming to fill, yours was one of many that we are very sad to have to pass on this year." So...
It's nice to know I have a movie that's almost good enough for some festivals. I know that sounds sarcastic but I actually mean it. I haven't entered any in a long time because I've been waiting for the new DVDs to come in. Which by the way, they come in July 3rd. And I'm leaving for Europe (!) July 4th, so I'll distribute/sell them immediately when I get back.