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Weekend wrap up: Film Friends

December 7, 2009

When you go to a lot of film festivals, you make a lot of friends, friends that you tend to see only when at film festivals in a blurry frame of mind. These are people who you stand in line with and chit chat about the line up or grab a quick cup of coffee to discuss the future of distribution before the next panel.

Film fest friends are to be cherished because unlike your hometown friends who have a variety of interests, these people are as obsessed as you about film and feel happy talking film non stop. But every once in awhile, some of these film fest friends translate easily into the real world. Of course, the unfortunate thing about that is when making good friends at festivals, you tend to make friends with people scattered all over the country.

With all the traveling I do with film festivals, I hardly ever take the time to just travel for fun but this weekend I did just that by flying to Seattle to visit with a good friend Kim Voynar. Joining us for a girl’s weekend was the wonderful Jen Yamato.

Hard to believe but I have known both women for three years now and have spent a total of maybe 10-15 days with both of them. Sure, there is shared tweets, instant messages, Facebook and e-mails, but no electronic communication can compare to just spending face-to-face time with friends without the insanity of festival living.

I first met Kim when she and Jen attended the Oxford Film Festival in my hometown. I was new to the festival world at that time and in the middle of a major life change with divorce. I knew I wanted to do something more with my life and the festival was a great door opener to doing something I love.

Kim encouraged me to attend SXSW that year and we roomed together. Kim has been a major inspiration and role model for me so I knew that with her about to go through her own major life changes (read more here), that I needed to be there for her.

So, Jen, Kim and I spent the weekend hanging out with Kim’s adorable kids and mom. We met up with friends for dinner and karaoke but most importantly just spent time relaxing and talking. We vented about men, praised Jen’s awesome boyfriend (he bought Kim a massage before her surgery) and built a gingerbread house with Kim’s kids. Getting to see Kim be an amazing mom and a vessel of eternal patience with everything she is dealing with awed me. In a nutshell: a perfect weekend.

And sure, while we did a lot of other things, we also talked movies. We talked mumblecore, Moviemaker, film fest experiences, Twilight, Blind Side and like only film freaks like us, continually compared real life situations to their film counterparts. Heck, during our massages, we even planned an entire new script from a small news brief we read while getting coffee.

And while Jen and I were here to be support for Kim and to just have a good time, I also learned a few things about myself along the way.

What the weekend taught me was that while my transformation since the divorce has been good, it has also hindered me from ever really moving forward. Rather than living life fully, I have escaped into movies and festival life. Sure, it’s a fun line of work but I can’t just live for the movies because they are safer than the real world.

I came to Seattle to make sure Kim was OK (which she will be) but I left Seattle having learned more about myself and feeling bolstered to make some real changes in my life.

I also learned that true friends, like Kim and Jen, are hard to come by, but when we meet them – it  is worth everything to cherish and support them. Celluloid never hugs back, nor does it listen. But film friends, well, they are worth everything. Now to start planning who will play us in the adaptation of our lives.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 12, 2009 11:14 pm

    great post! and wonderful life lessons. Thanks for sharing.

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