On a Bender – Day 3

Posted in Diary of a Directrix, On the Fest Circuit
October 11th, 2009 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s almost over.  This has to be among the top 10 fests I’ve ever been to which says a lot (it’s probably been like a hundred by now).

title-800x450-set4oh_my_godI got an early start this morning, Mark Reeb, a new actor friend, scored us a ride to his 10am screening of the Overbrook Brothers at the Sisters Theater which is a bit of a trek away.  Mark and I had been hanging all weekend, but somehow I never pieced together that I’ve seen this guy somewhere before. Ironically, just yesterday I was telling some other filmmakers about my all-time favorite short film Oh My God.  Somehow, it eluded me that Overbrook is directed by the same director, John Bryant , AND it’s the feature version of a short film I caught at Sundance called Momma’s Boy starring Mark!  I was already a fan and didn’t even realize it.  But new friend connection aside, let me just say that this film effin’ rocks!  I had tears streaming down my face I was laughing so hard.  Run, don’t walk to the nearest film festival to catch it.  And keep an eye out for Mark and John– apparently everything they do makes me nearly wet my pants.

After, we had some celebratory post-screening drinks, then I hung in the filmmaker lounge for a spell where I met more cool people and noshed despite no appetite.  Bend treats us so well – free food galore (and good stuff, too – man, somebody made the most amazing zucchini banana bread – it’s the new crack I swear.)

06_ Bill_Plympton_at_his_workshopNext up was a fabulous talk and screenings by academy-award-nominated animator, Bill Plympton.  He demonstrated how he draws and showed us various short animations in various stages – very informative and fun.  During the demo he drew 6 drawings of various characters that would be raffled off at the workshop’s end.  Then he showed us his latest feature – Idiots and Angels – wow!

idiots_03It’s hard to do justice in a few words, but in a poorly described nutshell, this total dick guy winds up growing a pair of wings that forces him to do good instead of bad.   The majority of the film takes place in a bar that sets up the most wonderful world with these fabulous characters.  plympton 2The wings invite inevitable complications and we join  the character on the most amazing, surreal journey.  By movie’s end I felt like I understood my first year in L.A. so much better.  I’m sure I read all sorts of personal things into it that weren’t necessarily intended, but it truly moved me nonetheless.  So when raffle time came around, I eyed Plympton’s drawing of this winged man with newfound greed.  I really wanted it…and I won it!  What are the chances?  Whatever the case I now have a guardian angel to hang on my wall – next to endless post-its and an outdated Fellini calendar because I can’t afford a new one.  Ah, home.

double fisted smThe awards evening was fun.  More free food and festive décor that added to the air of giddiness (or perhaps it was that yummy tart blueberry vodka drink – yum!)  It was great running into all the characters I’d met the past couple days (really? only a couple of days – so much happened, so many adventures, it hardly seems possible.)

double-fisted 2 smBend offers serious cash prizes, so you could feel the anticipation in the room.  I sat in the back row with Mark, fairly confident he’d receive at least one award.  When best supporting actor was announced and it wasn’t him, I actually got excited.  Might he win best actor instead?  Sometimes you see a performance and you just know everybody else has to be as wowed as you are.  His was one of those.  Sure enough, best actor came next and Bingo!  Mark snagged it.  Yay!  Overbrook also took Best Screenplay and Best of Show.  I think I yelped louder than Mark did (actually he didn’t yelp at all, more of a manly exhale – so it’s all cool.)

best of show smtower party smOf course you always hope that your film wins, but in all honesty I’m totally shocked when ours does.  I had no expectations for myself.  I still feel very much like I’m at the beginning of all of this, still green – not as polished as so many others amid whom I’ve had the privilege to screen.  Overbrook is brilliant on so many levels, the acting, the writing, the sheer simplicity that is so amazingly effective and real.  That and Humpday (which I caught as Sundance this year) are the recent ones on the circuit I’ve seen that really blew me away – super simple, low budget, successful for all the right things – great characters, great storytelling, .  It’s what I aspire to one day.  I couldn’t be happier for the deserving filmmakers.

evil dead smno minors smAfter, there was another party.  Benders like their benders apparently. Man, if you’ve never had a ginger cosmopolitan, go make one and toss it back at once – too tasty!  I met more wonderful people whose films I so need to see.  I even met the cast of a local production of the  Evil Dead musical which I’m so dying to check out.  This was all over far too soon.   It’s definitely one of those fests where as I said goodbye to all my new friends   I felt that twinge I had back at the end of summer sleepaway camp when we’d hug and fight tears and promise to keep in touch.

toddmepetejen smd david terri smThanks to the Internet, I suspect this time we really will all keep in touch.  I’ll highlight many of these new folks in our upcoming friends of trippin’ section (coming soon I swear), but for now it will have to wait.  Tomorrow morning I have a breakfast date, followed by a plane ride and, once back in L.A., there will be little time to prep for the next adventure in Whitby, England!

Thanks, Bendfilm!  Expect trippin’ to be among the first that gets submitted for next year’s fest!

Now, my final night of peaceful sleep in this lovely, quiet room.

3 Responses to “On a Bender – Day 3”

  1. [...] hanging with ridiculously talented supporting actor, Mark Reeb, when I was  at the Bendfilm fest here). Incidentally, I highly recommend not watching the trailer first as it has [...]

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  3. [...] I’d nearly forgotten that’s why I’m actually here.  I had a fun reunion with Bendfilm Fest buddy JENNIFER BURNS and the unforgettable VINCENT FALK who’s the star of her film [...]

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