The Zen of Shriekfest

Posted in Diary of a Directrix, On the Fest Circuit
October 5th, 2009 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

paulafranklaurenshriek awardssmWow!  We won! Best Horror Short AND the Pretty Scary Film Awards!  I am so completely honored.  I saw about 12 features and a handful of shorts this weekend.  Sometimes that can be excruciating.  It’s hard to make an entertaining film.  Kudos to the programmers at Shriekfest, though.  There was a wide range of films (for which I’ll write reviews for as soon as time permits) and though I liked some more than others, I can honestly say I was entertained by all.  It was truly fun to spend a whole weekend with genre films – it’s like I’ve fallen back in love with them all over again.

That said, I do have a confession to make.  I was seriously beginning to feel festivaled out.  It’s been almost non-stop since March now with no sign of quitting (we just got into festival #68 AND we’re nominated for best director – yay!)  and, while I love festivals and am honored our film has done so well, it does get exhausting after a while.   It can also be a bit overwhelming. Filmmakers can not live on fests alone after all – there is much work to be done.

So, I was very excited to attend Shriekfest, but part of me was thinking how nice it would be to have a weekend off for a change and catch up on work.

But it turns out this weekend came at the most opportune time after all.  It was so wonderful to be back among the wonderful community this horror and filmmaker-friendly fest  has nurtured during its 9-year existence.  I saw some truly inspiring and very  fun films.   And the best part was that I enjoyed them among film friends new and old who indulged me in the most wonderful, thoughtful discussions of each film in between screenings.  Wow – actual intelligent discussion about film – so it does happen here in L.A. – what a relief!

It’s also really helpful to know what’s making the rounds given that trippin’s hopefully about to join them.  I got to plug trippin’ in a few TV  and magazine interviews and pass out a ton of cards. What’s more, I got a healthy reminder of why it is we do what we do.  Some fests are a lot of work and really stressful.  Others are a celebration.  This whole weekend has definitely been a celebration of horror, indie filmmaking, and our fun, ever-growing family of genre filmmakers and enthusiasts. If that wasn’t enough, and it surely would have been, I came home to a plethora of e-mails from strangers congratulating me on my film – some from Shriekfest, others from other fests  I was unable to attend.  There’s something so rewarding about that.  I know I rarely write congratulating total strangers unless I’m really inspired.  I’ve made some close friends from doing just that.  Happy contented sigh…

This weekend was exactly what I needed – perfect balance.  As I pick up our trippin’ dubs later today and prep them for fest subs, I feel I’ll be doing so with the proper vibe.

Thanks, Denise and Shriekfest – I really needed this!  If it were up to me you’d be sainted by now.

Now it’s back to major workaholism for a few days before it’s time to for the next adventure in Bend, Oregon.  Life is so delightfully unpredictable sometimes…

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