the festival organizers, Ben Arredondo and Colleen Thurston, were fantastic. This festival is just going to grow bigger and bigger in the future--I am so thrilled my film was a part of the inaugural event! My film screened in the Saturday shorts program. Originally, it was supposed to be a part of the Native American contemporary shorts program on the Sunday at the Gilcrease Museum but then I was told it was getting moved to Saturday because it didn't fit time-wise and content-wise (I wasn't given any more specific reasoning). Ultimately I was ok with the decision because as great as it would have been to be included in the Native American content, screening in the Saturday program opened up my film to a new audience that might not necessarily have seen it if it wasn't in the Saturday program.
I was excited and terrified beforehand, and when the time came I was a little emotional seeing my film on the big screen in a theater for the very first time. There were a total of eight shorts in the program and A Big Black Space was right in the middle. There was also a Q & A session afterwards where myself and one other filmmaker, Jazmin Jamias (who wrote, produced and directed an awesome film I Hate The Color Red) answered questions from the audience about our films. Colleen, the Director of Programming, led the Q & A and prompted me to talk about why I made the film, where the idea came from, what the process was like and what's coming up next for me. There weren't a lot of questions from the audience but my friend Curtis Zunigha was there and he asked me some excellent questions. This allowed me to really open up and be specific about the importance of the subject matter and the epidemic of sexual violence against Native women. And as I was leaving the theater I was stopped by a lovely, older, non-Native lady--she put her hand on my forearm and, in the most sincere, genuine way said, "Thank you for your film". That gesture really touched me. It further cemented my reasoning for making this film.
I spent the rest of the weekend relaxing while watching a ton of other films and hanging out with my dear friend Maggie Rice, who I hadn't seen since she left NYC in the summer. I would love to visit Tulsa again!
To see photos from my trip, click here.
I really want to go back to Tulsa again sometime and also see other parts of Oklahoma. Let me know if any of you have gone, or live there, and what you might recommend for me to check out next time! Comment below:)