My film screened in Program 12 which was Thursday afternoon during the four hour program of shorts beginning at noon. A Big Black Space was about the sixth film in. There was a Q & A session right after they played it and the first person to stick their hand up to say something was an older gentleman who, instead of asking a question, just went off on how he didn't really care for it--it didn't make him feel good, negative comments about the main character (my character, Terry), and all these other negative comments about certain themes in the film I don't want to say here because they'll spoil the film for those who haven't seen it yet. I felt a little awkward for a moment but then I realized it was great that he was saying those things--that this is exactly what I wanted. And then tons of other people shot up their hands in response to what this man was saying. Once the moderator, Michael Smith, saw this and realized this man didn't have anything constructive to say, he said it was time to move on and went through the rest of the audience. So many other people in audience went on to say the same thing I was thinking--that his reaction was kind of the whole point of the film. They had so many kind, supportive things to say and were thankful that I made a bold film such as this and told my story. Some said they had daughters and that they wish their daughters could see it. Others commented on how they could relate to it because they had been through something similar. It was very heart-warming by the end of the session and I want to thank everyone for being so supportive and forthcoming with their comments.
I met some wonderful new friends/fellow filmmakers while I was there: Nick Brandestini & Abra Patkotak (Children of the Arctic) ; Derrick LaMere (& his wife Stacy) & Benalex Dupris (The 7th Wave), Daniel Ostroff (100 Years of Freedom), and Jess Marie & PD Chalifoux (The Shifter). If you ever have the chance, do check out their films! We also attended the awards show and got to see Buffy Sainte-Marie perform!
I would really like to extend my heartfelt thanks to AIFI President, Michael Smith, for including A Big Black Space in this very important festival. Participating in AIFF has already opened many other doors for me and the film! And a huge thank you to Jazmin Jamias for hosting me:) I met Jazmin in Tulsa at the Tulsa American Film Festival. You can read about that here.
The rest of my time in San Francisco was spent catching up with a couple friends and sight seeing. I saw the Painted Ladies from Full House, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, and ate a ton of fresh oysters and bowls and bowls of clam chowder. You can check out photos from the festival here and photos from my city touring here.
Have you ever been to San Francisco? I'd love to hear more recommendations for next time I visit! Let me know in the comments:)