Thursday, October 14. Opening Night.
I'm going to do my best to write something here every day, if for no other reason than for me to have my memories of my first film festival somewhere I can find them later. Last night was the opening festivities of the Denver International Film Festival. The pre-movie reception began at 5 p.m., and while my wife Julie and I fully intended to get there close to 5:30, we didn't arrive until nearly 6:30. That didn't leave much schmoozing time, but I still managed to get a fair amount in, handing out promo cards left and right for our movie HEMPMENTO, telling everyone they have to come see it. Unfortunatly my filmmaking partner Brad Stabio, the director and editor of film, was out of town so he had to miss the evening.
The opening night film was Ray, about Ray Charles starring Jamie Foxx. It was really a fantastic movie. The director, producer, and some of the film's stars, including Foxx, were there. The movie was long -- about 2-1/2 hours -- and Julie was a hell of a trooper, having had surgery just this past Monday! Afterward, she and I went to pick up our daughters from their friends' house and got them home. I then headed back down to the after-party, which was a decent place for schmoozing, but the Late Night Filmmakers' Lounge was definitely the place to be (you can only get in there with a special pass, which I have because apparently I'm a Late Night Filmmaker). Lots of elbow rubbing going on there. I was a publicity machine.
The extremely cool thing was that a lot of people had already heard about HEMPMENTO. The word on the street is, it's going to be the "sleeper hit" of the festival. It's become the trendy movie to talk about, so much so that people are talking to me about people I don't know, saying, "I was talking to Charles and he told me that you told him it only took you four days to shoot. Is that true?" To which I reply, " That Charles! What a guy he is!" Who's Charles? Don't know, don't care, but come see my movie. Tonight we'll catch a movie or two, then hit the invitation-only Director's Reception so I can feel completely insignificant. Of course, I won't act that way. "Hi, Kevin Bacon. I'm Jeff Kos. I hear you're coming to see my movie..." Tomorrow night Bacon will be here to be honored with the John Cassavetes Award. I'm not sure what exactly the award is for, but I suspect it has something to do with Kevin Bacon being the only person who is zero degrees from Kevin Bacon. More tomorrow!