Wednesday, July 20, 2005

07.20.05: SF Jewish FIlm Fest is Here!

(Inside the amazing Castro Theatre)

I am SO excited. I have dreamed about this festival, and screening at the gorgeous old movie palace, the Castro Theatre, for years. Here's what I wrote in a recent article for Film/Tape World on the topic:

“I could totally do that,” I thought to myself, as the filmmaker smoothly answered questions on the stage of the Castro Theatre before a sea of newly won-over fans. “Totally.”

I was at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival about five years ago, shortly after having moved to the Bay Area from Boston. I saw so many diverse films there and witnessed so many enthusiastic filmmakers gliding gracefully up to the stage following their screenings, that I became inspired. After all, I had a professional background in education, technology and graphic design, so documentary filmmaking seemed like a natural leap. And the prospect of having my very own post-film Q & A session was icing on the cake. Some filmmakers shy away from this opportunity, but not me. I was ready to answer questions before I had ever even come up with an idea for a film!

The following year at the Jewish Film Festival, I went right up to its longtime director, the venerable Janis Plotkin, and said, “Hello. My name is Liz Nord. I am going to have a film in your festival one day.”

“What chutzpah this girl has!”, Ms. Plotkin must have thought. And she would have been right—I still had yet to take a film class, let alone write a proposal or begin production on a piece. But she smiled politely and wished me luck.

I have worked at, volunteered, and attended hundreds of film festivals since then and this year, my dream has finally come true. My first feature-length documentary will be screening at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival this summer.

Last night, I attended the festival's 25th Anniversary Gala, to get the party started right! (The festival's offical opening night is tomorrow). I even managed to drag my man along (Looking quite dapper I might add), and was so glad he came. The wonderful folks at the festival have seen me hanging around the office quite a bit lately, so it was nice for them to get a little more context of my life.

(me and Seth at the gala)

I have worked and volunteered at so many festivlas in this town. I can't tell you how fun it is to be on the other be one of the guests that those overworked and underpaid festival workers are working so hard to please! The best part about it is that I've SO been there, so hopefully I know how to throw much love back at them. I know you can sometimes feel underappreciated as a festival employee. My buddy and local indie film luminary Molli Amara Simon is working for the fest this year, along with some other sweet and kind folks who I am looking forward to spending more time with as the festival Dafna, Ian, Betsy, Leo, and Chris from Larsen Associates.

Speaking of Larsen Associates (the publicisit for the fest), today is my day to be a big fish in a small pond...glub, glub. Yes, today is the day that Liz Nord takes over the Bay Area media on three fronts and the Jewish Media Conspiracy is once again proven to be true. Ha ha. But seriously, today the SF Bay Guardian weekly newspaper comes out with a feature on yours truly. This afternoon, I will be interviewed on KALW by Sandip Roy (yayyyy! I LOVE public radio!!!), and this evening I will appear on Movie Talk TV Program. Bam! Bam! Bam! And what am I doing? Sitting on my couch, writing to y'all. Now, don't you feel special?

No comments: