I wasn't quite sure how the stereotypical Berkeley, Birkenstock-sporting, post-hippie, PC intellectual would take to my film, but as soon as I saw the skinny kid with braces and a "Punk's Not Dead" t-shirt in line with his mom, I knew I was in business!
The SFJFF Berkeley screenings this year were at the Berkeley Rep Theatre. This venue is typically used for stage productions so the seats are set up in a really interesting, multi-level, multi-angle manner. It was cool, especially because I had been SO nervous before the big Castro screening that I wasn't worried about this one at all which obviously makes it much more pleasant for me and probably for everyone around me, too.
(Answering audience questions after the Berkeley screening)
The highlight of the evening was a dinner set up by the festival, with me, Seth, some festival people, and the entourage from a movie that played earlier in the evening. The movie was "Isn't This a Time," a doc about an annual folk concert at Carnegie Hall. I have to admit, my first thought was, "Oh jeez, what are me and these old hippies going to talk about?" Amazingly, it was the music that brought us together...as we created links between the folk protest music of the sixties and the punk rock protest music of today.
I had the honor of sitting across the table from Ronnie Gilbert, the spunky singer of the formerly blacklisted band, The Weavers (Pete Seeger's first band), who were featured in "Isn't This a Time." Unlike some elders of her generation, she totally got was I am trying to do with Jericho's Echo, and related her own history of performing because she felt compeeled to do so by the ills of society.
One of the SFJFF board members, filmmaker Gail Dolgin, made a lovely toast, something to the effect of "To the generation who inspired us (pointing toward Ronnie), and the generation who's working to inspire us now (pointing toward me)."