As we wrap up 2016 – a year that most people I know would call an awful one – I am grateful, at least, for the film festival exposure that 20 Matches has received. It's not over 'til it's over, but my current assumption is that the Anchorage International Film Festival, which I'm attending December 7-10 (20 Matches screens on both dates), will be this film's final festival.
Technically, 20 Matches was accepted into 20 festivals, which is fitting, although one festival (Blow-Up, in Chicago) seems to "accept" about 90% of their submitted shorts, but only screens the usual 10% of submissions, so I'm not officially counting that one. Nor am I counting the Columbus International Film + Video Festival. They accepted 20 Matches back in March, then strung me along for 7 months before playing the film to a tiny private audience of screenwriting enthusiasts (led by my old Foreign Correspondents DP Scott Spears!), half a year after their actual festival. Boo.
So really, we're talking 18 festivals. Not too shabby.
The film's still out to three foreign festivals, but my acceptance rate outside the US has been dismal thus far: 3 acceptances out of 30 submissions. So I'm not holding my breath. Compare that to festivals within the US: 15 acceptances out of 32 submissions (not including Chicago and Columbus). That's a nearly 50% acceptance rate, which is astoundingly good!
Onward and upward, in any event.
I recently hatched a new idea for a short film, and right now I think it's a good one. I'm taking a few weeks to mull it over. Come January, if I'm still feeling excited about it, I'll bang out a script and strategize financing.
Meanwhile, I just learned that 20 Matches will screen on December 21 at the Berlin Film Society, so that's pretty wunderbar.
Finally, as hinted at in this update's headline, 20 Matches should be playing on Alaska Airlines' in-flight entertainment next month! After the film screened at the Seattle International Film Festival, the head shorts programmer contacted me to tell me that SIFF has their own channel on Alaska Airlines (a festival sponsor), and wanted to include 20 Matches in their programming. My film could play there for 30 to 90 days. The paperwork's been signed, the deal is done, but there are no guarantees, so time will tell. If you fly Alaska Airlines in the near future, keep an eye out. I myself will be flying Alaska to Alaska next week, so maybe I'll get to see for myself.