On Haugesund’s wet red carpet

Back from Abroad

Over the last two and a half months I have been in four countries, 16 U.S. states, slept in 23 beds, tried to learn three languages, saw a ton of movies, got horribly sick, and ate food both incredibly delicious (Savannah's got some good eats) and unquestionably appalling (when in Spain, do not order the "veal cheek"). But since this is a film-oriented site, I will keep the news to matters of professional significance.

The big deal was late August's Norwegian International Film Festival, in the charming town of Haugesund. It was a great week. The "official" world premiere of Claustrophobia was well-received by a large film festival audience made up of both Haugesund locals and industry types from around Scandinavia. Poor little Foreign Correspondents did not attract as big a crowd, but the response was just as positive, if not more so. The best part was that both films were picked up for distribution in Norway on DVD. I hesitate to say this, as no contracts have been signed yet, but it seems pretty solid. Hopefully my Norskie friends will be able to rent either film at their local video store in early 2004.

One of many highlights of the festival was my very first night, when I was invited along with the other "special" guests to a fancy formal dinner right out of Ingmar Bergman. (Yes, I know Bergman is Swedish.) Though I was still groggy with jet lag, I managed to enjoy the surreality of sitting between American Pie's Jason Biggs and Swimming Pool's Ludivine Sagnier, with the tantalizing Christina Ricci across the table from me. I felt like a housewife from Iowa who had just won some "date with a star" contest. Unfortunately for my lungs, they all smoked like chimneys. Actors!

Anyway, still no news on when Claustrophobia will be out on DVD in the US and Canada, though I've learned that it has officially gotten its MPAA rating. (As expected, it's rated "R" for language and violence.) This at least is a sign that my distributors are making progress on preparing the film for release.