At Dances With Films with composer Chris Wirsig, casting director Michael LaPolla, and star Nina Rausch

Midway – Maybe – Through the Festival Circuit

It's only been two months since my last update, but a lot has happened in regards to 20 Matches' film festival journey. The screening at the Seattle International Film Festival went very well, with a huge screen and a large, appreciative audience of local movie lovers. (Sometimes you don't get many people at your screening besides other filmmakers, so Seattle's big turnout was flattering.) And I also had a great time at Dances With Films here in Hollywood, which had a gorgeous venue (the Chinese Theater!), a cool crowd, and lots of friendly filmmakers. 20 Matches star Nina Rausch and some crew members were able to attend that one, which made it extra special.

Since then, 20 Matches has played at two genre festivals, neither of which I was unable to attend: FilmQuest in Salt Lake City and the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea. The latter marked my film's international premiere, and since it's such an influential festival, I'm hoping it will lead to more. (I recently received four invitations to festivals that I hadn't even entered, as their programmers saw 20 Matches elsewhere. It's exciting news, but nothing is set in stone yet.)

Coming up next: two small festivals that are dear to my heart: the Ballston Spa Film Festival in upstate New York and the Diamond in the Rough Film Festival in Cupertino, California. Ballston Spa was the only festival to play any of my previous short films (full disclosure: it was founded by an old friend of mine, who asked to screen them), and of course Cupertino is where I grew up.

If you're in either area, 20 Matches screens at Ballston Spa on August 6 at 7pm and is free! Meanwhile, Diamond in the Rough runs September 24-25 in Cupertino. I do not yet have a screening time, but if it's on the 24th, I'll try to be there in person.

Right now I have yet to hear from 22 festivals, around 10 of which should be sending out their announcements within the next week. Most are foreign festivals that were free to enter, so my expectations are low: American shorts don't typically play at foreign festivals. (20 Matches was one of only eight US shorts in Bucheon.) But while Cupertino would make a sentimental last stop on the festival circuit – growing up, I saw so many movies at that little theater – I do hope it's not the end of the line for this film.