20 Matches keeps chugging along on the festival circuit. I'm now able to reveal that it will be playing at the Sarasota Film Festival this Saturday, April 2, and next Saturday, April 9, both times in front of the French feature film Disorder. (Ironically, Disorder stars Diane Kruger, whom my casting director and I had tried to contact for 20 Matches, back when we thought it was remotely possible that we could land a well-known star.) Sarasota is a nice big festival, and it's certainly an honor to be chosen to play before a feature, as opposed to being part of a block of shorts.
20 Matches was also accepted into the Nashville Film Festival, which at this point is my biggest festival yet. Nashville is one of those rare "Oscar qualifying" fests, meaning that if I win a prize there, it qualifies my film for Academy consideration. (Not that I'm actually expecting this.) As with Sarasota, I've been chosen to play before a feature: 20 Matches screens with an Arabic film called Maskoun on April 18 and April 22.
Alas, due to my limited resources, I won't be able to attend either of these wonderful festivals in person. But I will be at the Ashland Independent Film Festival next weekend, where 20 Matches will screen for four nights in a row, April 8-11. (I'll be there April 7-10.) So I'm thrilled about that. Due to a death in the family, I had to skip my film's world premiere on March 17 in Victoria, Texas, so I'm happy to be attending at least one festival this year!
Meanwhile, I'm still waiting to hear from from twenty more fests. My running total of rejections is now at 15, while I have technically 6 acceptances. (The sixth festival isn't exactly a festival, as it turns out, but more like a monthly screening. I think. I'll tell you more if I learn more.) Fifteen rejections is a bummer, but frankly, I expected most of them (Sundance, Cannes, SXSW, anything in Europe). Of the twenty festivals I've yet to hear from, it's possible that as many as 7 or 8 will accept 20 Matches. But film, like all art, is subjective. I could be getting twenty more "no"s. Only time will tell.