Last weekend the Independent Film Festival of Boston (or IFFB, as we locals call it) hit up my hometown of Somerville, MA. IFFB is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. Held the last weekend in April, it feels like an annual reminder that spring is on its way! I love the films that come to the festival (the programmers do an excellent job!), and I try to get to as many as I can. This year I had an all-access pass, thanks to my film Going the Distance screening as a part of the Shorts Program. I found it a bit ironic that the year I finally scored a festival pass was also the year I have an infant at home :) No worries; I still made it a fair number of screenings and panels (7, to be exact!), and had a great time schmoozing with my fellow film buddies at various festival events.
Both screenings of the Shorts Program went really well. The Friday night screening sold out, and it looked like the Sunday one came close to selling out as well. I am usually nervous in Q&A situations, but I had so much fun talking about my film and the audience was very engaging. It was great to give the update that Penn Relays has officially changed the title of the race to the Mixed Masters 100m Dash (as opposed to the Men's), as well as the fact that all three of my subjects repeated their performances in this year's race. Betty even improved on her time by a full second!
One of the highlights of the weekend happened at an odd time: 2 am on Saturday night, to be exact. I had woken up to feed my son. When I checked my phone for the time, I noticed a bunch of congratulatory texts from friends. Huh?? I had no idea what they were talking about.
As it turns out, I had won the Grand Jury Award for Documentary Shorts at the festival!! It was very surreal to parse this information in the middle of the night while in a sleep-deprived state of new parenthood. I was so shocked by the award; I thought winning was such a stretch that I didn't even go to the awards ceremony that night - oops! As I mentioned, though, I am a huge fan of IFFB, so having my short win an award there, well... I'm very honored. And I also may have teared up a bit at my new parents support group meeting later in the week when relaying the story of my groggy realization of the win. The last three months (well, year, if you count my pregnancy) have been all about the baby... which has been exciting and weird and new and wonderful. But. It was really great to get a reminder that I had a career before the baby and will continue to have one after him. What a great affirmation at a time when I needed it the most. Thanks IFFB! :)