This time last year I was a “first time spectator” at the 4th Annual TBFF. While I cruised the streets networking “what I want business to be” — I heard a commercial on K104 about the festivals being in progress at STUDIO MOVIE GRILL in Dallas. I called Katrinna Mathis (my best girlfriend since 8th grade) to see if she wanted to roll out with me. She was like “bet!” I scooped her up and hit I-30, to 35-N, to Woodall Rodgers, to US-75, exited Royal Lane, bought a couple of $8.00 tickets and IT WAS ON! We were in! Kat and I enjoyed it immensely. In fact, Giancarlo Esposito was the Guest last year and little did I know my mild mannered, shy consumed girlfriend had a CRUSH ON GIANCARLO since the reel of (Spike Lee’s) SCHOOL DAZE. She whispered it to me while in theater watching festival films, so…naturally after the event came to an end, I bought one of Giancarlos independent films and got in line behind other spectators to see the filmmaker, shake his hand, ask him to sign my copy of his film and to RAT OUT my girlfriend. lol!
As I approached the front of the line and Mr. Esposito — I initiated with “compliments to the artist” and of course I gave him my famous ‘back popping hug’, then I immediately went into, “This is Katrinna – my best girlfriend since 8th Grade, and she just told me that she has a crush on you and has had one, every since you let Tisha Campbell lick your scalp in SCHOOL DAZE (Julian – Dean Big Brother Almighty)”. His eyes widened with surprise, he laughed and said, “Oh really – so I should be hugging her!“, then he squeezed the mousy happiness out of her. It was the highlight of her month. I know it was. Awesome time. He encouraged me to enter into the festival next year and followed up with, “If you need any help or someone to look over your film – at anytime – Email me.” Great! We exchanged emails and phone numbers and I’ve been on fire every since.
I immediately came home and wrote a column entitled, “The Reel TBFF“, where I chronicled this statement:
“The Texas Black Film Festival has only celebrated it’s 4th Annual this year and to be REEL honest with you — I can’t wait until next year. In fact, I’m working on submitting an exhibition or two of my own. Why not? I’m black, I live in Texas, I’m festive and I’m an aspiring filmmaker. The conditions are perfect for me to utilize my Panasonic HVX200A digital film camera, my Final Cut Pro software and my formal writing and film education.”
Upon posting those words I KNEW I had to follow through.
February 7th, I received an email from the TBFF that my short film “THE CAUCUS” has been selected for screening on opening night of the TEXAS BLACK FILM FESTIVAL [Wednesday 2/23] following the RED CARPET EVENT @ 7pm. Giddy and goofy about the news I hit up Katrinna and you’d have thought she had won an Oscar — she was so excited and ‘ret to go. In fact, she asked if she could ride with me again – Of course I said yes! Kat hit me up last Tuesday to make sure we were still on & to invite me to her b’day party at The Cheesecake Factory in Arlington @ 7pm on (2/19) Friday night. While I was in route to the Parks Mall, (where the cheesecake factory is), Kat texted me and said, she’d rescheduled her b’day celebration for Sunday. –No problem. We were still on schedule for the TBFF Wednesday too.
Kat died in her sleep Saturday morning at about 6 am, the day after her birthday (2/20) — Lupus complications. So you see, today is an emotional high for me, and I remain optimistic in my purpose moving forward. Though I really hoped she and I would have made the TBFF an Annual girlfriend thing…and in someway, I guess we still will…
So here’s the part of the story where I tell you that I’m excited!
I didn’t knock the FILM FESTIVAL HUSTLE – & am glad I tried it.
I’ve read — quite a few indie filmmakers with blogs, (paralleling myself)
tout about not being able to conquer ‘the film festival’ tale.
I respectfully understand
that festival panels have a heavy task on their hands:
picking which films they will show to their captive FF fans.
Many films are submitted but only a few will be chose…
It’s a process — like Life…and so it all goes
that you have to step up to the plate many times in professional fun
to position yourself to hit a HOME RUN.
and when you do swing — hit it out of sight!
Well it’s HUMP DAY and Red Carpet Time is here,
a “Loving the journey” She – saying “Go for your dreams w/o fear!”
A WIN ☛in Your bin☚ is seriously near.
I’m REEL’y in your corner…may we always keep it REEL.