Jan 14 2011

Second Spectacular Screening at the Palm Springs International Film Festival

WOW!  What an awesome screening this morning at the Annenberg Theater!  As we ran up the street at 9:30am dragging our suitcase full of Leading Ladies t-shirts, we were welcomed by the amazing site of a huge line was wrapped all the way around the museum!  Erika did her usual super-enthusiastic crowd warm-up, running around like a crazy person passing out tattoos and chatting with the patrons.

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By 10am there were nearly 400 people (capacity) packed into the theater.

If you can believe it, I think this crowd may have been even more receptive than Wednesday night!  Lot’s of really great laughter… often in new and unexpected places.  The Q&A was really, really great (nearly 40 minutes long!).

One of our favorite things was the lady who said Leading Ladies is the best dance film she’s ever seen… way better than Black Swan!  That made Erika especially happy. [smile]

People seemed to be particularly impressed with Benji and Jordan’s duet, the music/soundtrack, the opening credits, the grocery store musical, and the relationships between Toni and Mona and Toni and Tasi.  There were some funny/great questions about Sheri and even more about our casting.  People were really interested in the specificity of the film’s colors.  It’s great that people are picking up on the details and extras we’ve poured into this baby.

We definitely gave a big shout-out to Markas and spent some time talking about costumes.

People of course asked about the budget, and we talked about why we can’t divulge any actual numbers until we’ve garnered distribution.  People REALLY want Leading Ladies to get distribution… always so great to hear.

We talked a lot about how fantastic the city of Champaign was while making the film, and how there were so many people in the community who contributed so much, who let love lead and made this picture possible.

After the screening we entered the lobby to find a throng of people surrounding the merch table.  We sold more than half of our giant suitcase full of t-shirts and completely ran out of all the larger sizes!  How great is that?!

One sweet, volunteer came up to us with a giant stack of ballots in her hand and said, “I just wanted you to see this; these are all ‘superb’ votes!”  How incredibly humbling and fantastic!  We love how people see the love and dedication in our film… how Leading Ladies open hearts and changes minds… that we have worked extremely hard to create a movie that is not only fun and exciting, but touching and a labor of love.

More praise from the audience via our Facebook page:

::: I’ve been going to movies at the PSIFF for three yrs now… This is the first time rating a film a 5 (FIVE) Most Excellent. Just a beautifully made movie. The co-Writer, Director, Chief bottle washer Personaly passed out a tatoo to everyone in line that says "Let Love Lead"…. tells the whole story.

::: Just saw the film, fantastic. Absolutely wonderful and the best film I have seen in a while.

After hurriedly packing our suitcases and checking out of our wonderful hotel, we rushed down the street to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the Colorado snow.  How tickled were we when we passed a restaurant patio and a group of people started clapping and cheering for “Leading Ladies?!” [blush]

Needless to say, we had a fantastic time in Palm Springs, and really appreciate all the love from both the festival and the audiences.


Jan 13 2011

Palm Springs is Grand!

IMAG1773I am currently sitting poolside at the Andreas Hotel in sunny Palm Springs, CA.  Erika just had to get in at least one day of sun while we were here (it’s been “cold” all week, but today it’s in the 70’s).  There’s a lovely courtyard with a pool and hot tub.  We are nestled into the foot of the mountains, so we’re looking at palm trees and mountain tops.

Last night Leading Ladies screened a Gala Event at the Annenberg Theater to a WONDERFUL crowd of very receptive, very energetic people.  There was a lot of laughing, a lot of sniffles (where appropriate), and at least three times where the audience burst into applause… during the film!

This is the biggest festival at which we’ve screened, and probably our best audience to date.  We’ve had a lot of really great, really enthusiastic audiences across the nation, but this one was kind of a surprise since the festival is mostly foreign films (they try to focus on as many Oscar-nominated foreign films as possible).  We are one of only 4 or 5 U.S. films out of nearly 200 films in the festival, so to receive this much love is spectacular.

We are excited to do it again tomorrow morning, once again at the Annenberg Theater (Friday, January 14 at 10am).  It’s kind of hilarious how well the morning shows are attended.  The screening is already nearly sold out!  Whodathunk?  At other festivals the evening shows (past 7pm) are the big ones, but here in Palm Springs the best attended shows are early in the morning!

We had around 340 people in our Wednesday night audience.  The Q&A was great and we sold some t-shirts (thanks, Jeff!) to help buy us food and get us back to Denver. [smile]  People are really excited about the dancing, but also ask great questions about the craft of the film.  It’s incredibly gratifying that people see not only the love and fun, but also the hard work and dedication.

How’s this for some praise from the audience via our Facebook page:

::: I was thrilled to be in the audience tonight. What a wonderfully entertaining and meaningful movie full of great acting, fantastic music, and a powerful message about love and tolerance. Congratulations to all who contributed in front of and behind the camera. I will be talking and thinking about this movie for a long time. Thank you for making it.

::: Can’t add much more to what’s already been said, other than it’s been a long time since I saw an audience applauding DURING a showing of a film. Loved it!!!! When tye DVD appears, I’ll enjoy showing it to all my friends. I’ll do what I can to spread the word. And OMG, you guys were such fun at the gayla tonight. Loved meeting you all!

To bring you up to speed from earlier this week…

On Sunday we saw The Runway and then hung out with the director Ian Powers at the party at Trio that night.  Great film.  Great guy.  I really hope the film does well.  It’s funny watching an Irish film with so much Spanish in it!  Really well done though, and really great writing.

On Monday we got up at the crack of dawn to drive about 20 minutes south for a television interview with the local NBC affiliate.  I’ll post the footage as soon as we receive the DVD from the station.

Since it was a thousand years before the film we wanted to see, we had breakfast at Elmer’s and then hit a couple of thrift stores.  Finally it was 11 o’clock and we saw a Polish film called All That I Love and a Swedish Oscar hopeful called Simple Simon (in Swedish: There Are No Feelings in Space).

All That I Love is about a group of friends in a punk rock band set in Poland in the early 80’s, right as Russia took over.  It was depressing and uplifting at the same time.  It’s so good to be reminded of what people have to face, and how we struggle to express ourselves and be free.

Simple Simon  is a really great Amelie/Life Aquatic-esque tale of two brothers –one who has Asberger’s Syndrome.  You should definitely see it if you get a chance.  It’s quite beautiful, really smart, and really sweet.

We had dinner with the director, producer, and lead after the show.  Great guys.  I really hope they find success.  The lead (Bill Skarsgard) is actually the son of a famous Swedish actor… the guy who plays Orlando Bloom’s dad in Pirates of the Caribbean.

On Tuesday night we went to Wang’s in the Desert (no kidding). It’s a cool little restaurant up N. Palm Canyon.  We ran into a classmate of Pete’s there (Greg and his wife Alex)!  They have a documentary about taming wild mustangs called Wild Horses, Wild Ride.  Unfortunately it had screened the day before and we missed it, but evidently they got a standing ovation!  It was so nice talking about our experiences with trying to “make it” in the world of indie film… also great comparing stories of Pete! [smile]  You can tell Greg and Pete are totally buddies.

Last night the party was at Toucans.  It was fun having the Gala Film for the best party of the week!  We got to hang out with the Swede’s some more (Cecelia and Bonnie, who joined the gang on Tuesday, and also Andreas and Jonathan again).  We love those guys!  Mama Katy also drove in from meetings in L.A., so it was SUPER-great to have her there for the fun.  Laurel and Jeff and Nicole and her friends were also in attendance!

Laurel was of course enthralled with the drag queens. [smile]  We tore it up on the dance floor and had a really great time with the Palm Springs crowd.  Hopefully we’ll be able to find some of those pictures from the “official photographer” of the festival, as we lost our camera right before this trip and haven’t been able to document much.  Maile Klein Photography is the name of the company shooting pictures, but they don’t have pictures up anywhere yet.  I think we may have shot a few good pics with Laurel and Jeff’s camera too, so hopefully I’ll get those up on Facebook or Picasa soon.

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So far, we’ve been having a fantastic time in Palm Springs and are excited and eager for more!

Wish you were here!

Jan 6 2011

Palm Springs: Saturday Night!

This is what Leading Ladies will be doing on Saturday night:

Pretty fancy!

Our screening is a special Gala Event on Wednesday, January 12th at 7pm.  We can’t wait!

Palm Springs International Film Festival (click for info and tickets)
Palm Springs, CA :: Annenberg Theater
Wed., Jan. 12, 2011 at 7pm (Gala Event)
Fri., Jan. 14, 2011 at 10am