I was thrilled when the Ottawa International Film Festival approached me as a representative of the Ottawa Rock Lottery to host the Music Video Challenge, but had no idea how grateful I would be in return for the opportunity to participate in the event. I met so many amazing and interesting people over the four-day festival.
I was also featured in some media coverage including this Metro Ottawa article, this Apt 613 article and was a featured guest on 93.1 CKCU FM about the event last week. Just a note, one of the article’s pointed out that I had almost ten years of experience in the music scene… damn! When did so many years pass since I first stumbled into Babylon?
I thought I would be more nervous hosting the event, but truthfully I was most nervous when talking to executive producer Aaron Ryder (Donnie Darko, Memento) about how to make as an independent film producer. It was really cool to get his perspective but the local filmmakers talent overshadowed them. Watch out for the creepy thriller Kenneyville by Brooks Hunter!
One film in particular, Highway Gospel blew my mind. It’s a documentary by Ottawa-born filmmaker Craig Jackson and will come to rival legendary skateboard doc Dogtown and Zboys. I haven’t finished my review on it yet, which reminds me…
There was an action-film by Parktown Productions world premiere on Thursday night that had people sitting in the aisles it was so packed. All of these films and people making a living in this field in Ottawa have been such an inspiration. Even yesterday night I asked the audience, “So are any musicians out there thinking about submitting next year?” and was met with resoundingly loud cheers. Honestly, if Kevin Smith can do it, anyone can.
So I’ve been to a few different film festivals outside of Ottawa: The Edmonton International Film Festival and the Amsterdam International Documentary Festival (which had a huge impact on my film degree later on). Now at these ones I didn’t have any invites to any of the afterparties, but this time I knew I had to go. All of these events required fancy dresses and high heels it seems. It was so cool to be able to just talk about film and listen to people with more knowledge and experience in the field. Everyone was so approachable and kind, yet it was invaluable networking with industry and Hollywood directors and producers at swanky clubs and bars.
I’m kind of kicking myself now for not jumping on the TIFF media bandwagon (maybe next year?) but I may just compensate and hit up Pop Montreal instead. My goal in life is to someday make it down to SXSW Fest on a media pass.
I feel so inspired by meeting these people and will be pitching related stories for the next few weeks.
And then these guys won! Congrats again to Valkaline and Parktown Productions. It was a tight race and getting to announce the winner was an amazing experience. (The crowd literally ROARED with approval, I had to yell over them as soon as I began to say ‘My Dad…”