I went on vacation in Catalina Island for three days and as luck would have it, The Catalina Film Festival had just started the day I arrived. Being a new film maker myself, I was very intrigued to cover this event and perhaps learn some new rules to the game. So early in the morning of Thursday September 28th, I hiked up to City Hall to find out more information on the festival. Upon arriving, I met Eric sitting in a Golf cart. Eric was an actor and was a volunteer for the festival. Eric drove me to the office to find out about getting press credentials so I waited for JP Petrini to arrive from Modern PR. JP Petrini took care of granting me a one day pass to cover the festival so I was off and running!
I went down to rent a bicycle as planned to get around the island that day and got started for the day’s excitement!
The day before I signed up for the festival, I saw a man turning the corner of the street: He looked like a rugged version of Brad Pitt with big blue eyes, carrying a well worn brown bag for a suit case. He came around the corner like a suave debonair Steve McQueen straight out of a western. I thought this guy was uncommonly good looking and thought he must either be an actor or a gigolo!
Adding to the interest of the festival, there was a media summit the day I was covering the event called; “Getting Scene: The Art of Promoting and Selling Your Film/ TV Pilot.” – Now here was something I was anxious to attend! So upon arriving to City Hall for the summit, I was met with my rugged Brad Pitt/ Steve McQueen figure from the day before. His name was Geoff Boucher and he was the moderator for the panel. Geoff was a journalist/ author and entertainment reporter. He had a great sense of humor and I could not believe for the life of me, why this guy was not a movie star! On the media summit panel joining him was Stuart Alson from ITN Distribution, Roland Rojas from BidSlate and Hand in Hand Entertainment, Alan Brewer a Film Producer and Kathryn, a photographer and media journalist. Stuart Alson was definitely a man who had all the answers! A great looking panel if I would say so and very informative!
The film screenings took place later that night and I started off with films at the ACC Theatre. I just wasn’t getting these films. They were slow and depressing and kind of dark. So I made my way up to the Lancer Theatre and found myself thoroughly entertained by all the films up on the big screen. I was disappointed I had not made my way up there earlier for the start of what seemed to be epic short films. Many of the directors and cast were there in attendance and I was able to grab some photos of them on the Red Carpet when they exited the theatre just before the Wes Craven Horror-Thriller Block of films took place.
And did I mention I was riding a bicycle for the first time in 20 years?!? What fun it was with the wind in my hair and exploring the island on two wheels!
The Catalina Film Festival was in its 7th year this year and the festival in such a beautiful place made this one of the most memorable experiences of my life! I hope to see both Catalina and The Catalina Film Festival again next year! Thank you for making the trip with me Rocky Burnette!
– Sally Steele