Thursday, March 27, 2014

Leah Warshawski - Tour Recap and Thoughts

The latest update from filmmaker Leah Warshawski, who recently finished touring her film Finding Hillywood on the Southern Circuit.

I'm not sure if I've had enough time to process the entire Southern Circuit Tour - it went by so fast - but the other day my husband asked me what the best parts were, and here are my favorite memories from all of our Finding Hillywood screenings in the South: Dinner with a new Polish "sister" in Clemson, speaking with a small film class at ETSU, meeting a great staff and being on the local radio in Milledgeville, a passionate and engaging audience discussion in Charleston, meeting my father's college roommate in Memphis (who happened to be sponsoring our screening), exploring the Museum of Fine Arts after-hours in Auburn, a hilarious and heart-warming Skype call with Skype-virgins in Tupelo, an impromptu lecture to 100 film students, and a hilarious Mexican dinner discussion and impassioned Q&A with students and teachers in Clinton. Of course I will always remember eating fried pickles and listening to a lot of Michael Jackson on the radio - I had no idea he got so much airtime in the South!

Each venue, staff, and students were completely different - so it would have been impossible to make predictions about how the screenings would go or how our film would be received. Overall, we are thrilled with the response and support, and feel like we have made some lasting connections. Since it took us 6 years to finish our film, it's huge validation to watch it with an audience and engage in discussions - all the while trying to grow our social media metrics for distribution! There are not a lot of opportunities to do these "rapid-fire" screenings and media blitzes, so we are incredibly grateful for what the Southern Circuit has done for the momentum of our project.

It can be lonely out there on the road when you're by yourself in a different city every night - and I hope that we're able to meet some of the other Southern Circuit filmmakers soon!