The announcement that my short film submission to the Texas Monthly Film contest made the Top Ten Finalist was one of the highlights of my summer. I had no expectation and it came as a complete surprise.
I was particularly excited because I knew that the judges for the event were some of my heroes. Sandra Yancey, one of my mentors, has a saying that “you have to keep showing up”. I really wanted to “keep showing up”/participate in this contest because I knew there was a chance that my film would be seen by this panel of judges. There was Elizabeth Avellan, producer of several recognizable films including, Grindhouse, Secuestro Express, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Spy Kids, From Dusk till Dawn and this year’s releases, Machete and Predators. She is a strong female role model making it happen in the film industry. One of the other judges was hometown hero, Director, Richard Linklater. His films include, A Scanner Darkly, Bad News Bears, Fast Food Nation, The Newton Boys, Slackers, and one of my favorites, Dazed and Confused. Most recently he released Me and Orson Wells. The third judge was John Pierson, another Austin favorite who has helped many a filmmaker get their films out in the world. He was a part of some of the greats like The Blair Witch Project and Clerks.
What a panel of judges and they all saw my film!!! The contest guidelines were to create a short film less than 5 minutes in the first person talking about “Where I’m From”. They wanted to know how where I came from influenced who I am today.
I have lived several places in Texas, but the choice for this film was easy. Some of my fondest memories as a child were growing up on a ranch out in West Texas. I know that the peace and serenity that I experienced has had me be more in touch with our connectedness in the world. We are connected to the animals, rocks, trees, grass, to each other, to everything. We are one. It also had me be more in touch with my creative side. Everyday is a creation and I wake up excited to be alive. I learned how to dream. I could lay on a rock and look up into the clouds and dream for hours.
The film took 2nd Runner at the screening Saturday, July 24 at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. You can check it out online. http://www.texasmonthly.com/filmcontest?id=8 Please remember to vote for me while you are there.
The exercise in creating this short piece has definitely rekindled some interest in telling the rest of my story about life on that ranch. I am going to continue those memoirs and put them into a script. I have always dreamed of making a movie about a little girl growing up on a ranch, a story to inspire future generations. I’ll keep you posted.