I'm SO incredibly pleased to tell you that my film, The Device, has been selected as a semi-finalist in the NBCUniversal Short Cuts Film Festival in New York!! For those who don't know, this festival is one run by NBCUniversal themselves with the sole purpose of discovering new talent from diverse backgrounds and putting them in front of key decision makers of NBCUniversal family as well as agents, managers, and other industry players. The selection process is very tough as they receive so many submissions annually. So needless to say, this is a pretty big opportunity for me and I'm going out of my mind right now!
Pretty much all I could think about is making sure that I'm on point when I get there. I know there will be a lot of press and interviews, and I expect that I'll be meeting with a lot of key decision makers wondering who I am, what other things I'm working on, and my future plans and projects. They'll be gauging whether or not they want to work with me in the future and I want to make sure that I got my shit together so much so that after I'm telling them what I got going on, I want them to walk away like "Man, I need to be a part of that. I have to work with him."
Looking back, I got the impression from the NewFilmmakersLA Festival that a lot of the other filmmakers were resting on the laurels of their current film and the had no real plans for their next projects other than "I hope we get funding." I'm glad that at least I have my Tuntadun Films comedy sketch page to point people to and, in this case, I'll already be getting ready to shoot my next short within days after I leave New York and come back to LA. It got old really fast upon talking to filmmakers at that last festival and all they could say was "I'll have a project when I have raise money." I never want to be in that stagnant position and I'm glad that I won't be when I head up to New York. I truly believe it's not about resources but resourcefulness. And of course, I'm willing to put money on the fact that I'll be the only Polynesian director (most likely Polynesian anything) at the festival so I'll be able to make an impression in that sense as well.
We'll see though. I fly up to New York on Friday, Aug 16, I have my screening on Wednesday, Aug 21, and then I fly back to Los Angeles on Thursday, Aug 22. This will be my first time in New York and I can't wait! I'm sure it'll be a little different than Hawai'i...just a little. New York here I come!!