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Films for All

Sep 26, 2011 11:08PM ● Published by Anonymous

I suppose this is where I should admit that I had a slightly personal reason for being there. Okay, really personal. My dad is a filmmaker, and the Chesapeake Film Festival was hosting the world premier of his movie Band Together. More on that later.

On Friday night, the two of us headed to the Academy Art Museum in Easton to hit up the festival's Opening Night Celebration. My mom was working late in D.C., so I took her place as +1.

On our way to the museum, we joked about how we'd have to schmooze and hobnob. My mom didn't think either of us were particularly good schmoozers, so we decided we had to prove her wrong.

Once we got there, Pop introduced me to all of the film festival's finest. I met Festival Director, Rhonda Thomson, Artistic Director Doug Sadler, and a handful of other filmmakers. Even the movie guys I didn't get to know were easy to spot. They were the blue jeans amongst a sea of suits.

And for all of our joking on the ride down, the schmoozing was pretty awesome. I talked to one woman who'd spent ten years living on a barge in Paris, hanging out with artists and musicians, and another few traveling around Ireland. As I tried to engage one of her cohorts in a conversation about the fancy cheese spread, she cut me off with the abrupt, "Cheese is a very personal thing." So it is.

The next day, both parents and I went back to Easton. This time, we were going to take in the screening itself. And, beforehand, thanks to some masterful string-pulling, we were in for a parade by none other than the subject of my dad's movie: the Kent County Community Marching band.

Heading into it, I expected the parade to have a little more oomph. I had grand visions of filmmakers in cars, festival directors waving to crowds, and audiences cheering as they all passed by. Turns out only the band, a couple of Girl Scouts, and some folks holding a "Remember Frederick Douglass" banner were on the slate.

But, while the parade consisted mainly of the band, they pulled it out beautifully. There may not have been cars and floats, but there were still cheering audiences. People poured out of their businesses, and grooved to the sounds of "The Washington Post March."

As the final crescendo peaked, Drum Major and Kent County Clerk of Courts Mark Mumford shouted his thanks, led rounds of clapping, and directed people to head into the Avalon.

My mom and I took his advice. I know I can't talk about my dad's movie without sounding biased, but I have to say it's wonderfully done. This was only my second time seeing it, and I still thought it was great.

And, as Lady Spent-10-Years-in-France told my mom, it received the only standing ovation she's seen at the Chesapeake Film Festival.

Feel free to judge the film for yourselves, but trust me when I say that the festival was awesome. It was well-organized, thoughtful, and elegant without being snooty.

If you didn't get the chance to go, keep it on the books for next year.

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