Sonoma International Film Festival!

April 19th, 2010 ~ 11:17 pm

What a beautiful weekend!  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect time.

Friday we got up early and picked up Nikki.  On the way I texted her and she texted back- ‘I may have overpacked.’  I was like- ‘Oh, I think I overpacked a little too.’  When we pull up she comes down with several tote bags.  Then she says she has to go back and get the rest!  It was hilarious.  When we were walking later she pointed out what perfect casting we were- Me with my neat and tidy little carry on suitcase and her with 5 or 6 overflowing bags.  Ha ha

So we head up to San Francisco and make good time.  We arrive around 2 I think, and ate lunch.  After lunch we went over to my friend Veronica’s place and hung out for a few hours before heading up to Sonoma.  We got in around 5 and met up with Erika and Daniel at the Sebastiani Winery.  Hugs!!!  I got some Chardonnay- and I liked it!!  I’m FINALLY acquiring a taste for wine.   I was glad because then I could participate in being fancy.   E&D introduced us to Richard “Goat Boy” Reininger, producer of Artois the Goat.  (which I really wanted to see but then missed because I thought it was playing on Saturday, but it was Sunday when we were gone- luckily he gave us a screener so we can watch it!)  Richard was a delight.  They had basically adopted him into Team Beahm so we hung out all weekend.  Erika called him Goat boy, and he didn’t seem to mind.  It was funny.

When E&D met Jeff their first comment was ‘I thought you’d be taller.’  And Jeff replied, ‘Like I’m Dalton from Roadhouse?’  They also thought he was much older and possibly creepy.  I was like- ‘did I say something that made you think that?’  And they were like- ‘No, I think we just conjured it in our heads from some photo on facebook.’  Luckily Jeff is not actually some big ogre in real life.

So after the mixer there we went over to the main tent and did a radio interview with the Guys@5 from Sonoma Sun FM (KSVY 91.3FM).  Here’s us with Rick, Donn, and Jamie (pics from Sonoma Sun photographer Melania Mahoney).

Donn was from LA so we spent a bit at the end talking about LA.  I’m going to keep a look out to see if they post a podcast from the show.  These pictures make it look like I was talking the whole time, but I was not.  Ha ha.

After that we went to Erika’s dad & step mom’s place to coordinate stuff for the next day.  They were great and really helpful.  They found places for us to stay in town, etc.  Jenny made everyone little maps.  She is this cute little British lady.  After that we drove up the windy road to where E&D were staying.  It was this gorgeous guest house up in the hills.  It was a bit further out of town, but lovely.  Around 9:30 we headed back to town and went to the Cheers to World Premieres party at the Wine Shack.  More free wine! We met the makers of Outsourced.  It played before we got there, so Erika and Daniel had seen it.  I realized it must be related to the pilot that a buddy of mine just got- and it was.   So they knew him and were really excited about him.  Small world!  Luckily that one is on Netflix, so I can catch it any time.  Jeff and I left around 11 and went back to Veronica’s for the night.

We got up and headed back to Sonoma around 10.  We met at E’s folks’ and we met Erika’s sister.  After she picked up Erika we all went to the square and set up a picnic.  We chowed down.  Daniel was not there because the back up dvd was corrupt and he was trying to render out another backup.  They had the digibeta, but he was really worried about having a good backup just in case.  (I never found out if he got one done or if they just tested the digibeta and all was well.)  We were there for  quite a while because the weather was just perfect.  Gretchen and Markas arrived!  We met a slew of new people.

nom nom nom

Jon from work had decided to take a mini vacation up there and he met up with us in the square.  Veronica and Walter met us there and we went a movie!  We walked over to Ramekins and watched The Restaurateur.  The guy shot most of it 12 years ago and then never finished it until recently.  So you get to see the chaos of the two restaurants being built at the same time and then it’s nowadays and you get to see how it all turned out and what’s changed.  I really like chef and restaurant related media so I really like it.  Plus the guy it was about seemed like a nice guy that cared about his employees.  Also- Free wine!  (Later in the day Richard commented that this festival is dangerous- not much time for food, lots of free wine).

We got back to the square around 4:45 and caught the end of Havilah’s set at Sunflower cafe.

Weirdest coincidence- her dress was almost the exact invert of one of the dresses I brought.  Hers was white with black flowers and mine was black with white flowers.  Hers had a black waist tie, mine white.  Both were scrunchy at the top and had taffeta along the bottom.  The only difference was hers had a think line around the bottom.  But seriously, it was uncanny.  I already decided on my green one, otherwise I’d have a picture of us to compare.  (I think she changed clothes anyway though.)

My friends Aimee and Joel and my Aunt and her boyfriend had arrived by then.  Around 5 I went to leave to get ready but then one of the songs from the soundtrack started so we stayed.  Then we ran off to change.  I got really antsy because I’m high strung about being on time, preferably early.  In the end we were there by 6, so we had 15 minutes to spare.  We gathered our troops and they let us in first to make sure they all got seats.  There was still a line of people after us, so we filled the space.  It looked like maybe 200-ish people in the end.  (We were up against the Lauren Hutton tribute, so we were worried about a lower turn out, but then it was fine.)  Benji arrived like 5 minutes in.  Barely, barely made it!

We watched it and it was so surreal.  I am fine with watching myself, but I couldn’t help thinking about all the behind the scenes stuff as I watched.  I’d think about what happened on the day or how great some location was or when some scene was cut, etc.  I need to see it again (and again and again!) so I can watch it like a normal movie and not all meta like I was.  It still makes me cry though.  There are 2 scenes where I get back into it like I was and it makes me cry every time.  It’s funny and beautiful and touching and full of dancing!  It’s also incredibly polished.  No one would ever think it’s a first-time filmmakers’ movie.  I was very impressed.

After the film E&D did a Q&A.

One person pointed out that a few people left at the first same-sex dance number.  Who knows if it was because they were grossed out or if they just had to go to the gala or what.  But they said it was maybe half a dozen out of a full house.  So whatever.  Their loss.  I think Gretchen got the Q&A on her camera so hopefully they’ll put it up on the Leading Ladies Facebook page.

Eventually they had to kick us out for the next film to screen.  I got lots of compliments from folks.  Outside a pair of teenage girls came to get my autograph.  He he!  I didn’t know what to put.  I should think of something good for the future.  Erika had written ‘Let Love Lead’ so I said ‘Ditto!’  and signed my terrible signature.  It’s illegible.

Benji had to leave immediately because he’s never not busy.

Nikki and I did not coordinate the color of our dresses.  It just ended up that way.

By then it had gotten cold and I was starving.  Jeff and Nikki and I went off to find food before the party.  We drove around and ended up at a pizza joint.  Right after we ordered they called to say they were skipping the party since there was a cover and not everyone had passes and they went to a pizza place downtown.  Ha!  So we ate and then went back to meet them.

The pizza place (Mary’s?) was closing so we went to Steinar’s around the corner.  It’s a local bar.  There was a DJ.  We danced, as we often do.  Eventually we formed a soul-train-esque gauntlet and made anyone passing through dance.  Most people got into it at least by the end.

I guess we all felt like green and white was where it was at that night.

The fellow in the hat was a fellow that came to dance with us.  It was hot as hell but he never took off that scarf or hat.

We stayed until about 1am.

Jeff and I were staying with a couple nearby.  Since it was so late they left the back door open for us.  It was dark and we were using Jeff’s phone as a light.  When we came in we were like- I hope this is the right house!  But then there was a note for us, so we quietly got ready for bed and went to sleep.  In the morning they said they didn’t hear a peep.  We could make the best ninjas/cat burglars!

We met back at E’s folks’  place at 10:30 for brunch.  Gretchen and … now I’m forgetting her name… Kate? Rats, I was doing pretty well.  Anyway, they were taking care of the food prep and it was AMAZING!

After we finished, they put the dvd of the movie on and we did some live commentary as we also just chatted.  Eventually some folks wanted to head out to a movie and others had to head back to catch their flights.  We had to head out not too late since we had a 6 hour drive.

The drive went smoothly and we got back around 9:30 or so to drop Nikki off.  Then we got home and I found out we won an award!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!

What an amazing weekend!  I’m so proud of everyone involved.  All the hard work has paid off.  I think there are a lot of festivals in our future (now that the film is finished!).


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