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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dim Sum and Bratwurst

One of the things I have grown to love about independent filmmaking is the variety of places it takes you. Since preproduction, I have traveled with the film from my hometown of Los Angeles to exotic and exciting locales like New York, Las Vegas, Honolulu, Korea, and Altoona, Pennsylvania. As we prepare to unleash our cinematic creation upon the theatergoing public, I'm already beginning to feel nostalgic -- strains of "On the Road Again" start running through my head every time the wheels touch down at LAX. Luckily, we have a few more festival flings before retiring from our inaugural world tour...

At the Pusan Film Festival in October, I met Dieter Kosslick, the director of the Berlinale (aka Berlin Film Festival). Dieter is a jolly, irrepressible gentleman with a dashing sense of style -- sort of a straight, German version of Richard Simmons. Dieter invited me to participate in the Berlinale Talent Campus, a program that brings together actors, directors, writers, producers, and other creative folks during the festival in a college-meets-summer-camp-meets-United-Nations extravaganza. So I now find myself in Berlin making new friends from around the world, soaking up the local culture (which seems to revolve primarily around beer) and meeting with such luminaries as Michel Gondry, Charlotte Rampling, and Wim Wenders. Fortuitously, our international sales agents at Forward Entertainment (Michael Thornton and Sheri Levine) also decided to take RED DOORS to the European Film Market, a yearly gathering of international film buyers and sellers that accompanies the Berlinale. They just closed the sale of the film in Australia and New Zealand, so RED DOORS will soon be making its way to the southern hemisphere.

Meanwhile, Georgia and Jane are holding down the fort back in the States. We're really in the thick of things as we get ready for theatrical release -- editing the trailer, (re)designing the poster, booking theaters, making 35mm prints of the film, etc. I'll let them fill in the particulars -- judging from the flurry of emails, everything is moving forward at a rapid pace.

Oh, and lest I forget...a belated Xing Nian Kwai Le (Happy New Year) to one and all! Last week, the cast was invited to ring in the Year of the Dog by riding in the annual Lunar New Year parade in Pasadena. So Tzi, Freda, Elaine and I showed up, RED DOORS poster in hand, to join in the festivities. I was expecting a convertible of some type, or possibly the flatbed of a pickup truck -- much to our surprise and delight, our mode of transport turned out to be a white, spherical, wrought-iron Cinderella carriage drawn by an amiable horse named Fanny. Despite some minor flatulence, Fanny made a most competent escort, whinnying to the crowd and tossing her mane like a true diva as we smiled, waved, and called out New Year's greetings.

Song du jour: "The Suffering" by Coheed and Cambria. Is it just me, or does this song sound like a mash-up of Def Leppard and Michael Jackson?


Mia and Berlinale Festival
Director Dieter Kosslick
RED DOORS Cast celebrates the Lunar
New Year in a horse-drawn carriage

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