It wasn't supposed to happen. Well... it was... just not the way it did... not to Wally. See our story starts way back on October 4 when I submitted The Eviction to the Southern States Indie FanFilmFest. It seemed a perfect match. Why? Let me explain what this festival is all about.
The Southern States Indie FanFilmFest is a Film Festival designed specifically to focus on Indie filmmakers. Although they accept pictures from around the world, an emphasis is placed on works produced and filmed in seven southern states. I thought that The Eviction would be a perfect fit, so I submitted my film. This was way back in October... and I was excited.
Time passed and I didn't hear back from the festival... whatever could this mean??? Absolutely nothing. Some festivals will tell you early in the process that you film was accepted or denied. Others will wait until the due date, and some others might be a little late in letting you know. Like I said... when you hear from the festival means very little.
Fast forward to November 29th. I had just submitted The Eviction to another Festival that had invited it, and suddenly I felt an urge to enter Wally into the Southern States Indie FanFilmFest. The final deadline was the very next day, Nov. 30th. I almost didn't do it. I thought that The Eviction would make it in, and it might be awkward to have to films by the same director. Also, the notification date was December 2nd. As film festivals are large undertakings I thought it wouldn't be able to find a slot.
The Eviction Trailer
But then came that itch... that little nagging at the back of the brain that didn't go away. So I bit the bullet and with a flick of the switch Wally was submitted. As I said the notification date was December 2nd, so I knew I wouldn't have to wait long for an answer. True to form, I didn't.
It came on December 1st. I received news that The Eviction... had not been selected. Though it's tough to hear, you get used to it. By no means is this rebuff a reflection of the films quality. It could have been a myriad of reasons. For one thing, The Eviction is a pretty long film for a short (38 minutes). Also as a social documentary, it's not everybody's cup of tea. It may not have fit with the "feel" festival promoters were trying to achieve, the judge who saw the film may have been having a bad day, or it may have been that the film didn't have enough people named Clarence in it. I have no idea. Either way it wasn't accepted. Needless to say I thought that I would soon be receiving a rejection for Wally as well. This was because it had been submitted so late that all of the slots would have been filled.
So that day during lunch, I was sending out e-mails to my former professors and my College Presidents, Deans, and fellows to show them my continued engagement in scholarship. I had just sent off the e-mail to UNT when.. I received two e-mails. One notified me that not only was Wally accepted, but it was a Finalist, and the other one stating:
SSIFFF 2017 judging continues through the day - till midnight tonight. Your film is currently at "Finalist" status. Therefore it is in the running to fill a remaining spot in our Selection schedule, as determined by the judging panels ratings (they use a 10 point scale for each of ten criteria).
If your film is not selected by this evening, I have a short list of seven films, one of which is yours, that may be able to move into selection and screening if we have a non-participative selections. It does happen. We have films from 30 different countries and believe it or not, there may be a few people who do not give us a digital copy that we can screen!Some of you submitted your films recently and some many months ago - but hang in there. If things don't change tonight, they might within the next 2 weeks. I'll keep you posted..
Best to you and peace!
Kind of cool. Kind of crazy. The new notification date is December 5th. So it will be cool to see when my showtime is if it makes it. This festival is in Biloxi, Mississippi. When I discover when its slot is for showing... I might have to make a road trip.