The Big Screen – Grand Rapids Film Festival

Today is the big day. We have held many small private screenings of ‘Reparando’ over the past several months, but this is the first event open to the public. I don’t really know what to expect for attendance, but I am personally thrilled to finally see the story unfold on the big screen. And – I won’t be alone. I know a few people who have already purchased tickets, including some great friends who are champions of the documentary. I heard that a local radio station promoted the event during rush-hour this morning. Someone even called in on the air to ask a question about it. So, who knows … but regardless of how many people are sitting in the seats, I am thankful to be able to finally share the story. We have chalked up thousands of hours over the last two and a half years putting his project together. It is such an honor to be here in Michigan at the Grand Rapids Film Festival to share a story that is so precious to my heart. I humbly walk into the event today with ‘Reparando’ in my arms open wide, grateful for the story and for all the people God has brought together to make this dream a reality.


GRFF – Day 2

Thursday, August 26 was a great day for ‘Reparando’. Our friends in Guatemala held a private screening for hundreds of Guatemalan leaders to cast the vision for our November Premiere in Guatemala City. I haven’t gotten a detailed report, but heard that it went very well. My favorite detail is that Maria the Doll Lady was in attendance – this makes me smile! I am looking forward to experiencing the story with them in November!

Here in the States, we were busy as well. In the morning I received notice that ‘Reparando’ was featured on as one of 10 documentaries to see this fall.

For lunch, Paul took me to meet Cort Langeland of Compass Film Academy. We toured their facility and ate across the street at a great deli. Compass is doing some incredible things with future leaders in the film industry. I highly recommend their program to anyone who wants to get involved in Film.

Later in the evening we held a planning and brainstorming meeting for the October Premiere here in Michigan. I am thrilled with the ideas that are developing in this community! After the meeting, we drove over to the Founders for some more engaging discussion, music, and a sampling of their wares. We swapped stories and dreamed of future initiatives late into the night. Stay tuned for details on some very unique events in Michigan!

The Road Trip – GRFF – Day 1

I love road trips, so the 10 hour drive to the Grand Rapids Film Festival wasn’t bad. I loaded up my iPhone with some of my favorite tunes, hit the road at 6AM, and rolled into Grand Rapids about 4:00.

Shortly after my arrival, I drove over to the Celebration Cinema to check in and pick up my filmmaker packet. This is where the story turns into a “little did he know”. My excitement quickly waned as the Festival representative shuffled through the filmmaker packets several times and came up empty handed. It was like being in a fast food drive-thru and being asked to “pull forward” while other people race by with burgers in hand. I’m not sure what the cause was, but for some reason my packet wasn’t there. The rep asked me to check back later. After a 10 hour drive, this was not exactly the experience I was hoping for. Just picture me standing there in a crowd of filmmakers receiving their packets …. “No .. but for real …. I am the producer and director … really … LOL …”

So, I found a quiet room and took a nap for about an hour. My packet never arrived. The festival rep reassured me the packet would be available tomorrow but that I could go in and enjoy the festival without the magic packet … So I did.

The Festival kicked off at 7PM with a pretty swanky welcoming reception in the lobby of the Celebration Cinema. I spent some time enjoying some food, and discussion with fellow filmmakers and wrapped the opening event with a premiere of a movie called ‘The Genesis Code’.

After the festival events I drove over to a “friend of a friend’s” where I am staying while I am in GR. We sat on the front porch talking late into the night about film, Guatemala and creative endeavors … great discussion and a wonderful end to a long day … I now consider Paul a friend without the middleman and am thankful for his family’s hospitality.

I really do love road trips. The great thing about a journey is not the destination, but the experience along the way. Upon further reflection, I have decided that this was an absolute perfect way to start my first film festival – not just the great discussion at the end of the day, but also the awkward and somewhat humiliating experience that happened earlier in the day with the “missing packet incident”. I’m not a glutton for punishment. I don’t enjoy being humiliated. But, this was a perfect reminder that this isn’t about me. It’s not about putting me in the spotlight. Its about something bigger than me, something I could never dream or do on my own … A road trip planned by someone with a much better map than me.

Letting Go

Creating art is easy. It is the letting go part that’s difficult …

I don’t necessarily consider myself an insecure person. Normally, I don’t care what people think about me. I’ve never struggled with peer pressure. If I believe I should do something, I do it. That has been the case with ‘Reparando’. Over two and a half years ago, I believed this was something I should do. So, I committed to see this project to completion. It was hard work, like climbing a mountain at times … but all in all, not overwhelming. I just focused on the goal and kept moving forward one step at a time. However, now that I have reached that goal, I find myself feeling strangely defenseless, like I climbed a mountain and now I am standing on top naked for everyone to see. I have been asking myself why, because I thought I was pretty confident.

A couple weeks ago, about 30 minutes after Amelia and I put our sons to bed, Micah came downstairs crying hysterically. We were able to calm him down enough to ask what happened. Evidently, some kids were playing outside his bedroom and he opened the window to say hello. I won’t go into the fact that he should have been sleeping … that is another story. Long story short, these kids said some mean things and hurt Micah’s feelings. Wow … This was a new emotion for Amelia and me. We were both distraught over the whole ordeal. Someone hurt our son and we didn’t like it. We could hardly sleep that night.

I don’t share this story as an attempt to be even more naked on a mountain. I share it because it helps me realize why I feel the way I do about ‘Reparando’. Art is a product, of it’s creator, much like a child is a product of their parent. I can raise Micah with love and support, mold him into a way that I believe is best, but at some point, I will have to let him go into the world. I will have to trust that Micah’s life has a purpose outside of my hands. Some people won’t embrace Micah, or his purpose, but I will still have to let him go. The same holds true for ‘Reparando’. I have thoroughly enjoyed molding ‘Reparando’ into what it is. I’m creative and love to create, but now it is time to let go.

We were accepted into Grand Rapid’s Film Festival right about the time we shipped the final product to replication and I was feeling pretty good about our ‘baby’. But shortly after, I learned that ‘Reparando’ wasn’t accepted into a couple other festivals. I immediately began to feel like that previously mentioned naked mountain climber. I began to question the time and energy I spent producing this project. Suddenly, I was insecure.

I shared my heart with a close friend who reminded why I did what I did … why I spent two and a half years producing this documentary. I didn’t do it to win an award. I didn’t do it to make money for myself. I did it because I had to. I had to respond. I believed it was the right thing to do. Right after our conversation, I received an email notifying our acceptance into the Kansas International FIlm Festival. We’ve entered about 25 film festivals so far and are batting .500 for the 4 who have made decisions. 50/50 … not so bad when I think about it. But I don’t want to think about it too much. That is what made me insecure in the first place.

I know this: We’re sharing a powerful story about Guatemala and it’s people that needs to be heard. Despite my own imperfections, I trust that it has a purpose outside of my hands and that it will connect with those who God intends. I can be secure in that.

And some day … I will watch this work of art with my Guatemalan sons. That is worth more to me than any award I could ever imagine.

FINISHED … And Just Beginning

After 2 1/2 years of production, I had the distinct honor of mailing the DVD master of ‘Reparando’ to the replication facility today. I am excited and nervous – kind of like when I became a father. We have invested thousands of hours into this labor of love, and have enjoyed the first leg of this journey. We continue to walk forward into this new phase and look forward to sharing the documentary story with the public very soon!

Grand Rapids Film Festival

‘Reparando’ is an official selection in the 2010 Grand Rapids Film Festival in Grand Rapids, MI. Come on out to celebrate this milestone with us!

Here are the details:

4:00 PM Theatre 11
Friday, August 27 2010 Celebration Cinema North
2121 Celebration Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
(616) 530-7469

Film Festivals – Update

This week we learned that ‘Reparando’ is an official selection in the Grand Rapids Film Festival. Several of our team will be traveling to Michigan at the end of August to attend our first film premiere. We are very excited.

We also submitted Reparando into the following film festivals, bringing the total potential festivals up to 22 with international entries into Mexico and Canada.

Festival Information Festival Dates Notify Date
Oaxaca FilmFest Apartado Postal #156
Oficina Correos Centro
Oaxaca 68001
Phone: +52 1 951 154 3661
11/08/10 – 11/11/10 09/16/10
Whistler Film Festival #1004
106-4368 Main Street
Whistler BC V0N 1B4
Phone: 604-938-3206
Fax: 604-938-3209
12/01/10 – 12/05/10 11/01/10
Sundance Film Festival 1825 Three Kings Dr
Park City UT 84060
Phone: 310-360-1981
Fax: 310-360-1969
01/20/11 – 01/30/11 12/06/10
Dallas Film Festival 3625 N. Hall St. – Ste. 740
Dallas TX 75219
Phone: 214.720.0555
Fax: 214.720.0551
03/31/11 – 04/10/11 03/04/11
Nashville Film Festival 161 Rains Ave.
Nashville TN 37203
Phone: 615-742-2500
Fax: 615-742-1004
04/14/11 – 04/21/11 02/15/11