In April I saw Blade Runner at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. While I was watching Blade Runner, I was amazed by the sharpness and clarity of the projection. I have a tendency to go see films at the Lightbox whenever possible; I’ve seen everything from Lawrence of Arabia to 2001: A Space Odyssey there. If it was possible, I’d go to the Lightbox for every film I see. Yesterday, through no fault of my own, I somehow managed to do that for my film Words to Remember thanks to the folks at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) as it screened ahead of My Italian Secret.
I’ve had a lot of very lucky things happen to me over the last few years (and yes, they are the result of 15 years of hard work, but hard work is not always rewarded). I don’t really have the words to explain what it felt like to have my film play on the screen at the Lightbox but I’m happy to report I managed not to throw up or pass out. When I’ve had screenings at other festivals, I usually try to make sure I can make a quick exit before the film begins. But in some cases you can’t just leave your own screening, you have to sit there and watch. It’s always a great and humbling experience, but like most filmmakers and a lot of actors I don’t always want to be in the room because I get so nervous. I tent to start sweating and my mouth gets dry, which leads to me to drink too much water, resulting in me having to go to the bathroom. So I usually sit in the theater sweating, with a dry mouth and my legs shaking due to nerves. I need to find a way to take in these moments calmly and enjoy them more because moments like this don’t come often.
My psychosis aside, it was an amazing day. The best part of the screening was the smiles on the faces of the actors who starred in the film and the kind words from everyone who’s taken the time to help and support me over all these years. Eventually I hope to find a way to be less nervous at screenings. Having this screening at the TIFF Bell Lightbox makes me want to focus and work even harder on my next film, so that I might have another chance to sit in my seat sweating, with a dry mouth, as I desperately try not to pee my pants or throw up during the screening of my own film.