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Saturday, September 26, 2009

The KINGYO screening at the Venice Film Festival

Lots of distractions had occurred in the past two days. My hard disk died suddenly, and I lost a couple of short films I made since KINGYO (as in, AFTERNOON RIVER, 3PM, and bits and pieces of EVENING SKY that I've just edited). Since my backup had already died couple of weeks earlier, I've pretty much lost two hard disks in a space of two weeks. Can't exactly say that I'm in the best of moods, but I will be hiding at home re-editing AFTERNOON RIVER (with its DVD as reference), familiarizing myself with Adobe Premiere Pro again. I wanted to weep but my eyes had gone too dry.

So I'll recount the KINGYO screening at the Venice Film Festival back on the 7th of September. Wow, has it been 18 days already?

The day started with me eating breakfast at a restaurant near my hotel. The Italian restaurant was owned by a Chinese family. I had cappuccino and pizza.

A place where I have breakfast

Next to my table was an elderly couple, the romantic side of me wondered how nice it would be to hang out here with a loved one everyday in the morning, at this beautiful place. Of course, what crazy woman would want to spend her days at such a beautiful place with one like me? I thought with bemusement.

A blissful elderly couple

In a place as romantic as Venice, I could only think, with slight melancholy, the string of failed romantic conquests that were littered throughout my life. I remember the book DEATH IN VENICE, which I read in Perth 5 years ago, and wrote a paper on (I minored in English literature), how Gustav von Aschenbach was overwhelmed by his unbridled passion for the teenage boy Tadzio, and how it turned to confusion and degradation, ultimately turning him into a grotesque figure, ultimately ruining him. And thus I tried to shake away the melancholy that, for a moment, laid its cold grip upon my heart. Since when did I become such a lovelorn fool? Oh, right. Always.

Then I took the bus to the movie village where the film festival was.

Entering the Venice Film Festival

I walked in and left a couple of KINGYO flyers on the box-office counter... which wasn't entirely necessary since the ticket sellers told me that tickets for the short films had already been sold out. But the KINGYO flyers were popular, I would return to the counter moments later to see that all flyers were gone.

kingyo flyers at the box-office

Maiko the Producer and Linto the Post-production Technician looked sharp before the screening.

Maiko and Linto before the screening

Me? Not so much.

I fear the lion

The screening started at six in the evening, after I went through an interview with the Japanese press (the first of a few I had throughout my days in Venice). After entering the hall, the names of each of the film delegates for the short films were announced, and we stood up to wave at the applauding audiences.

The short films started, but not everything were smooth. Korean filmmaker Kim Kwang-Bok's musical Umma-e Uga was screened without subtitles due to a technical glitch, the audiences protested, Kim was sitting next to me, and he wasn't too happy with what happened. I was a little horrified, feeling a little bad (the Dubai Film Festival screening of CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY last year was pretty bad, my DV tape was in bad condition so it was stuttering, and because the first scene and the second last scene of CHICKEN RICE MYSTERY were the same, they screened... the ending first, so I could totally feel for Kim), and fearing that the same fate would befall upon my film.

Thankfully, KINGYO's screening was smooth, just that the audio was a little too loud. Yet it was greeted by a somewhat rapturous applause, which I felt happy since it's not everyday that I would see my own film so warmly received.

When the screening ended, all of us (film delegates) headed to the Excelsior Hotel for dinner and drinks. I liked how the festival looked, at night.

Venice Film Festival at night

After the KINGYO Screening

I even took photos with two of the child stars from the Norwegian short film, STILL BIRDS.

With the two child stars of the Norwegian short film STILL BIRDS

Some were amused that I drank water instead of wine.

They drank wine, I drank water

At the party after the KINGYO screening

When everything ended, we left the Excelsior and noticed an interesting art installation in a dark room just outside the hotel.

Next part, I will tell you how the arrival of my two actresses from KINGYO, Luchino Fujisaki and Amane Kudo, on the following day took the festival by storm!

... but before that, I'll go back and angst over my dead hard disk.