Goodbye To Muffy, my original family-comedy short film, picked up the 2011 VA Indie Film Festival Audience Choice Award last weekend. This is good news. Why? Well, awards are fine and all, but to know that your audience, a mix of film enthusiast, film critics, and family viewers, laughing and applauding, really liked your stuff – that’s heartwarming.
Honestly, I bash the audience votes at festivals, primarily because it usually boils down to how many people you know that are willing to attend the festival and vote for your film. Plus, if you are local (local to the festival/screening location) you have a better chance of rounding up friends to attend. For the 2011 VA Film Festival, we were neither close to the screening location nor had a myriad of friends to corral. As a matter of fact, I was a solid 3 hours from the location. Along with my family, all 4 that attended, another 5 from my neck of the woods, 6 or so from the north, and another 6 from the east coast, we hardly had the numbers to turn a vote in a theater with around 250 people. Yet, when the announcement was made that Muffy had taken the prize, I knew that more than proximity and friends was at play.
My anxiety, sitting in a dark theater among my critics, my uneasiness over whether they would laugh at the right moments, let alone, laugh at all, was weighing on my films ability to please. I considered the exit strategy if the film closed without even a chuckle. Yet, despite my nail-bitten neurosis, it was with unabashed pleasure that the sound of joyful laughter filled the dead silence. It was with a tearful grin that I embraced the roaring applause. Indeed, Goodbye To Muffy is everything I hoped it to be – a family comedy that won the hearts of my audience.
Goodbye To Muffy will be officially released on the website next month – www.goodbyetomuffy.com Until then, you can view the trailer and read about the process of making a short film.