Fall 2018 North American Festival Tour wrap-up

In the last month I traveled to Ottawa, Vancouver, Mill Valley, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles, to attend numerous screenings of Seder-Masochism, including the festivals below:

0F9rL

This is a LONG post with lots of photos, so start after the fold.

My trip started on this bus from Urbana to Chicago:

IMG_0362

I’m amazed to say that all my flights were on time.

IMG_0364

When I arrived in Ottawa, the festival had lost my hotel reservation, and I had to stay a long distance away from the action. But at least there was an Ethiopian restaurant on the way to the theater:

ttGzX

I had to spend 2 nights away from the festival center. Since I hate cars (I get carsick) I chose to walk back and forth, about 35 minutes each way. My route took me through a park that had streetlights much like those in Urbana’s State Streets neighborhood.

IMG_0370

Finally, due to the kindness of Brent Smith, I got a room in his friend-shared suite downtown. What a relief!

IMG_0374I also got a cold, which sucked.

Here is what looks like a (former?) synagogue around the corner from the ByTowne Cinema in Ottawa, where Seder-Masochism played twice:

IMG_0387

Here is Sharon Katz and my old pal Chris Landreth and a colleague of his, in a beautiful converted church Sharon is a shareholder of:

IMG_0381

I saw so many beloved old friends and colleagues in Ottawa! But I didn’t get pictures of them. And I had a cold. But seeing them warmed my crusty old heart and was worth the trip.

Then my cold and I headed to the Ottawa airport, where I saw this lone copy of 1984 in the book shop:

IMG_0390

I flew to Vancouver, where I stayed with my old friend Ducky, who also had a cold, and her partner Jim. Their apartment has these amazing views:

IMG_0399 IMG_0400

This was the first in a series of amazing homes I stayed in. After 2 nights I shifted to the festival-provided hotel, the Sutton Place, which was luxurious and comfortable and had a bathtub into which I submerged my stuffy snotty head a few times.

IMG_0405

Here is Seder-Masochism in VIFF’s program, which I forgot to take with me:

IMG_0406The screenings in Vancouver were fantastic. Other filmmakers I spoke to there also said their screenings were fantastic. The festival organizers somehow got perfect, appreciative audiences for all our diverse films – and diverse they were.

Next, my cold and I went to the Vancouver airport, where I met old San Francisco pal Chris Lanier, who just happened to have 15 minutes to share with me next to Orange Julius before we headed to our separate destinations.

IMG_0408

Bye-bye, Vancouver!

IMG_0409

Hello, San Francisco!

IMG_0413

On the Marin Airporter bus I had “all the feels” seeing the city I loved and lived in from 1991-2002. It’s still there!IMG_0416

In Mill Valley I was picked up and hosted by the lovely Michael “Lippy” Lipman and his wife Suz. I <3 them.IMG_0423

Suz lent me her mountain bike, which I rode a few miles before realizing upwrongs are too hard on my post-surgical lady-bits. (Fortunately I have a collection of recumbents to ride once I get enough post-travel sleep.) This was my first trip since surgery, and while I’m mostly recovered, the stress did take its toll sometimes.IMG_0430Here is the Filmmaker’s Lounge in lovely downtown Mill valley:

IMG_0432

Why is it so empty? Because the filmmakers were in this remote hotel in San Rafael:

IMG_0435 IMG_0433

I stayed there one night before begging Lippy and Suz to take me back, which they did. Meanwhile, I got to enjoy lots of this:

IMG_0445

The first Seder-Masochism screening was at the Lark Theater in Larkspur, and it was wonderful. I saw many old friends and met new ones In Real Life I’d formerly only “known” online. Here I am on the glamorous red carpet:IMG_0443

The second screening was at the beautiful Rafael Film Center in San Rafael:

IMG_0449

It was a smaller but lovely screening room. At the end of the night I asked if anyone could take me to San Francisco the following day, and someone said yes! Thanks, Linda!!

IMG_0460

In San Francisco I visited my old pal Karen Hellyer‘s class at the Bay School in the Presidio:

IMG_0476

And then walked all the way to my old stomping grounds in the Castro:

IMG_0482

to Portrero Hill, where I had dinner at the SF Center for the Book:

IMG_0493

Many Polaroids were taken, including this one with friends, which I love:

IMG_0496

That night (Thursday) Brewster Kahle hastily arranged a “pop-up screening” of Seder-Masochism at the Internet Archive a mere 2 days later (Saturday).

IMG_0521 IMG_0523

What a lovely audience! I love the Archive in so many ways.
The following morning my old friend Jym rented a GetAround car and drove me to Santa Cruz, which gave us a precious 2 hours to catch up. I had ALL THE FEELZ, remembering my 19-year-old self that first fell in love with the place in 1987. Santa Cruz has changed, and I’ve changed even more. As we drove in to Capitola I spotted one of my favorite restaurants, Dharma’s (formerly McDharma’s), still in the same location, still with the same delicious vegetarian food, only 3 times more expensive now. SO MANY FEELZ.

IMG_0528

Then it was time for back-to-back screenings and yakking with Zsuzsanna Budapest and a coven’s worth of feminist witches. It was fun, but by this time my brain was worn to a nub from travel and sleep deprivation (at least I was over my cold!) and I felt like this:

Travel Talk2

Luckily I was whisked away by a friend afterward and got 2.5 days to recover in her quiet home in the mountains above Monterey Bay:

IMG_0545I did not want to leave, but nonetheless dutifully reported to the Salinas Amtrak Station, thanks to my very-longtime friend Dian. Did I mention how generous friends and even strangers were to me on this trip? Fills me with gratitude and love, y’all.
My journey on the Coast Starlight started here:

IMG_0560

and passed this prison:

IMG_0564

and then went for miles and miles along the coast:

IMG_0582 IMG_0588

It wasn’t even late! Still, 9 hours in a shaky moving box tired me out. I don’t know how some people are such hardy travelers. Even under the best conditions, which I mostly had this trip, my brain feels like it’s being dragged along rough pavement.

I spent my first night in LA at yet another beautiful home in Los Feliz. The next morning, my host took me on a walk up to the Griffith Observatory:
IMG_0593

The Griffith actually has some of my animation in its permanent exhibits, which I visited over a decade ago for its grand re-opening. But this time the building was closed until noon and we didn’t want to wait around. Because I had my festival-supplied Hollywood hotel to get to!

IMG_0599

After I checked in, my formerly-online-only friend Laura Molina trekked into Hollywood so we could become real-life friends:

IMG_0600

Then I got back to my hotel room, where I enjoyed this view:

IMG_0629

I asked for a high floor when I checked in and actually got one, which is rare.
Late that night, SpecialManFriend™ arrived from the eastern side of the country, to briefly visit family in LA and concede to being my “arm candy” at the Animation Is Film festival. Here are his legs by the hotel pool, which we didn’t swim in because it was too crowded with other tourists:

IMG_0603

So glamorous, but even more glamor awaited us at dinner with Roger Allers and friends at Hollywood institution Musso & Frank’s. At long last, SpecialManFriend™ and I experienced Lobster Thermidor, which has been a running gag between us for 2.5 years.

IMG_0616
IMG_0618

So that’s off our bucket lists.
I don’t have photos from the actual Seder-Masochism screening, since I was too busy yak-yak-yakking to take pictures. But here are some things I did take pictures of:
IMG_0623

My “handler” at Animation Is Film’s Sunday press junket, holding up what is called “validation” in LA. If only all validation were so easy to obtain.

IMG_0630

Paul Debevec‘s Tesla, the second Tesla I rode in in California. Both times the driver accelerated super-fast in an extremely short stretch of road, making me scream. So that’s off my bucket list now.

IMG_0635

Paul in his natural habitat, behind a lens. By utter coincidence, Paul was my next-door neighbor in Urbana when we were kids/teenagers. Now he is a world-dominating special effects rockstar, and I am a fringe radical independent animator/hermit. Suck on THAT, Hollywood.

IMG_0637

Here is a Nutella waffle, one of 3 I ate at “Le French Crepe” in the outdoor mall attached to my hotel. I ate every meal there, except when I was taken to fancy over-the-top places like Russo & Frank and Yamashiro Hollywood. IMG_0640The view from my flight to Chicago, where I stayed a couple extra days to delay my return to Urbana, because…

IMG_0649

…my bedroom is covered in plastic and cardboard while my bathroom gets worked on another week. So I’m still living out of my suitcase, but nonetheless glad to be HOME!

9 comments to Fall 2018 North American Festival Tour wrap-up

  • Jens Petersen

    A Grand Recognition Tour, well deserved. You are so driven, I am surprised that you came home with just a cold, and not on a stretcher ! Take care of yourself, I want to see more Art.

  • Chai

    I don’t usually enjoy looking at people’s “travel slides” but these are cool!

  • Funny how your Tesla ride was EXACTLY like my Tesla ride.

  • Aside from the cold, it does sound like the tour went well. For what it’s worth, I’m happy to hear that: I like your work very much. Be well.

  • Adriana

    You are friends with Chris Landreth?! OMG. I love Ryan so much. I watched it I don’t know how many times at the Cinerobotheques when I was living in Montreal. That movie blew my mind. And so did all the Ryan Larkin stuff I watched because of Chris Landreth. I haven’t seen anything from him in a while. I’m going to check what else he’s done right now.

  • Adriana

    Cars suck, btw. They kill cats.

  • CHRIS

    For what it’s worth, it’s called Musso and Frank’s.
    Really enjoyed Seder Masochism at Animation Is. Thanks for coming out!

  • Thanks Chris! I corrected it. :)

  • Nicki

    Nina – you are fast becoming one of my favouritest people I don’t know but love all the same <3

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>