I left my hometown of Urbana, IL, almost 21 years ago, with dreams of becoming a new age crystal-wielding hippie. I was 20 years old. Now I’m 40 (almost 41!) and will be returning with a feature film, for a film festival that didn’t exist when I was growing up. But first: the University of Chicago!
Who’da thunk back in 1988, that I’d be blogging about this in 2009? We couldn’t even imagine blogs back then.
Look what arrived today! Thanks to Gillian and Sylvie at Elektrofilm for the professional authoring in both PAL and NTSC formats that hopefully won’t crash like my home-authored version, and especially to my genius Momz for managing what turned into a more complicated logistical challenge than any of us imagined. These aren’t for sale, of course – that would be illegal. They’re just festival screeners and review copies for, like, reviewing and screening in a festive manner.
Update: That said, it has some, ah, glitches. Glitches that apparently some people won’t notice, or think I did on purpose, but watching them feels like knives in my heart. Glitches which I must correct on the “next” version. Glitches which were in my HD master. Oh boy.
How many broke, independent filmmakers get an MBA with decades of experience as a University administrator to handle their print logistics, festival scheduling, screener-sending, tour planning, database-programming, and endless back-and-forth emailing? Like everyone else involved with Sita Sings the Blues, she’s extraordinarily talented, extremely smart, and doing this for love. Not only does she want the film to succeed, she also wants me personally to not starve or go insane.
In case you haven’t guessed, she’s my Mom.
It turns out my Moms is a good photographer. All those years growing up it was my Dad who carried cameras everywhere, built a darkroom in the basement, walked around in a khaki vest stuffed with oversized lenses… but last year my Moms decides to get a digital camera, and the next thing you know she’s sweeping all the awards at my Dad’s camera club competitions. Here’s why.
My parental units still live in Urbana, IL. As my sister once said, “I’m glad I grew up in Central Illinois, otherwise I never would have seen it.”
Speaking of my hometown, I recently read Finding Iris Chang by Paula Kamen. Iris Chang was also from Urbana; we were the same age and attended the same High School, which I discovered we both hated. But I barely knew her. Iris went on to write the famous book The Rape of Nanking. She committed suicide in 2004. That’s a conversation stopper, huh? Um, anyway…I liked the book. And not just because I’m quoted in it. It’s a good read.