Thursday, February 11, 2016

About Würzburg

I’m in a dilemma. I’m pushing back on the omnipresence of media in my life, to be in the moment, look at what’s in front of me and around me, especially when it comes to events like the 42. Filmwochenende Würzburg, where I Am Gangster had its International Premiere last week. But if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ll notice that comes at the expense of keeping you all instantly current. So I hope you’re not too disappointed if live tweeting isn’t my thing. I’ll work on that in the future though.

I’ve got some glimpses of Würzburg for you anyway, that medium-sized culturally rich city in the northwest of the German state of Bavaria. As the 2016 title says, it was the annual festival’s 42. edition, which makes it one of Germany’s oldest and longest-running festivals. The festival is largely invitation-based and I was told German greats such as Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders visited early in their careers to showcase their work. I’ll happily step in those foot prints.

I knew Germany traditionally has a dedicated and relatively large audience for art house and specialty movies like ours and I was still impressed at the crowds the festival attracted over that weekend. Every screening seemed to be sold out and so was the case with both screenings of I Am Gangster. So the publicity efforts of the FWW must’ve been spot on.

Both screenings were followed by discussions and a meet and greet after with the audience. I probably mentioned that already after the Tallgrass premiere last October, but those moments when a stranger comes up to you to reflect with you on what they had just seen, when you realize our movie and the issues it tackles resonate with the viewer is one of the great rewards of this privileged craft of filmmaking. Compared with the time invested in a project like this, these are brief and fleeting moments, but they make every effort worth it.

Thank you for those moments Würzburg.

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