The screening of High Heels & Hoodoo was at 1:25pm Thursday. Like last year, it was a surprisingly large crowd for the middle of a Thursday afternoon. The BIFF audience is so amazingly supportive – many of them show up for the first screening and stay through the whole day, and some even brought coolers of food for lunches and snacks. As filmmakers, we are so appreciative of that kind of dedication, and it really makes all the hard work worth it – thank you! And special thanks to two of Jocelyn’s Beaufort friends – KamiKinard and Janet Gregory – who have shown up both years to be cheerleaders for us.
Also like last year, the audience was very responsive, with laughter at both expected and unexpected places, as well as gasps at the end followed by enthusiastic applause. They had lots of great questions during the Q&A, both about High Heels & Hoodoo and Saying Goodbye. It was gratifying to learn they had such fond memories of our screening last year. Afterwards we were interviewed by Mark Shaffer and Jeff Evans at Lowcountry Weekly, which you can watch here.
The rest of Thursday was packed with screenings of other films, a presentation by Haden Yolin on How to Sell Your Screenplay, and a wine and cheese reception with enough delicious food to feed an army.
Friday we tried to balance catching a number of screenings with exploring Beaufort. Then on Friday evening there was a special ten year anniversary screening of Radio, in which we were surprised to find Rebecca Koon, the star of Saying Goodbye, as a waitress serving Radio pie in two different scenes. This gave us the perfect opening later to talk to the director Mike Tollin, who was there as part of the celebration. He was very gracious and even asked about our current movie, which made us feel like we were hobnobbing with Hollywood bigwigs.
The screening of Radio was followed by a panel discussion with Mike Tollin, Gary Smith (the Sports Illustrated reporter who first told Radio’s story), and the real life Coach Jones and Radio. It was extremely moving listening to them talk about their actual experiences. Afterwards, Jocelyn went up to Radio to shake his hand and tell him how much she liked his movie, and he grabbed her in a giant bear hug. Such a joyful man who inspires people to appreciate the life around them.
Saturday was even more screenings before the festival came to a close with the awards ceremony. Sadly we didn’t win anything, but we were excited to see most of the prizes go to the new filmmaker friends we made during the festival. We had an absolutely wonderful time at BIFF, and we encourage filmmakers out there to apply to this fantastic festival. Thank you so much to festival directors Ron and Rebecca Tucker – y’all are fabulous hosts!