hello friends!

back in January, I travelled up to the small mountain town of Idyllwild for their International Festival of Cinema. I really enjoy these sorts of festivals. the locals are so friendly, and unlike LA where going to film festivals feels almost like a chore for the audience, these events are a BIG DEAL in the communities. people love to come out and meet filmmakers, they want to know about the films and filmmaking processes.

the Rustic Theatre
Rustic Theatre

John, Rebecca, and Luke during Q&A
John Matysiak, Rebecca Spicher, & Luke Asa Guidici

we had one of our best Q&A’s of all time at this festival. so many great questions about how we made it, what it was like looking for locations, working with the actors, and more. it was really nice to have an audience that was so engaged.

plus the town was super lovely. all sorts of rocky mountain views, cute little shops, and interesting wood carvings.

empty street


John pics

heh, I heard that Idyllwild is a “get away for people from Palm Springs” which is funny since Palm Springs is a “get away for people from Los Angeles.” it was also interesting that it was a mountain town with out any skiing. not sure if that’s because of the forest services rules for that area – or if they just don’t have the correct terrain.

I got to see a bunch of great short films, a couple of my favorites were BUTTONS ON THE GROUND and MOVING DAY. here is the trailer for BUTTONS.

Buttons in the Ground: Trailer from Ben Sellick on Vimeo.

the awards ceremony was pretty exciting. we had been nominated for quite a few awards (sound, score, cinematography, acting, and directing)…but then didn’t win any of them! I was pretty sure we had been skunked. and then they announced that there was a ‘Best Short’ award…and all films were eligible. and before I knew it, they were announcing that CERTIFIED had won! needless to say I was very surprised.

Idyllwild BEST SHORT laurel

here are some pics from the awards show.

award speech

Golden Coyote Paw!


thanks to Carlo, John, Lola, and Michelle for contributing pictures!


p.s. also, happy to announce that CERTIFIED will be screening in Cleveland at the Cinema Wasteland Film Festival in March/April.

Cinema Wasteland Laurel

1 Comment
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    Posted at 13:47h, 13 September Reply

    […] film festival was a lot of fun. in some ways it reminded me a lot of the Idyllwild fest from earlier this year. I saw a few films I really enjoyed including, THE PRODIGAL, […]

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