“Out of the Fire”, a documentary feature film for which I am the director of photography, screened Friday at the Rehoboth Beach Film Festival. We just got word that it was the runner-up for the audience award for “Best Documentary”, which went to the “Muscle Shoals”, a documentary distributed by Magnolia Pictures that is hot on the circuit right now. Pretty good company, wouldn’t ya say?
I drove out there from DC to represent the film and do a Q&A in place of director Courtenay Singer, who lives in LA (that’s me in the photo with festival director Joe Bilancio). The response to the film was outstanding, with several audience goers saying they were “moved” and “inspired”. I wandered over to the film festival tent afterward. There, I walked by a few people discussing their movie-going plans and overheard one woman say to the others, “I just saw a documentary about a pottery artist. I was very life affirming. Made me feel really, really good.”
Wow. To think I played a small part making someone feel good, well, that made me feel good! There was a time, earlier in my life, when I didn’t know if I should pursue a career in art because I thought it somewhat of a selfish endeavor that did not provide value to society. Fortunately, I chose to ignore my own ignorance and pursued a career in art anyway.
Overhearing what I heard Friday just reaffirms what I have witnessed many times over since that earlier thinking—art does indeed provide a value to society, loads of it. While making art often requires isolation, the resulting expression has the power to, as this film seems to be doing, move, inspire, and impact many, many lives. I’m proud to have been a part of the making of this film and hope Courtenay gets all the accolades she deserves for her outstanding work.