Aspen Shortsfest – Day 7

April 16 2012

After the Shortsfest Awards last night, we have a relaxed day wandering around Aspen, looking at the shops laden with expensive clothes, trinkets, and a variety of art. We’ve been told this is THE most expensive real estate on the planet. It is a remarkable and fascinating place, but very quiet now as the festival filmmakers have left town, the ski season has ended, and it’s still too cold to linger outdoors.

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Aspen Shortsfest – Day 6

Sunday April 15 2012

After a slow morning, a bunch of us catch the bus with Kat Parkin to the end of snow-season party at Highlands. It is an amusing scene, with skiers dressed in an imaginative array of bizarre costumes. Marisa and Sasha get creative and build a snowman, with lots of encouragement from the rest of us who don’t want to plunge into the deep snow drift.

It really is like a scene out of some Spring Break flick, with the beer flowing in metaphorical rivers, and it is clearly going to get pretty messy later in the day.

But we have other things on our mind, and return to town to rest up before the Awards dinner at Rustique Restaurant.

It is a very enjoyable evening, with good food, drink and company.

We are thrilled that Ochre and Ink is presented with both a Special Jury Recognition Award and an Audience Special Recognition Award.

At the same time we receive news that Ochre and Ink has been nominated for an Australian Directors Guild Award for best stand alone documentary.

So it is a great night for us, and we happily stumble home around midnight, sidestepping the last soggy drifts of snow.

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Aspen Shortsfest – Day 5

Saturday April 14 2012

After a breakfast get-together in the Filmmakers Lounge at the Mountain Chalet, there is a very entertaining and inspiring panel discussion at the Wheeler – ‘ The Sometimes Hilarious Pain of Writing Funny’. With the talents of  Mike Reiss, longtime writer for ‘The Simpsons’, Robert Weibe, writer for ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ etc, Alexander Payne, director of ‘Sideways’ & ‘The Descendants’ etc, Shauna Cross, screenwriter of the film ‘Whip It’ etc, and moderated by Award-winning comedy writer Elias Davis, this event is a festival highlight.

An amusing and informative discussion reveals many home truths about writing, especially comedy, but anything really. Gets me thinking about getting some of my drama/ comedy scripts out of the bottom draw and reworking them!

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Aspen Shortsfest – Day 4

Friday April 13 2012

After a leisurely stroll into town this morning enjoying last night’s snow, James takes part in a ‘Meet the Filmmakers’ lunch at the historic Red Onion cafe. The film critic from the Denver Post, Lisa Kennedy, draws some fascinating stories and insights from the four filmmakers. The session is recorded and the podcast is available from this link: aspenpublicradio.org/pod_listen.php?row=2248

Meanwhile, Xiaoping and Cathy attend another local school screening and Q&A.

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Aspen Shortsfest – Day 3

Thursday April 12 2012

Catch up on some sleep this morning before catching the Gondola up to the top of Aspen Mountain. It’s a clear, bright, sunny day and the views of the mountains are superb.

In the mountain top restaurant we meet up with a mob of other filmmakers and enjoy some great conversations over beer and food. We all go for a short walk in the snow, take a few obligatory tourist photos, and catch the last gondola down before the storm arrives.

After more really excellent film screenings, we leave the Wheeler to find a lovely light frosting of snow on the trees, cars, bicycles etc.

The altitude makes it hard to get to sleep at night – I keep waking up gasping for air! Hopefully the body will adjust quickly!

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Aspen Shortsfest – Day 2

Wednesday April 11 2012

It’s an unseasonably sunny and warm day again in Aspen – the remaining snow on the mountains is melting quickly and we’re looking forward to a gondola ride to the top of Aspen Mountain tomorrow.

James and Cathy are interviewed this morning by Rochelle on KSPN FM Aspen – great promotion for the screening of OCHRE AND INK tonight at 5:30pm in Shortsfest competition program 3 at the fantastic old Wheeler Opera House.

In the afternoon we screen OCHRE AND INK to a class at Aspen High School, followed by a very thoughtful Q&A with students.

Walking into the school feels a bit like being in a High School movie, with corridors of lockers, bunches of very cool students chatting as they walk between classes etc. Aspen High has 550 students and a ski lift from the school straight up onto the mountain for the all important ski lessons!!

Evening – OCHRE AND INK screens at Wheeler Opera House to a packed theatre and is received enthusiastically by the sophisticated Aspen audience. The projection here is absolutely first class and our film looks beautiful on the big screen.

Xiaoping & James join other filmmakers on stage for a Q&A and afterwards Xiaoping is ‘mobbed’ by fans. Feedback from many audience members is extremely positive – our film really connects with people here, just as it did at FIFO in Tahiti.

Photo courtesy of Noir Concepts

Photo courtesy of Noir Concepts

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Aspen Shortsfest – Day 1

Tuesday April 10 2012

After a lot of time in the air, from Sydney via Dallas, we arrived in Denver on Monday night, exhausted and with only half our luggage.

But by this morning both those issues were sorted and we were ready for the 4.5 hour shuttle to Aspen, through the mountains, past old gold mining towns, scrappy trailer parks, and very glam ski resorts.

Just arrived in beautiful Aspen, looking forward to meeting everyone and celebrating Shortfest.

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FIFO Special Jury Prize

Ochre and Ink won a Special Jury Prize at the FIFO Award Ceremony in Tahiti on 10 February 2012. Xiaoping, Cathy & James were on stage to accept the prize, which James dedicated to his dear brother Michael who tragically passed away the week before. Congratulations to all our fabulous crew, especially Producer Rachel Clements.

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FIFO Tahiti

10 February 2012  FIFO – Pacific International Documentary Film Festival, Tahiti.

OCHRAND INK wins a Special Jury Prize at the FIFO Award Ceremony at the Grand Theatre in Papeete.

Xiaoping, Cathy & James are on stage to accept the prize, which James dedicates to his dear brother Michael who tragically passed away last week.

Congratulations to all our fabulous crew, especially Producer Rachel Clements.

Xiaoping, Cathy, James and Jury members on stage for the  FIFO awards presentation at the Grand Theatre in Papeete

9 February 2012

James & Xiaoping with some new friends at the Mayor’s party at the Papeete Hôtel de Ville

3 February 2012

Cathy Li and Zhou Xiaoping are  in beautiful Tahiti enjoying the wonderful FIFO hospitality and promoting Ochre and Ink

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