Sunday, April 10, 2011

Geese, a Goat and Harry Shearer

An Ashland goat.
Report by co-director Paul Mariano from the Ashland Independent Film Festival
Photos by Suzanne Chapot.
Ashland -- known for its Shakespearean festival -- is a wonderful town for a film festival also…as we learned. We arrived in Ashland for the festival on Thursday, April 7thTAS was set to screen on Saturday. The staff set us up in a charming bed and breakfast just outside of town. We had a great cottage in the back, and shared our environs with a goat and a gaggle of geese in the pond just outside our front door.

A gaggle of Ashland geese.
On Thursday night we went to the Opening Night Bash, where we ran into Harry Shearer.  Harry was appearing with his documentary The Big Uneasy.  Harry and I discussed our mutual producer (Christine O’Malley…the “best of the best”)…and This is Spinal Tap, a film in which Harry starred and is profiled in These Amazing Shadows

Harry Shearer, director of The Big Uneasy trades quips with Paul.
On Friday, we got a chance to see three other screenings and prowl around Ashland.  Everywhere we went, there was a poster of These Amazing Shadows on display. We hoped that this was a good omen.

Saturday morning TAS was screened in the 500-seat Ashland Historic Armory.  Paul and Suzanne (who has become the unofficial festival photographer) went early to talk with the staff and “check out” the theater.  The people filed in, the lights went down, the audience got quiet….and then it started.  It might have been cold outside, but it was warm and friendly inside the theater.  The audience absolutely loved TAS.  They laughed and they cried, and when it was over, they applauded longer and louder (there was even a standing ovation from some) than any audience thus far.  It was a heart-warming and rewarding moment…one I wish that the entire crew had been present to experience and share. Our thanks to the staff of the festival and to the audience who enjoyed our film so much !

Paul on stage post TAS screening at the Historic Ashland Armory.
This is Spinal Tap (1984) was selected to the National Film Registry in 2002.

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