I don’t know where I am.
I mean, I do. I’m in Florida outside of Orlando. But the exact city…
In the southeast, the city lines get a little blurred at times if the cities are super cozy and smushed together. In Georgia, there’s a very fine line between the cities of Savannah and Garden City…and even the cities’s oldest living residents couldn’t draw you an exact line between the two places. Filing out the city part of a business or residence address is sometimes determined by a coin flip if no one feels like truly looking it up.
That’s kind of how Maitland and Winter Park works for me. The hotel is in Winter Park while one of the venues of The Florida Film Festival is in Maitland…and it’s about 15 minutes away. Walking.
I came to this fused Florida city to see YELLOW and last night, that’s exactly what I and my friend Isaac did. I expected to be a tad bit biased going in considering the film production company I work for is the one that produced this…but that’s what Isaac was for. He was the unprejudiced eyes. He’s also not that big on quirky indie dramedies (as I found out on the car ride here) so he really had no reason to be unfairly impressed by anything this film had to offer.
Without giving too much away, the world of lead character Mary Holmes (played brilliantly by Heather Walhquist who also co-wrote it with director Nick Cassavetes) is one of colorful and clever metaphors that will, depending on your own life experiences, leave you feeling thoroughly confused or strangely validated in your own meandering journeys in and out of reality. I, myself, was the latter.
When the movie ended and I realized Isaac loved it, I knew that my urge to sing its praises were genuine. And if I had been a bit braver, I would have sung them directly to the co-writer herself who made a semi-surprise (they let us know before the movie started) pop in to the screening for a post-movie Q&A.
Though Heather is pretty far removed from her character in the film, without her even having to say it, upon seeing her you know the character is a deeply rooted extension of herself and there are fair chunks of her life in there—way more than what can end up accidentally on the pages.
I would love to say that Isaac and I explored the city of WinterLand, dining only in the local eateries and buying only from the local establishments because that’s what I try to do when I’m traveling. But we saw a Cheesecake Factory after exiting the theater and since there’s not one in Savannah, both of us were willing to accept that as a local exploration. At least I was.
We’re a little more than midway through day two here and we both felt pretty unadventurous this morning for different reasons. I was supposed to go to a panel about being a woman in the film industry at 11am…but being a woman in real life was a little too much for me upon waking up. After going back to sleep several times, we walked to Walgreens to buy what has to be a collective $45 in almost health conscious junk food and we holed up in the hotel watching the season 4 premiere of “Game of Thrones”. And then back to sleep.
Tonight will probably be spent playing through the hundreds of indie games Isaac has on his laptop. And tomorrow, we’ll make the 4+ hour trek back to Savannah.
I’m so honored I got to see YELLOW and I’m relieved I loved it as much as I did. I’m so ready for this to be released and available to the masses. It’s going to bring comfort to a lot of people as well as emotionally stir some others. The company I work for is wonderful…and now I have definitive proof that the ideas we get behind are pretty amazing as well.