Yesterday was the 2021 North Carolina Film Festival! The Dancin' Bulldogs was selected alongside nine other films to be screened at the festival for the judges, the filmmakers, and select guests. I had the joy of attending the festival in-person, along with the film's producer, Thomas Manning. Eno River Media sponsors and hosts the festival in Havelock, NC, and made us feel like VIPs from the moment we arrived. Not long after we arrived, we were interviewed for an online live-stream, discussing the film, our backgrounds, and our plans for future projects.
It was an incredible experience getting to watch my film on the big screen for the first time. So many hours and so many months went into the making, and to see it screened at a film festival was surreal. I've watched it dozens of times in my apartment, but something about seeing the documentary at an event made it finally feel real. Following the film's showing, Thomas and I were brought up-front to participate in a Q&A with the in-person audience.
At the end of the festival, winners were announced, and I was overjoyed to hear that I had been awarded "Best Filmmaker" at the 2021 North Carolina Film Festival. It's an award that I'm honored to share with Thomas, as well as Eli Hardin (writer) and Brendan Boylan (producer). In the words of the festival's creators, the Best Filmmaker award recognizes a filmmaker "for having met the highest standard of excellence at the 2021 North Carolina Film Festival."