06 October 2009

"I've never been in this position before."

Those were the first words that popped into my mind when I stood before an audience of peers to accept an award, and so I said them. People seemed to laugh in a good way. I rattled off words of thanks to the cast of TUMBLER: the boom, Tony and Shirley Griffin (my most patient, honest, and incisive critics and fans), everyone in the room, and my parents. It wasn't until I was sitting down that I realized I had completely forgotten to thank my co-director and closest collaborator on the project, Chris Kapcia.

Hey, it was my first time.

Chris outside the P21 venue lookin' like a rock star. Sorry, Chris!

That's right, folks, we have returned from Philadelphia, where I finally received some form of validation as a screenwriter, because our film won the Best Writing award at Project Twenty1. Technically speaking, it was a tie between us and Keystone Jackal, but a win is a win, and I'll tout it regardless. Of course, it wasn't all me; if we hadn't received great feedback from our cast and friends, and if they hadn't improvised so well to fill in the bits between the voiceover and the written lines, the film would not be as good as it is. The award is truly a recognition of their talent as well.

Our sister film, TUMBLER: the echo, won for Best Music, which means that the competition's organizers will be shopping our creations to other festivals together, hopefully leading to further attention and accolades.

The remains of a cheesesteak dinner at Abner's.

Duly Noted also scored a win at Shorts and Shots, the Saturday night event held at the Marathon Grill. It was an informal event where filmmakers brought short films to screen while everyone drank and mingled, with the best film decided by audience applause. Chris and I received the honor, thanks in no small part to Tony's boisterous yelling and entreaties to the crowd.

We spent all weekend in Philadelphia and had a great time watching movies, hanging out, and meeting our colleagues. The theme music for Project Twenty1 is still firmly embedded in my mind, and I don't expect to shake it anytime soon. We're sorry to see it end, but we don't intend to rest on our laurels. Bring on the next challenge!

A brief time for reflection.


  1. Very proud and happy for everyone!

  2. You're the man, Justin! You deserved the win!

    Next time though....I kill you.