I couldn’t let this week slip by without writing a blog post… especially after the epic weekend I spent in Pepin, Wisconsin for the Flyway Film Festival! I flew up with my dear friend & filmmaker Rebecca Pugh, and it was an adventure right from the start. Neither of us really knew what to expect from the fest itself (though its reputation is fantastic) or from the town/state we’d be visiting. When I thought of Wisconsin, CHEESE was always front and center. ๐Ÿ™‚ And while it didn’t disappoint in that respect, there is so much more to love about this great place (like PIE). Pepin and Stockholm are right on the edge of Wisconsin and the Mississippi River, with Minnesota on the other side of the water. We must have come at the perfect time as the leaves were electric yellow & orange, and it was just chilly enough to break out your favorite heavy coat. The communities supporting this fest go to great lengths to make visiting filmmakers feel welcome and at home. Rebecca and I stayed with an amazing painter named Barbara McIlrath, who lives in a charming farmhouse bordering fruitful cornfields. She fed us plenty of cheese upon arrival and gave us warm snuggly beds to sleep in. Barbara is the best!! From the opening night party/award show on Thursday, we were surrounded by filmmakers of all types and kinds. Especially of note about this fest is its abundance of female filmmakers and industry-types. I was so inspired by the caliber of great minds around us. Flyway also takes great interest in films that use crowdfunding to make their project happen. Sometimes I have a troubled mindset when it comes to asking my friends, family and community to support my ideas and dreams, but I left there feeling much different about the process. When I returned back home, I easily had 20-25 new friends to add to my network. This is the most valuable thing that could ever happen to a filmmaker at a fest! Thank you Flyway for being so freakin’ awesome. And last but not least – Bubble and Behind Me’s short block on Friday night sold out! I would say standing room only, but there wasn’t even that. What a great feeling. Three female directors too out of the eight (shout-out to Kim & her film Deal Travis In).

This weekend we will be staying put in Atlanta, as next weekend we will be taking off to Indie Memphis, then Cucalorus just two weeks later! These southern fests also bring a lot to the table, and it will be my first time visiting both Memphis and Wilmington.

I have been thinking a lot about my next steps in indie film. I feel strongly that my next story to tackle will be Mad, a true story about Nellie Bly taking on the bigger-than-life assignment of going undercover in the Blackwell Island Insane Asylum to document on reports of abuse and neglect. She was only 20 years old at the time in the mid 19th century. I am considering though doing a short film leading up to this life-changing assignment to help me pitch it as a feature for grants and funding. I have a unique spin in mind while telling her story. Randomly enough, Nellie’s nickname as a child was Pink. So I am considering incorporating elements of my short story, also titled Pink, that I wrote earlier this year into this storyline. It will add some fantastical elements with a hint of surrealism. So the question is: do I do another short, or dive straight into the feature? Either way, I think writing the short can only help me flesh out the story for the longer version. I also want to approach some potential investors to feel out their interest on both avenues. Eeks! I promise to keep you posted, as I am moving forward with great focus.

A group of amazing female filmmakers at Flyway.

A group of amazing female filmmakers at Flyway.

Flyway Film Fest street dance party at 2 a.m.

Flyway Film Fest street dance party at 2 a.m.

What a wonderful fest!

What a wonderful fest!

Celebratory drinks with Vero before heading to Wisconsin.

Celebratory drinks with Vero before heading to Wisconsin.

Rebecca, child of the corn.

Rebecca, child of the corn.

Beautiful Pepin, Wisconsin.

Beautiful Pepin, Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Apples

Wisconsin Apples

Pumpkin carving with ATL friends!

Pumpkin carving with ATL friends!

I did a portrait of James. :P

I did a portrait of James. ๐Ÿ˜›

My girl Whitney.

My girl Whitney.

Homemade candy apple and cider with fireball whiskey. Dangerous.

Homemade candy apple and cider with fireball whiskey. Dangerous.