Director's Statement
The Festival Experience
Production Journal

If you have any questions about the film, please send us an email at:

SXSW Official Selection

© Joe Swanberg 2004-2005
Hosted by Dreamhost

The World Film Festival - Montreal, Quebec CANADA (Montreal Tips For Filmmakers)
We arrived in Canada after one wrong turn that took us about 90 minutes out of our way. The goal was to make it to Toronto the first night, and Montreal the next day.
Here's what Ontario looks like. Yep, pretty much just like the most boring parts of the USA.
We stayed at a hotel in downtown Toronto and marveled at the beautiful prostitutes that lined the street right outside. They looked like models. Unfortunately, we have no pictures of them, but we did mention them to almost everyone we spoke with. In Montreal we played a game where we tried to spot the most prostitutes, or, as we dubbed them, "tooties." The Montreal tooties were not nearly as attractive as the Toronto tooties we saw.
This was the view from the front of the hotel as we arrived in town. Very pretty. We were told this courtyard thing is fairly new.
At night they put the courtyard to good use, showing free movies to anyone who wants to watch.
Our first screening was the day we got into town. It was a little rocky, as the projection was bad, it was late at night, and the long short film that played before ours was not exactly in the same spirit. We sat in the back of the theatre and cringed whenever someone walked out. Kris counted about 22 walkouts. We left the screening feeling like never watching the film with an audience again. Later people told us they were at the screening and liked the film, so that made us feel better.
We rested up and prepared for more painful screenings, expecting the worst.
Our second screening was at the Cinema ONF, which was a totally great theatre with good projection and a comfortable vibe.
People at the Festival were fighting over who would get to keep the copies of our awesome poster. I'm glad I brought some extras to give to voulenteers, or else there might have been a bloody scene.
The crowd was smaller than the previous night. We hoped people would still be there when the film ended. The two screenings at ONF were very good, with people sticking around to talk to us afterward. We felt much better.
Too scared to watch the film again, we snuck off to get a bite to eat. We sampled the local specialty, poutine, which is basically french fries covered in gravy and cheese. It was delicious. As you can see, not much survived.
Meanwhile, back at the Cinema ONF, this robot was busy putting tapes into decks for people to watch. People sit at viewing screens and they can choose from any film in the ONF library, and this robot loads the film up into the propper deck. Amazing!
Montreal was a very cool city, with a layed-back vibe and friendly people. Kris, Kate, and Kevin spent a lot of time exploring, while Joe watched movies or updated the website from the hotel room.
One of Kris' adventures brought her to the Bio-Dome, where she hung out with Pauly Shore and Stephen Baldwin.
It appears "This Shady Businesswoman Is Out To Desroy The Bio-Dome." How dare she!
Kris gave the frog a postcard, but it didn't show up to any of our screenings.
Most nights ended with all of us at Rock 'n' Roll Pizza, stuffing ourselves with $.99 slices.

Montreal Tips For Filmmakers (Travel) (When To Arrive) (Lodging) (Eating) (Distributors) (Press)

Everyone kept talking about the New Montreal Film Festival, and how they didn't know if the World Film Festival was going to be around for much longer, but assuming it is, here are some things we learned from our visit there that might be helpful to filmmakers in the future.

Montreal is a nice city, and the Festival has a wealth of good films, but I wouldn't call it an essential Festival to attend. If you want to go, you can have a good time, but there isn't a very unified Festival atmosphere, and it was difficult to meet other Filmmakers.

Travel - The Festival doesn't offer any travel, at least they didn't for us, so you're on your own as far as getting there. They will send someone to pick you up from the airport if you fly. If you decide to drive, like we did, you should just park your car at the hotel and leave it there. You won't need it once you're in Montreal. Plan on about $40 to park the car for 3 days. It's expensive, but it's nice to have it out of the way and safe in the hotel parking garage.

When To Arrive - I don't think it really matters. Just plan to attend during the days your film is screening. It doesn't seem like there is all that much to miss, unless there are films or tributes you really want to see.

Lodging - The festival offers hotel accommodation, but you have to pay extra if it's for more than one person. The hotel is nice, and you can walk to all of the theatres.

Eating - There is a little happy hour thing that happens every day from 6-8PM where you can get free beer, but the food is limited to chips and pretzels. Free food seemed impossible to find, so we ended up paying for almost every meal. The hotel has a big breakfast, and one guest per film receives tickets for the breakfast every morning, but everyone else has to pay. Thankfully the very cool Gerry Peary ended up with some extra tickets and snuck them to us before he left. That allowed all of us to fill our bellies for a few mornings. There are plenty of good places to eat, and pizza slices are $.99 almost everywhere if you're on a tight budget. Make sure to try the Poutine.

If you attend, bring at least one night outfit, because there is an invitation for the director to attend a dinner, and it's at a nice restaurant. They stagger these dinners, so that everybody gets invited one night while they are in town. This was the only time I really met and was able to talk to other filmmakers, and it was fun.

Distributors - There are plenty of distributors around the Festival, but I didn't really get to meet any of them. There is no party scene, so you just have to hope they show up to your film. There is also a market aspect to the Festival, and you can sign up and have screeners available for people who want to view them.

Press - I feel like press people were there, but I don't think they came to see our film. It doesn't seem like the Festival gets all that much press in general, at least not outside of Montreal. We didn't do any interviews, or find any write-ups of the film anywhere.