Best Short Film

October 2, 2015 2:44 pm

Laurel Mountain

Submitting to festivals is fraught with challenges, expenses and rejections. From what I gather, it is a rite of passage for a filmmaker, so I welcomed the lessons as they stacked one upon the other in a frightening tower labeled “hindsight.” I’d been walking in the shadow of this tower for a while when my short became an official selection at The Oregon Independent Film Festival, so instead of immediately rejoicing, I just sat there, blinking like a pigeon outside an open bakery window.


“This… is for me?”


“Yes Pigeon. This is for you, so take it and get out of here.”



I had only just begun to settle into my joy about premiering our film when I received word that we had also won an award.



“Yo, Pigeon, it’s the Bakery. We’ve got a fresh, hot baguette for you.”


“Ha, that’s not real, shut up, Bakery.”


“No, really, this is for you.”


“But… I’m only a pigeon…”

A year and three months after we had clawed our way through four sleepless days on set, the cast and crew joined once more in the name of The River Bride. Perhaps it was my theater roots seeking the thrill of an audience response, or the half shot of bourbon I drank right before, or maybe it was the culmination of soul-devouring work that had us arriving here; whatever it was… listening to a packed house react to our film was the most rewarding part.¬†It was a surreal, mortifying, and exciting experience I hope I am lucky enough to have many times in my life.


The night was filled with wonderful people and the celebration of artistic collaboration. I was honored with the presence of friends and family to whom this film is dedicated, with people I haven’t seen in years and others that are constant companions, and my family that continually supports the creative whims of my brother and I.

In place of a name on the award I opted for a line from the script about the joy and absurdity that can be found in crisis, which came to symbolize the making of this film.


“Congratulations, Pigeon.”


“Thank you so much, I never imagined I’d be given a whole baguette!”


“No, I was congratulating you on learning to accept good things without being self-deprecating.”


“Oh, but I flew into a window right before th–“


“Just say thank you, Pigeon.”


“Thank you… Pigeon.”

Awards FINAL


And that’s what The River Bride has left me with:


A teetering stack of lessons to be applied to the next project, my sincere and humble gratitude to all that helped make and celebrate The River Bride…

And a shiny glass statue to make sure I don’t forget, pie should always be involved.