Taking a trip to Santa Fe, NM from Louisville, KY is no easy task. There are no direct flights. At best you can have two flights and end up in Albuquerque, which is an hour away. My trip however left Saturday at 6:00AM and took me to Chicago where I then flew again to Denver and then to Albuquerque where I got a rental car and drove the last hour to Santa Fe.
If you’re like me your thinking new Mexico is going to be warm. Wrong. Santa Fe is over 7,000 ft. above sea level and when I arrived it was an approx. 20 degrees Fahrenheit The drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe would have you believe otherwise because it looks to be all desert and is filled with the rich New Mexico architecture of traditional adobe style homes. In fact when I arrived at Hotel Santa Fe (my hotel) it was also made in the adobe style and the décor was full of NM heritage.
My first order of business was to check into my room (paid for by the festival) and let the Santa Fe Film Fest coordinators know that I was there. I was warmly greeted at the filmmakers lounge and excited to see The New Sudan posters up all over the place. After mingling a bit I went to the prestigious awards ceremony, where I saw Tommy Lee Jones and a few other Hollywood big to-do’s receive there recognitions. It was a great time but I was extremely tired from traveling and from the altitude change. To be honest it was Sunday that I most anticipated.
I woke up Sunday morning and headed to the theater in which The New Sudan was to be playing. After hearing that our first screening on Wed. had sold out to a 152 seat theater, I was not sure what to expect on the final day as the festival was wrapping up. After doing a little promotion of the film and watching one other documentary titled Jesus in India, it was finally time for the screening. I was pleased to see that over 100 people showed for the film and even more surprised by the Q&A response afterwards. The Q&A went as long as the coordinators would allow (approx. 30 min.) and many people seemed very interested in Nadus. There were a few tough questions, and a few questions about the film itself but mostly people wanted to know how they could help, which leaves me feeling that it was a job well done in fulfilling our mission to make this film.
After the Q&A I did some more networking, watched a few films and settled in early to prepare for my treacherous journey the following morning. I celebrated in spririt but without Coury there to rejoice with it wasn’t quite the same. It was a packed trip indeed and well worth the price. This is only the beginning…
-William Wallace (Director of Photography, Editor, NADUS FILMS)