SOHO International Film Festival – Why it Matters

I always look for a great story. One that gets me laughing out of my chair, or keeps me grasping on the page…furiously pushing through to the end. The kinds of stories I like…I hope you like.

I had the opportunity to read a wonderful script on Tuesday that Tom Hanks had given notes on–a story so funny and enjoyable that I made a note on page 34 that I’ve never made before.  I wrote, “I fell in love right here.” –and I drew a line across the page.

So far, I have been blessed with great stories that have found me. I haven’t had to go looking. Junction, which most of you know, found me. Trust Me, I’m a Lifeguard also found me. And the other two projects I am working on this year also found me.

Now, I can speculate that this is because Siri (yes, the voice of the iPhone) is following me on Twitter and she is secretly planting messages on your phone and email to call me when you have a great idea.  Or perhaps it’s because I was quoted in a major newspaper and one of those 1.5 million readers had my phone number and pitched me a story. (Thank you, Baltimore Sun.) But no.

That would be just another story.

You see, these stories found me because I am surrounded by talented, industrious and passionate people. People I love–that are my friends. No magic trick required, no advanced degree in particle physics or an MFA from Julliard. (I’m not knocking it either Harris, Taylor, Stephen and all my alumnus friends!).

It turns out that these people happen to be artists, actors, writers, composers, directors, producers, mechanics, electricians, foodies, bankers, inventors, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, investors, and captains of industry.  I have a friend who is partnering with NASA on the use and development of transparent flat screen televisions.  Another who is selling a new advanced motor design to the oil and gas industry that will change the way crude oil is pumped to the surface of the earth.  And another who is creating disruptive technology to compete with Google.

So what does NASA, crude oil and the people I love have to do with SOHO?


First: SOHO is a top film festival.  It is ranked by MovieMaker Magazine and it brings out the stars!  I’ve hit my quota for name dropping, so look to their press (Get Googling!) to see all of the amazing people coming out to celebrate #SIFF2014 this year.  It also welcomed Junction last year…so we are kindred spirits.

Second: Do your research.  You’ll be surprised how many movies have walked away from SOHO with not just an award, but with distribution.

Finally:  Everyone I described, above, has been involved with movie making– from the foodie to the mechanic.  And there is one thing that they have done which I have emulated…and that is simply being around them.  They are some of the most fun, dynamic and interesting people–and they are never short on ideas…or opportunities.

So come out to SOHO International Film Festival to celebrate Trust Me, I’m a Lifeguard; The Story of Milo and Annie; My Cross to Bear, Tiger Liley Road, and Tammy.  There will be no shortage of talented, industrious, and passionate people.  Whether you are an actor, writer, looking to contribute your skills or cash, or just a big fan…

I will be there.  So should you.


Destination: New York/LA

Tribeca Film Festival 2005

Ground Speed: 0 mph

Distance to go: 2997 miles

“Yes Mom.  Yes.  Are you sure?   I know I’ve told you about—well…ok. Okay.  OKAY.   How about this, I’ll start writing an email to friends and family so that they will know what is going on.   Great.   I gotta’ go.  Yes.  Absolutely.  Love you too.  Nite.”

That conversation occurred 8 hours before my alarm clock would stir me from well needed rest at the crisp hour of 3:30 in the morning.   My producing partner Vox’ed me only a couple of hours earlier.  What is Voxer?  A Vox is an instant 2-way radio message that is recorded on my phone I can respond to whenever I want to.  The Vox I received picked up music, a crowd, and some muted conversations as they navigated a festival party at one of the world’s highly respected film festivals.  A festival that I would be joining in less than 12 hours.  My phone chirped, ding’ed and vibrated with Facebook messages, Instagram posts, tweets, re-tweets, text messages and yes: Voxes.

A very assertive cellular device that is attached to my hip gets upset when it’s on silent, or turned off.   And, as if in retaliation from being at rest, the moment I turn it on it has to share with me every detail of the dreams it had the night before.  Ding! Chirp! Ding! Ding!  The endless chatter of fun of the new photos, likes, shares, and comments on an event so far removed from my Thursday evening in the suburbs that I put down the phone and wait for when I arrive in person.

Ding! Ding! Ding!

3:30AM arrived sooner than I thought.  I wasn’t expected at the office for an early meeting.  I didn’t have a deadline or a report to write.  In fact, depending on the time of year, I don’t even have an office to go to.   So why in the world would I ask my alarm clock to help me start my day less than two hours after my producing partner’s had ended their’s?   There wasn’t a mandatory training, no important investor meeting, no sit-down with a department or staff to tackle some new problem or task.  No.  Nothing like that at all—yet the momentum of my work week to come was already fueled by the assistance of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Voxer; and the energy and excitement of the first event on my itinerary that had started without me: The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.

I looked at my printed schedule for the next nine days, a rainbow-blocked sheet of paper detailing my whereabouts from 6am-2am.   I looked at the times that my days would start-and-end over this trip, and my eyes widened.  The entries were color-coded to show me my meetings with friends, agents, studio executives, and press.  Purple owned the page–highlighting two important events.  They read as:

Tribeca Film Festival – Trust Me, I’m a Lifeguard Premiere, New York City, and

PRISM Awards Show – Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

In only a few short hours I would be racing up the coast at 150 miles per hour sitting in the cafe car of an Amtrak train staring out over the undeveloped coast of Maryland, zipping over the Delaware River, and arriving at Penn Station for something that I can’t resolve to call a business trip, nor anything I would call ordinary.  Nine days buttressed between two cities, two coasts, and two movies in a frenzy of events, meetings, and lunches.  Shuttling from place to place, new meetings popping up, and running into friends around the city.  It will be a trip complete with it’s own story of fun, adventure, and surprises.  I keep telling myself it’s just another trip.

“Dad, Dad, Dad…you are going to wide the big twain into the city?” My son asks from his bed with the l’s and r’s still struggling to find their place in his words.  He continues with his unbridled excitement, “We wode a train! We wode a train, Dad!  Wemember?

“Yes.  We rode the train at Dutch Wonderland. You and me and Mom.”

“Yaaah!”  He pulled on my shirt and continued, “Dad, I want to wide the big twain with you!”

“The big train that goes to the city?” I asked.

“Yaah!”  He beamed.   He was ready to leave.

“In the morning I will already be gone.  I will be getting on the big train and then a plane.”  And then, in his words, I’d be “faw, faw away.”

“You are going on a pwane, Daddy?”


“Alright!  You will be getting on a pwane and going Zooom! Way, way, fast, Zoom!” He continued with his hands simulating take-off with all five fingers extended and launching off his other hand.  “And then you will be faw, faw away?”  He asked with a tilt of his head.

“Yes, son.”

“Ok, Daddy.”

He was more excited that I was going to be able to go zoom, not as concerned that I would be away for a while.  But to his credit, travel wasn’t new to him, nor was Dad leaving for a business trip.  It was just another trip.

Yah, he’s probably right…just another trip.




Tickets Now on Sale, November 15th!

Advanced tickets for our JUNCTION theatrical launch in New York City are now officially on sale! Ticket info below!

Facebooks friends and fans be sure to checkout the weekend’s festivities. Watch the website for all cities and dates!

We expect to sell out the opening night launch (with after-party) very quickly, so get your tickets now if you want to attend! We play Nov 15 – Nov 21st, with 5 screenings each day. See you at the movies!