Red Stick Strikes Again
"I was also super excited by our first Baton D'Or competition and the three finalists. The winner Lilac Wine moved everyone to tears. It was just beautiful.
"However, I have to say that my favorite thing was the tribute to Pres Romanillos at the Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner. I was so moved by Scott Johnston's presentation I can't describe it. I had a great (if exhausting) festival, and I'm delighted to get to work on 2011."
Then, moving onto a bit of constructive criticism: "I enjoyed the festival and their hearts are in the right places, but they need to dial up their level of showmanship. The Emmys or the Oscars are all about anticipation. The organizers need to visit the Ottawa or Imagina festivals to understand how to make their festival more of an event. Even having a section on their website about cool stuff to do in Baton Rouge would help get attendance up."
"Based on the films, food, people, community, location and festival venue, Red Stick has it all, certainly one of the better festivals I've been to… the lively discussion after the Howl screening showed me that the Red Stick audiences are really smart, curious about production decisions, appreciative of different filmmaking styles, and not shy about asking the tough question… I had just as good a time as I've had at Annecy, Ottawa, or Sundance, and yet, Red Stick still seems somehow undiscovered and not as well attended as it should be."
"I felt very welcome by the organizers and by the people in Baton Rouge…giving my lecture in such a grandiose locale at the House Chamber Old State Capitol building was a real kick and made me feel quite privileged."
There you have it: a great festival that more people need to know more about. And so, as the sun sets over the mighty Mississippi, let's end with this:"I was very moved by the lifetime achievement award to Pres Romanillos, more so as it was preceded by several clips of his beautiful animation. To see such a body of work really makes you feel that what we as artists produce in our lives will indeed live beyond us."
Joe Strike, aka "The Miscweant" (http://www.awn.com/blogs/the-miscweant), has written about animation for the New York Daily News, Newsday, New York Press, Fanboy.com, and, for more than a decade, Animation World Network.