So I don't even know where to start. A couple of days ago I was asked to take over for Matt Dentler at sxsw film. (Indiewire article here). I thought about it overnight, took a deep breath, and said yes. I love the festival, love living here in Austin, love the film scene here, and love championing films I love. How could I not say yes?
I've been a fan and supporter of the festival since the film festival started. No, I didn't get here every year from New York but I came more often that not. And I've always had a great time. It's been particularly fun under Matt's leadership. In fact, his ascension to festival & conference producer was one of the attractive elements when we decided to move to Austin in 2004. Richard Linklater, and the Austin Film Society was another. I was asked to join the Austin Film Society board immediately, and have had the greatest time getting to know this city and it's film talent through that skew. Matt's become one of our very closest friends. It's been an incredibly fruitful association, filled with tremendous mentoring and generosity on all sides, between all three of us. Those of you who know him via the festival, just imagine what it's like to have access to his smarts, enthusiasm, and thoughtfulness all year long. We've given him a lot, but he's given in spades as well. He's going to be an impossible act to follow.
But somebody had to do it. And I'm fiercely committed to continuing the work of championing great work, and new talent, as I've done for decades, both in my life before John, and ever since.
Thank you to everyone who reached out today. This is a great, sudden, wild change. As my good friend filmmaker Marcy said, "It's like a perfect movie ending. It's both totally a surprise and completely inevitable!" I look forward to the challenge and hope I can do this fantastic festival justice.
And about this blog? Sheesh...it's so not been a film business blog. This has been a really personal space where I get to think out loud, write a little, and champion things that interest me. Not sure how that'll still work now. But I've really enjoyed it, and thank those of you who've stopped by. And actually, now that I think of it, the only reason any of you know grainyms is me is because of Matt. He kept outing me from his blog when I was just dipping my toe in the water. Thanks Matt. Thanks for everything!
"Onward and upward," as my mother always used to say.