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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Paso Robles Digital Film Festival

I arrived just in time to catch the World Premiere of THIS IS NOT A RODEO, a film about professional bull riding. Quite a moving film about the men who risk life and limb for this sport. Many of the riders featured in the film were in attendance, and I also ran into Bernie Taupin, who told me he's raising bulls when he isn't penning songs with Elton John. Interesting!

Ramblin' Jack Elliott was performing after the screening, and shared with me that he likes to ride bulls in his spare time.He also hosted a screening of the film, THE BALLAD OF RAMBLIN' JACK, which chronicles Jack's life from his upbringing in Brooklyn, his folk singing adventures in the 60's and singing cowboy tales. He's a really colorful character and I love his music!
I attended a panel with Clint Eastwood's Malpaso production company. The panel members, who have all worked with Clint for 30 years, really do finish each other's sentences and Eastwood praised them all for having telepathy at this point in their partnership! GRAN TORINO is their most recent effort, and editor, Joel Cox, said that he cut the film in 10 days. The audience gasped! Ten days! Clint was on hand to present Joel Cox with the first ever Ignace Paderewski Lifetime Achievement award.

MAYNARD DIXON ART AND SPIRIT screened on Saturday, I loved answering questions and hearing comments from the audience. I had to mention that when I drove into Paso Robles, I was reminded that Dixon painted in this area, and the warm light on those hills was beautifully familiar to me. I stuck around after my screening to watch TRYING TO GET GOOD-THE JAZZ ODYSSEY OF JACK SHELDON, which was produced by my friend, Penny Peyser, and her husband Doug McIntyre. This award-winning film is remarkable and features some great interviews, I highly recommend it, and although I'm not usually a fan of jazz, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing all of fine music in this film. Check it out: http//

Kyle Eastwood and his band performed some great music at the Martin and Weyrich Winery. After that, Penny and I attended a beautiful dinner party at Villa Toscano, where we were joined by filmmakers Cass Warner,(THE BROTHERS WARNER), and Susan Morgan Cooper,(AN UNLIKELY WEAPON).For me, meeting the other filmmakers, exchanging email addresses and ideas is the best part of attending film festivals. I was honored to receive the ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE award, and will always remember this great weekend.