Festival Premiere Recap!
Updated: Nov 4, 2021
What a whirlwind! Austin Film Festival felt like being at sleep-away camp where you make instant best friends and get caught up in the celebration of making movies. Since Acid Test was programmed for the last day of the 4 day conference, we had the entire time to promote. 1st AD Anna Tran, Director of Photography Kerianne Parker, who are both also Producers, and I divided and conquered and enjoyed spending quality time together for the first time since our shoot. You could see the impressed look when we’d walk up to people and introduce ourselves, 3 confident women, one a woman of color, and let people know we had a feature film screening at the festival. This was a BIG DEAL!
To all other filmmakers: take advantage of festival promotions like putting your postcard or other promotional material into the registration bags. Every time we pulled out the Acid Test postcard to talk about it, people would exclaim “I’ve heard about Acid Test!” or “I’ve seen that around!” It helped prime the awareness and conversation and lead to a sold-out crowd for our Sunday screening! This was a huge accomplishment since many of the other films had very low attendance.
We then had a wonderful reception at Kick-Butt Coffee sponsored by the Houston Film Commission and Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP). Not only was it wonderful to carry on the celebration of our premiere, the support from our Houston community at our Austin premiere meant so much. We truly could not have made this film without the support of our local community and being a Texas film in a Texas film festival ensured our success at AFF.
Buzz spread, leading to a well-attended second screening on Thursday where Executive Director of AFF Barbara Morgan, who does all the important interviews, did our Q&A. Despite never having a similar experience as “Jenny” in the film, she loved the weave of drama and comedy and the heart of this family-drama film.
Reviews have started to come out, along with interviews about the film. The first one that came out echoed what many people, mostly women and non-binary, who said they felt “seen” by my film. It’s why I did it. To feel seen. To share this perspective. I also appreciated sentiments from men who found themselves surprised by how much they identified with Jenny while also identifying with the father, and the tight-rope walked to make sure the father is never the villain. This is truly a family of flawed characters that love each other, but are not always good for each other.
Candid Cinema the first to give us validation! https://candidxcinema.com/2021/10/27/aff-28-acid-test-review/?fbclid=IwAR1Wx4PRTUnXPtOEy20rb6Zcjvl5rddhS2SCOsKXJ3v7_vmxzvCeC_2Motc
Austin-American Statesman gave us an A- and an amazing write-up: https://www.austin360.com/story/entertainment/movies-tv/2021/10/31/austin-film-festival-2021-reviews-same-storm-down-king-humans-cusp-acid-test-time-now-imad-childhood/6179768001/
College Movie Review which gave us a wonderful review but with a B- rating?!: https://collegemoviereview.com/featured/acid-test/?fbclid=IwAR3Btsd0_QeO5UtxeXNOZv9uekKz0mswFf1LDQdqG_A4guMZGGOS07RojzA
People love our actors!!! And I love them too. Seeing them up on the big screen only elevated their amazing performances. Juliana was nominated for Breakthrough Performance at the Twin Cities Film Fest, the other festival we were premiering at this week. Award announced on Saturday. Fingers crossed! https://twincitiesfilmfest.org/2021-tcff-awards-finalists/?fbclid=IwAR3q227NbgTXWhpzyFrin3FNxA3bbNBgN4MV9aJLH-C6ECz39elQ5Y9NU_I
We did get one bad review so far. It was poorly written (didn't even get the title right!) and not very thorough so I can only chalk it up to the fact that this person just “didn’t get it.” And that’s fine. I know this movie won’t be for everyone.
Next up: Houston Cinema Arts Festival!!! We are so excited to celebrate with our hometown where we shot the film. November 15th at 7:30 at the Rice Cinema Venue. Tickets available here: https://hcaf2021.eventive.org/schedule/61632bfd95b07a009e6cc686
We've already been selected as one of the films to watch out of the 40+ programmed by the Houston Chronicle!
If you were part of the cast/crew please look for a separate email on tickets coming shortly!