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Best of Fest!

I recently had the privilege of being selected to the 19th Bare Bones International Film and Music Festival in Muskogee, OK with my documentary about the Joplin tornado and recovery. It’s touted as the friendliest film festival and in my estimation they lived up to it. From the moment I first met the founders at a VIP reception, they greeted me and my wife with a hug and a selfie and a comment about driving through Joplin and seeing some of the rebuilding.

I also got to do a radio interview at the local station.

 

But let’s skip to the awards night… I knew going in that I was one of four nominees for the Best Feature Documentary award. The DJ at the radio, who is also a storm chaser, watched my film and seemed convinced that I would win. But I wasn’t too sure and tried to not get my hopes up too much. The awards ceremony finally arrives and the wait is over.  They are announcing the Best Feature Documentary, and I’m hoping to hear “Steadfast, directed by Gregory Fish.” But instead they called another film, I think it was called “The Big Secret.” My heart sank a bit, but I resigned to the fact that I had not won. The director went up and gave his acceptance speech about how they won in France and some other country, but this means more to them for bringing it home. I was at least thankful to lose to good competition. Then the presenter introduces the final award in the documentary section, Best of Fest, whether a feature or a short or micro, the best documentary of the whole festival is, and then I heard my film’s name! A moment of discouragement quickly gave way to exhilaration as I walked up to the podium, an award-winning filmmaker. You can hear in my speech that I was emotional:

 

What an amazing experience and an even better outcome! Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along the way.

 

 

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