I attended the opening-night festivities for the Red Nation Film Festival. This year the festival's theme is "Red is Green"--hence the "red is green" carpet.
But there was no red or green carpet--just a few people milling around outside the Japanese American Theatre in downtown LA. Attendance was light--perhaps because it was Thursday night, traffic was heavy, and the theater wasn't visible from the road.
After taking photos of almost everyone in attendance, we entered the theater. Actors Jay Tavare and Joanelle Romero came on stage to present the aforementioned awards. Alas, no one was there to receive them, although Gov. Richardson did send a nice letter.
Then we watched a couple of videos and Frozen River, which I hadn't seen. After the movie, actor Misty Upham appeared and answered a few questions from the audience. At least one person considers her a dark-horse candidate for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar along with Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Frances McDormand, Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron, Rachel Wiesz, Debra Winger, Kate Winslet, and Renee Zellweger.
As people began leaving, I talked to Upham for 20 minutes. I learned that being an actress isn't all lights, camera, and action. To play a young mother, she had to keep eating and e-mailing pictures of her weight gain until producer Courtney Hunt told her to stop. To pay the rent, she works at an Internet cafe about five miles from my place, where she sometimes has to pull double shifts and scrub the toilets.
After that I talked to Red Nation founder Joanelle Romero for 20 minutes. We discussed how people in LA RSVP for an event and then fail to show...how she and her son would enjoy the San Diego Comic-Con...and how we're going to call out the industry in Saturday's diversity panel. Stay tuned.
For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.