Yesterday, it was announced that my feature film, ALASKALAND, will premier at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. Since then, I have been basking in a barrage of warm congratulations and heightened anticipation. Undoubtedly, I’m excited and eager to begin sharing my film with the world, but I had a brief flashback last night of when I had mailed out my very first ALASKALAND screener copy to a festival late last year. This was not the journey I thought I would be on with the film, but I am so incredibly happy and honored that this is the path I’m about to take.
I remembered mailing my first screener copy, but I also thought about the pivotal lessons I’ve learned, since then, that have shaped my present perspective on my upcoming premier: no, this isn’t the journey I had initially thought I would take, but this is the journey I was meant to be on.
Eight months ago, I would have been resistant to embracing any other path than what I had originally planned, but then I was forced to do so, and an unraveling within myself began; that’s when the lessons (and blessings) appeared. And yesterday, after my film was announced as an Official Selection, yet another lesson became clear to me: once I stopped trying to control my entire journey, other directions started to appear. I had to stop trying to get my film into that one festival, trying to get my film to have the same exact journey as other films before mine. I had to stop basing the success or worth of my film and myself upon whether my desires happened or not. Essentially, I had to let go. And once I let go, that’s when things started happening: I received acceptances into this festival and others (I can’t reveal those details just yet!), as well as other nontraditional screening opportunities. But more importantly, I was happier and I lived life a lot lighter; I still worked as hard as I could, but after that I left things to the powers that be.
This is the journey I am supposed to be on right now, and I am embracing it to the fullest. I can’t wait to share my festival experiences with you all, and hope that you will take this journey with me.
ALASKALAND will be premiering at the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival on Friday, August 10th at 1:30 pm, Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center (100 Edgartown Vineyard Haven Road, OB)