Why Film Festivals are like One Night Stands

by Daniel Goldberg
Director, Producer, Editor, and Co-writer, The Master Cleanse

The Master Cleanse being my first film, I couldn’t anticipate how the film would do in terms of festival acceptances. I also wasn’t sure what to expect from Q&A’s, and I had no idea how the film would be programmed.

I’m thrilled that the film was shown at ten festivals across the country and won seven awards for everything from sound design to originality to overall excellence.

But there came a point when I actually wished I had skipped the festival process—or at least truncated it. That’s because many festivals won’t screen a film that’s available online (though this is starting to change). So, I had to wait over a year to connect directly with audiences in a way that only the internet could enable me to do.

Those of you who know me know that I’m a social media junkie, and I’m much more “myself” online than in person. So, while I enjoyed connecting with audiences at various NYC screenings (and, as I’ve said countless times, there’s nothing like being right there when an audience laughs at your film as it plays on-screen), I’m very eager for the movie to live right here. 

Right where you are now. Right where I am now.

I’m also a control freak; having my “paranoid hipster comedy” placed in a block of “thrillers” on more than one occasion irked me. Now that the film lives on Horned Melon Films, I get to decide how it’s presented.

But you’re the main reason I’m excited for the film to live here on the internet. Typically, when an audience watches your short film at a festival screening, it’s the last they’ll hear from you. I’m not into one night stands.

Every film I make will be different—you might not like all of them. But if you’re interested in small movies with big ambition, films that are weird and wonderful, I hope you’ll join Horned Melon Films to see where this all leads. You’ll get to see how each of my films is made, including all the chaos, self-doubt, and last-minute scrambling that comes with the territory. You’ll get to download The Master Cleanse like ASAP.

And you’ll get to see my future films as soon as they’re completed, beginning with my next film Stationary, currently in preproduction. I can’t wait to share it with you.