This past weekend our film, Opening Our Eyes, had its premiere in New York City. We have been in dozens of film festivals and events all over the world but for whatever insignificant reasons, we had never screened in New York. I think of NYC as my “hometown”, even though I have never lived inside “the city”. It’s where many of our friends, clients and colleagues are and it has been our “home base” for over 35 years.
Despite the fact that the temperatures were in the single digits and there had been a major snowstorm the night before, so many of our oldest and dearest friends, along with some new ones, showed up. Even Nisha, a young Nepalese girl who is in the movie – came out on that cold night. I have been in front of many audiences over the years and have enjoyed it immensely, but I can honestly say that this was the most meaningful experience I’ve ever had. To be able to share my film – a body of work that I put a lot of hard work, heart and soul into – with my peers and people I’ve known since my beginnings, was pure joy.
In a way, the night brought things full circle in regards to the film. A lot of filmmakers “open” or premiere in their hometowns. Once again, I did things a little backwards, by “closing” in my home turf, as this may be the film’s last festival screening. I don’t have plans to pursue more festivals – but I never know what’s lies ahead, in the way of opportunities, and am open to possibilities. This project and this journey have rewarded me in hundreds of ways and no doubt will continue to enrich my life. The film will still be available for screenings at educational venues and community events. It’s also available on DVD and streaming. My daughter, Erin and I made this film to inspire and motivate others to create positive change in our world, and we hope that message continues to spread globally.
A young filmmaker I met at one of the festivals I attended told me, “a filmmaker never finishes a film – he(she) just knows when to let go.” I am able to “let go”, because I know that this experience has set the stage for the next events in my life.
“Everyone has Oceans to fly, if they have the Heart to do it. Is it reckless? Maybe. But what do dreams know of boundaries?”
– Amelia Earhart