See You At The Movies
Sometimes I wish my friends had told me I was just plain nuts. Or to cease and desist before it was too late. But for some reason they all encouraged me, and here it is just weeks, days, or minutes, before the seventh annual St Barth Film Festival.
It's really my friend Josh Harrison's fault. He knew me in the good old days when I was the administrative director of the French American Film Workshop in Avignon, France. Of course in Avignon there are any number of movie theatres and a population of over 100,000. Why didn't I start a similar festival in St Barth he asked after I started living on the island in the early 1990s. Why, I asked. Isn't it obvious. There's no movie theatre on the island. Ah, he replied, don't they ever show movies?
Well I had to admit that they do. On the tennis court in Lorient.
Okay, he said, let's do it. So here we are seven years later. You'd think that maybe the seven year itch, or the seventh inning stretch, or something else would have stopped us by now. But somehow the festival has gained momentum and has taken on a life of its own. We just can't escape it.
So in the past six years we've shown some great movies, and had some great times out there on the tennis court, rain and all (just turn your white plastic chair upside down over your head to keep the seat dry. When it stops raining the film will start again, I promise). We've even gotten the island kids to go out and shoot movies of their own. Last year's "Passer l'Eponge" made with painter/filmmaker Stanislas Defize stands as witness to the undiscovered talents lurking at the local junior high.
So here we go again, with the seventh annual festival scheduled for April 2-7. And its really a family affair. First there's the AJOE family. AJOE being the organization behind the tennis court cum cinema. There's Alain Greaux the president and one of the projectionists. Roland Greaux, his brother and the chief projectionist. And Nicole Greaux, Roland's wife, who took care of the box office. And what about Yves Greaux, another brother to Alain and Roland, who serves as a deputy mayor (by the way so does Nicole) and cultural attache for the island. In the festival family, my husband, Rosemond Greaux, and my daughter Rachel (who flies in from Philadelphia) are part of the team, as well as good old Josh (who got us into this in the first place) and his wife Laurie. And this year, the Greaux brothers have turned the projection duties over to us, so Josh has brought in his sister's brother-in-law from Denmark (don't ask) to man the projection booth.
This year, the St. Barth Bucket, a just-for-fun regatta for giant sailboats over 100' long, takes place the same weekend as the film festival. So whether you stay on land or go out to sea, early April has something for everyone.
More to come,