Every year, the Slamdance Film Festival opens with the performance of a poem written by co-founder Dan Mirvish. This year, Dan has drawn inspiration from his recent worldwide film festival tour with his latest film, Between Us. For those of you stuck at home, unable to watch and enjoy the ever-energetic Dan deliver the poem in person, here’s the 2013 Slamdance Film Festival Opening Poem for your reading pleasure…
Putting the “Festiv” Back Into Festival
by Dan Mirvish
So, one day at the Hamptons, A little past Labor Day
I’m not wearing white, Just very light grey
I talk to a critic, From the Wire that’s Indie
Forehead unadorned, No trace of a bindi
He said how goes it Dan, You got a new flick?
Of course, yes I do, I just finished my pic!
North American Premiering, At the Hamptons tonight
I just met Alec Baldwin, and now we are tight
Really? he said, You’re not at Toronto?
Nope, I said proudly, And then I said pronto
I world preem’d in Germany, just a week ago
In Oldenburg, you really should go
Why’d you go there? He said with a snort,
Why not choose Venice? As if to retort.
Or why not just wait, For Sundance or SouthwestBy
Or wait 9 more months for the Beca that is Tri
I explained that I finished, My film on a Thursday
Then winged off to Europe, And screened it on Friday
From Germany I flew, AirChina to Greece
I screened in Athens, I said with caprice
To 700 people, I’m festing with skill, man!
I saw the Parthenon, With director Whit Stillman
And from there to the Hamptons, Then crossing New York
Woodstock a week later, Is that crazy like Björk?
A movie rarely plays both, I said with aplomp
The film must not suck, Or be a stink bomb
And then on to Memphis, The same time as Virginia
Two states in one weekend? I’m a festival ninja!
And I sat on a plane with a doc Oscar winner
I saw Woodward and Bernstein, And ate BBQ dinner
Then at Napa Valley, Where the biggest names cater
I drank wine and ate food, Made from rabbit and gator
To St. Louis I traveled, Where I went to college
They put me on the jury, Cause they thought I had knowledge
From there on to Spain, In Gijón in the north
Their 50th festival, They said to come forth
I met filmmakers from Ecuador, Korea and Serbia
A Russian, a Greek, And from Tehran’s suburbia
They made me an offer, To screen on Closing Night
With fireworks in a castle, I said “Outasight!”
Two days later in Canada, I’m eating granola
At the Whistler Film Fest, And I ride a gondola
My film played in Australia, Where my investor presented it
An earthquake in Anchorage, Could not have prevented it
On a tour that consisted of, Fire And Ice
I then went to Bahamas, ‘Cause I heard that it’s nice
With filmmaker paintball, And nudes on the bar
The festival took us, On boats near and far
I ate frittered conch, From a shell that was broken
I met gigalos, Performing word that was spoken
And lo and behold, I won a prize from the jury
An aluminum fish! Man, I’m not in Missouri!
I finally returned, To my kids and my spouse
They did not recognize me, I snuck into the house
So I ask you, Dear critic, I ask of my quest
Was it best to have waited, For an A-listed fest?
That may never have come, And I’d wasted a year
Waiting by the phone, Living with the fear?
That no bigwig would dig it, At Berlin or Cannes
Then I’d start over again, But this time in Spokane
Cause when you finish a movie, I tell you, I posit
Just go out and show it, Don’t leave it in the closet.
Life is worth living, So if you’re feeling restive
You can’t spell festival, Without feeling festive.
(Co-Founder of Slamdance and director of the feature Between Us, Dan just completed a whirlwind 7-country, 14-festival tour with his film. Everything in this poem is true.)