Last week I attended the announcement of which projects would be receiving this year’s UKJFF Pears Fund awards. It was a great evening and I was really touched that prior to revealing this year’s winners, Asher Tlalim referred back to Team Rachel’s presentation to the 2016 panel and talked about just how close we came to receiving the award to make our film. He then went on to assure this year’s competitors that even if they didn’t secure the funding, they should not be disheartened because all was not necessarily lost – despite our own disappointment, Team Rachel (me, Tania Freimuth & Akua Obeng-Frimpong) had gone on to make a truly beautiful film.
Of course we were only able to do that thanks to the hugely generous support of our Kickstarter donors. I cannot thank them enough for trusting in our ability to fulfil our promise to make ‘Rachel’, not to mention the patience they have shown awaiting their Kickstarter awards.
When we were deciding what to offer as rewards, the idea of having our team and cast autographing annotated scripts, production notebooks, postcards and posters seemed an easy option – well, we would all be together making the film, so what could possibly be difficult about that? But of course, we couldn’t actually make any of those gifts to sign until after the film was completed.
Cue me annotating the script to give behind the scenes insights and highlight the changes which were made during production, our stills photographer Yvanne Teo creating a wonderful production notebook and Jane Padginton designing the gorgeous poster and postcards. All that to achieve before I had the joy of meeting up with cast and crew again to secure their autographs, including tapas with Aislinn and Rob, cocktails with Tania and Trace, and a fun day trip to Manchester catching up with the great Josh Moran.
And then, cue me delaying the whole process by doing in my ankle and being housebound for months – take your pick of the ways in which I might have done it: horse-sleigh riding on the frozen lake at St Moritz with a Hungarian Count, tripping out of a Soho cocktail bar in six inch heels, or strolling around my local park in sensible trainers…
Many of our Kickstarter supporters said they didn’t really want the gifts they had signed up for – they had just wanted to help out and felt that being a part of our creative endeavour was reward enough – so apologies to those who are now burdened with the rewards regardless!
And, of course, those were not the only gifts we offered. For some there was an opportunity to join us at our cast and crew screening at the glam Covent Garden Hotel, for others a chance to appear as an extra in the film, and many have their names listed in the credits.
But perhaps my favourite and most satisfying Kickstarter reward to deliver was the one for our Associate Producer, Lydia Carmosino. She couldn’t make it to London for our screening but she was there at my side when ‘Rachel’ won “Best Foreign Film” at the SNOB New England Indie Fest, USA.
So, now there is just one reward still outstanding. One lovely friend signed up for a first edition copy of my upcoming novel, “When The Fat Lady Thins”. She’s had to wait quite some time but I’m pleased to say that the editing and type-setting is almost done and it will be available soon – details to follow shortly. But here is a first glimpse of the cover, for which I am lucky enough to have secured the right to use September McGee’s beautiful painting, Piano Series – The Singer III.
THANKS AGAIN TO ALL YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO MADE ‘RACHEL’ A REALITY.