Breakfast of Champions

Going to film festivals, especially in foreign countries, seems to lead to the forcible introduction to many new people...not that it is a bad thing at all but it can be a little strange riding in an elevator day after day with a stranger who you only know by their name tag, trying to smile and make is especially hard in the film world where I find so many introverts that likely hide in their rooms all day watching, making or writing about film (looks in mirror)! With that being said, I have been extremely lucky to start each day here at New Horizons with a great group of film people as we begin with breakfast inside the festival hotel!

On our first morning here we descended to the lobby to be unexpectedly greeted by a filmmaker friend of Brent's, the lovely Ela Troyano! Ela has never been very forthcoming with information about her work, whether it is a serious humility or shyness I don't know but, after a google hunt, I found that she has made a ton of films including a documentary called La Lupe The Queen of Latin Soul  about the fascinating Cuban sensation La Lupe whose controversial sexiness, gay icon  & political exile status make her a subject fit for the best- I can only hope one day Ela will share more with us (especially since she has been a HUGE supporter of Gravity from the beginning!)! Sitting at her table was Mario Montez! I don't think I would ever have imagined that I would ever be, bleary eyed, eating eggs with the likes of a Warhol Superstar on an early sunny day in Poland! Lol! Mario, his partner, Ela and friends were here to present a live performance event involving the films of Jack Smith  (and from what I hear, a lot of wigs) at the festival and nearby in Berlin. Apparently Mario rarely gets on a plane so his appearance here is a huge deal, one that only the charm of (my pre-coffee brain is cloudy but maybe...) Marc (a curator at the Arsenal in Berlin) and Susanna (another unlikely breakfast companion, the star of many a Bruce LaBruce film) could have wrought (whom we also ate with this strange, strange morning)!

Other mornings yielded porridge with Anocha (whose film was a winner at New Horizons last year and who sits on the jury this year) and Paolo (who does a little bit of everything art/film in Venice) as the film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum sat nearby slurping up his cereal, trying to avoid eye contact and the poised Anja Breien sat sipping her tea nearby! The fest is almost over but I still have one or two more breakfasts here....what independent film personalities will I have with my coffee & kielbasa on this morning in Poland? Hmm? What a lovely (overwhelming) way to start a film festival day!



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.