I stopped by the large modern offices of Film Independent on Thursday February 20. It’s busy inside as Pamela (Miller, Website & Grants Manager) takes pictures of Evan (Ward-Henninger, Associate Director of Membership) handing me the actual tickets. I now believe it’s real and not an episode of Punk’d. After thanking them, we chat for a bit about what to wear and what the weather will be like.
As it turns out, on the day of the show the weather turns out to be a big question mark. My husband Jimmy and I drive through some heavy downpours as we make our way from Echo Park to Santa Monica, but when we arrive it’s clear and actually kind of warm.
We walk in, pass the blue carpet and wander through the hospitality areas where we enjoy lox and pastries, mimosas and Bloody Marys. I expected the VIPs to be in the credentialed area, but soon spot Stanley Tucci, nominee Alexander Payne and presenter Jeremy Renner who graciously agrees to a photo opp.
Before the show we stake out our seats which are towards the back but dead center. I end up sitting next to LA Times reviewer Kenneth Turran who introduces himself as Kenny and we all enjoy a super tasty lunch with Fiji water and cabernet.
I run into the talented and beautiful Ava DuVernay, a past Spirit Award winner. Besides being a wonderful human being she is an immensely talented artist and I’m always shocked that she remembers me from the few times we’ve met.
The show starts and I decide to live update my Facebook page with my impressions of Jared Leto and Ryan Coogler’s impressive and moving speeches. After the show breezes by and we make our way out, I find myself wading through a sea of new and familiar famous faces.
My day is made when Lupita Nyong’o walks past award in hand and I manage to congratulate her and wish her a happy birthday. She could not be more petite, stunning or gracious.
What a spectacular day. The whole experience was fantastic. I was very happy that 12 Years A Slave got some much-deserved love. And I can now cross one more only-in-LA experience off my bucket list. Thanks Film Independent. I’m a Member for life!
Albert Domasin / Film Independent Member