A couple nights before the opening film, Sean came up to me and said, "We got a big problem." And I was like, "What?" And he said, "We got 400 hamburgers and 50 cases of beer." This was all coming from our lone sponsor, a pub in Taipei called the Tavern. Sean continued, "Dude, all I asked him for was a plate of cold cuts!?"
So I guess we are the only film festival I can think of with a constantly running BBQ grill - hamburgers and sausages - and all the beer it can drink. But first of all, the festival was a big success, not just from the standpoint of being a "film party," which we've always managed to do pretty well, but also in bringing some really fresh films to serious film viewers in a film watching environment. This was especially the case with Surviving Beijing (樂會北景), which attracted a lot of interest. (Big props here to director Lin Li and Mak in KL - I'll be in touch with you soon - and also Merv in Manila for turning us on to the film.)
I'll post some pics of the space soon, but to describe it, it is a freshly rennovated warehouse in Taipei's Huashan Cultural Center (華山文化園區), a defunct brewery salvaged by artists and now run by the government as an arts center. The space was big, so we hung our huge 4 x 6 meter screen at the back end and put the bar a little more than midway back so the conversation noise wouldn't bother people at the front. It's great having a huge space like this to deal with, as you can create a few different areas. BBQ was out front, and we got some great signage from Canadian graf artist DBSK1.
Total attendance for the four days came to around 300, with 130-140 of those on Saturday night, including the singer Faith Yang (楊乃文), who was there to see Hey Jimi (黑吉米), the documentary about the half-black Taiwanese drag queen and the whole slate of identity issues wrapped up there. Apparently they're friends.
Thanks to everyone who showed up, and especially those who offered to help with future Urban Nomads. We'll be in touch! And for everyone else, see you again next year!