Wrap-up Sunnyside

The final reason we were at Sunnyside of the Doc in France was to screen Up the Yangtze as part of their retrospective of big feature docs of the last 20 years. The screening was set for Friday at 3pm; unfortunately, the festival was officially over by Friday at noon. So we managed to convince one industry dude to come to the screening (Bernardo from Quiet Pictures in New York) and thought that we were going to end up screening the film to an audience of one. So we walked over to the screening venue, and were pleasantly surprised by a huge line up of the film’s core demographic (retirees in travel clothing). In the end, it was sold-out (they even let people sit on the floor, on cushions). But what was truly surreal was the question and answer period that followed. The entire audience stayed for over an hour, bombarding us with questions, interrupting each other, arguing with each other, not waiting for full answers, giving broad overviews of China and cinema – the most interactive audience we’ve ever had! But they seemed to enjoy it, and their final question was why wasn’t the film distributed in theatres in France? Good question. Anyway, we wrapped up the day by sitting outside and eating seafood, then walking half an hour to go to the casino but being denied entrace because we didn’t have I.D., then meeting Sunnyside workers who took us to some cool basement club, then Yung having his phone, watch, jacket etc. stolen somehow, then going home and sleeping for two hours then realizing we had 11 minutes to run to cathch the train back to Paris. Well, we high-tailed it as fast as our lugge wheels would allow us to go on those cobblestone streets, and local merchants who were just opening up and who’d been serving us all week were laughing at us running down their streets and yelling “bye, Americanos!”, and we got into the train just as the doors were closing. Phew. A big thanks to Yves, Jean-Jacques and the whole Sunnyside team who put on quite an exciting event this year!