NYC’s first-ever First Time Fest began for me the second day of the long weekend on Saturday. I hit the “Rock To Score,” ASCAP panel featuring Will Bates, Danny Bensi, Jim Black and Sondre Lerche. This was an intimate discussion in the luscious Players Club drawing room about scoring movies (the festival’s two main sites were The Players Club on Gramercy Park S. and The AMC Loews Village VII just south east on 3rd Ave). I liked this hour-long panel not only for the candid confessions of these men working in the industry, but also because by the time the Q&A was up the guys had pretty much discussed everything we’d ever want to think of asking.
Then it was up to the Lowes for the Can’t Stand Losing You Andy Summers/Police documentary. This was only the 3rd time the film was being shown. I really liked this 90 min or so trip between The Police’s 07-08 reunion tour and a look back on the band’s trials and tribulations through the eyes of their guitarist (the movie is based on Summer’s book One Train Later). These two items were just pieces of what First Time Fest was offering from Friday to Monday.
Let me give you a little run down of the program, it really was something and quite a surprise when you consider this was the first time for this film festival.
There were screenings like the Police documentary, as well as showings of movies like Jack Goes Boating, The Maltese Falcon and Pi of (π) to name but a few (Martin Scorsese presented the FTF John Houston Award for Outstanding Achievement In Cinema to Darren Aronofksky, director of Pi, so you see how Pi and The Maltese Falcon connect here.) There was a FTF first time showing competition (the winner receiving a theatrical release from Cinema Libre Studio); in this category, films like Horizon Sky, Blumenthal, Submerge and Summertime were receiving premiers. There were talks with such notables as Michael Shannon and Harry Belafonte. And then there were showings of films like The Story of a Three-Day Pass with Melvin Van Peebles being on hand, as well as The Virgin Suicides, where Sofia Coppola was present.