My first film gets to screen at Cannes

Two years ago, I was inspired to write the screenplay for the short film “In the Now” which I subsequently produced and acted in. The story was inspired by my dog, Bandit, whose untimely passing continues to leave a big hole in my heart. At the time the screenplay was written, he was rapidly deteriorating from degenerative spinal problems. Despite many visits to the vet, an MRI scan, a major spine surgery, followed by many sessions of physical therapy, I was still unable to save him, and had to put him down. It was a difficult period in my life, and something I still think about today. I’m not sure if I can ever have another dog again. I still grieve the loss of my one, and only, Bandit.

5/25/2016 Bandit’s vet visit

This film “In the Now” is very special to me for many reasons. Not only was this film inspired by Bandit, it was also the first narrative short film that I produced, with the help of a small group of talented filmmakers who donated their time and talent to make the film come to life. I am extremely grateful to the following people who helped me make this film: Carl Weber, Mackenzie Banbury, Nik Sharshak, De Gosh Reed, Laura Hoosier, Greg Rowland, and Jessica “Ida” Taylor. This film could not have been possible without their dedication.

When this film was finally made, I knew that it was not going to be one of those films that just get uploaded to some online streaming site and left to collect digital dust. I had to submit it to film festivals, and there was one film festival in particular that I had to submit it to – and that was Festival de Cannes, in France. I owed Bandit at least that, especially in memory of all those times when he joyfully listened as I talked to him in my broken French. I have always had an affinity with France, and since I was a child, I have had so much love for the French culture and language. French was one of those things Bandit and I shared when he was still alive.

So I promised that I would submit “In the Now” to Cannes. I didn’t care whether if the film would make it in – I just had to submit it. So when the film submission period for the Cannes Short Film Corner and Shorts In Competition opened up for 2018, I immediately submitted this film. I was delighted to be notified recently that this film has been added to the Short Film Corner catalog, which means, it gets to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.

Even though I am still waiting to see if this film makes it into the Official Selections list for the Cannes Shorts In Competition program, I already feel like a winner. I am grateful that this film is part of Cannes, because of what it represents. To be a part of Festival de Cannes in any capacity is more than I can hope for. I am grateful for the opportunity this has created, which is giving me the gift to attend the Cannes Film Festival in person.

Every time I watch the trailer for this film, I am reminded of the journey that got me here, to where I am today. My heart fills with sadness and happiness and gratitude every time, and I am once again inspired to look forward to what the future will bring, as unknown as it is.

I wish that Bandit were still here with me to celebrate this, but I know he is not. However, he is here with me in spirit, sitting in the special place in my heart that is reserved only for him. He will always be a part of my soul, and always will be that special little dog that tilted his head whenever I spoke French to him.

Je t’aime tellement, Bandit. Tu me manques.

I hope I get to visit France in May 2018.

With Love and Gratitude,
Jessie

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Welcome 2018

Au Revoir 2017,
A year of pain for my all…
Turn away from what has been,
To a future where I’ll stand tall…

Friendships were broken,
But new ones were found…
My sorrows were spoken,
But I hear Hope’s sound…

May the New Year be kind to me,
And remove fog from my eyes…
May my healing heart be ready,
For gifts that will arise…

Sing a hymn for my dreams,
As I set ready to fly…
My self-respect is mine to redeem,
As my line of sight is the sky…

Welcome Year 2018,
I open my heart to you…
I’m hopeful for what you will bring,
And my purpose – you will see me through…

01.01.2018

With Love,
Jessie

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