Hank Rogerson and Jilann Spitzmiller’s SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS was one of 16 films chosen—out of 624 entries—for the 2005 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Competition. This marks the first time that the filmmaking duo has had a film in the festival. Are they ready to screen it for audiences? Meet and greet fellow filmmakers and participate in the exciting whirlwind of activities that awaits them? The mystery unfolds…
The smell of curry and hot dogs from the makeshift café is making us nauseous – combined with nerves and the altitude headache, I’m thinking of going to back the condo and going back to bed.
But it’s time to gather our wits because we’ve been working 15 years for this very moment. We’ll check back in later and let you know how it went.
The day is finally ending here for us, although I’m sure there are many partygoers just getting started. It’s been a very long, very great day. The premiere was a smash. We’ve been working with the film so long that we are inured to it, so it was so incredibly satisfying to be in a large room full of people seeing it for the first time. They laughed, they cried, they asked great questions.
This was the first time that I have watched the film from start to finish since it’s been completely finished. And of course, I have never seen it on such a large screen. The image looked beautiful, the score was great, the sound mix a saving grace, and the titles give it a very polished feel. I was surprised at what made me emotional this time. It was during one of our character’s key interviews where he reveals a lot about his crime. Seeing it up on the big screen really made an impact on me.
There were some key film distributors and press at the screening as well, which is what we’re hoping for here. We want audiences to see and love the film, but we’re also hoping to get some additional distribution for the film in markets other than US television. I think the screening was a great start in that direction. We had very positive feedback from the press and industry afterwards, and offers are beginning to come in.
Next stop, the Sundance Resort, where it will screen in a top-of-the-line, intimate theatre. We were there this summer when the film was a participant in the Sundance labs. It will be nice to be back.
Final Diary Entry
Diary Entry 1/28/05
Diary Entry 1/27/05
Diary Entry 1/26/05
Diary Entry 1/23/05
Diary Entry 1/22/05
Diary Entry 1/21/05
Diary Entry 1/18/05
Hank and Jilann's Schedule
Hank and Jilann's Bios
About the Film