After four years of preparation, planning, filming, promoting, and everything else that comes with trying to put a movie together, it's here!
The very first documentary about Illinois' World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest, "The Entertainers," debuted on Friday, 4-20-2012, at 9:30 PM at the Chazen Museum of Art, on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
And the audience really enjoyed it.
The next day, at 1:30 PM, the film was shown again...this time at the school's UW Cinematheque.
And it was a hit all over again!
The two screenings were part of the thirteenth annual Wisconsin Film Festival, a five-day event where 150 movies of all kinds- feature-length films, shorts, you name it- were showcased all over the UW-Madison campus.
"The Entertainers" struck such a chord with moviegoers at the WFF that they voted the production as the best documentary at this year's fest. (Michael Zimmer's and Nick Holle's baby bested 39 other documentaries.)
Four of the movie's performers- "Perfessor" Bill Edwards, Ethan Uslan, Faye Ballard, and I- came to Wisconsin's capital city to help promote the 93-minute effort.
And man, we had a ball!
When Faye, Bill, Nick, Ethan, Michael, and I weren't watching the film, answering audience questions about "The Entertainers," or appearing on TV, radio, and/or the Web to talk about the movie, we ate.
One of the places we ate at was a sushi restaurant in downtown Madison; it was the first time I'd ever dined at a Japanese eatery.
And I've got to tell you: I'm GOING to learn to love sushi.
I've read where Omaha has more restaurants per capita than any other city here in the United States, but Madison sure gives the Big O a run for its money.
What's more, M-Town gives New York City and Las Vegas a run for their money, too, when it comes to energy...especially on the weekends. (It's one more place where you can get a burrito and/or a pizza at 2:00 AM.)
And it's a great, great place for a film festival.
All I've got to say now is: "Thanks, Madison, for your excellent support of the Wisconsin Film Festival...and for 'The Entertainers!'"
If "The Entertainers" gets to play in your town, and you love old-time piano, just RUN to that venue.
You'll be glad you did! (Hope to see you there!)