Friday night SAGIndie screened the first film (Michael Kang's The Motel) in our newest undertaking, the quarterly Diversity Screening Series at AFI. I'd like to thank our volunteers for the night, the flawlessly tan Marcus Grewe (left) and the unequaled genius that is C. Evan von Bloch (right). I don't know who the weird looking person in the middle is. (Here in the SAG offices, we are trying to conserve, and apparently have abandoned the idea of air conditioning. This has made me really grumpy.)
ANYWAY, to be completely honest (something we don't agree to often), we decided to screen this film before any of us had a chnace to see it, going on the accolades and festival buzz alone. Thankfully, it turned out to be a really great film, saving us from looking like asses. Based on the novel Waylaid by the filmmaker's friend, Ed Lin, The Motel is about a thirteen-year-old boy named Ernest, who lives and works at his family's disgusting hourly-rate motel. Misunderstood and entering puberty, Ernest befriends Sam, a reckless and charming man who has checked in. It's a great portrait of several lives that are completely relatable, and quite funny. Everyone seemed to enjoy it enough to stay for the Q&A with producers Gina Kwon (Me and You and Everone We Know) and Matthew Greefield (The Good Girl). I highly suggest tracking this film down.
Thanks again to everyone who came out and supported this wonderful film. We promise to try and present something just as impressive as this one.
(Here producers Gina Kwon and Matthew Greenfield share a laugh at Paul's expense.)