Tucked away in the middle of New Jersey's State Capitol of Trenton is a beautiful, small and stone clad theatre called the Mill Hill Playhouse which hosted this year's Trenton Film Festival.
This is the second festival to screen This Is Norman but the first festival where Norman was able to attend and he came dressed to the nines (as you'll see below).
This Is Norman was the last film to screen for the short documentary block and for the entirety of the film festival. Again, just like the screening in Ocean City Maryland, you could almost feel the smiles forming amongst the crowd in the dark theatre while This Is Norman played.
After the screening concluded, Norman and I headed to the stage for a Q&A with the rest of the filmmakers in our block and Norman was a hit to say the least. It was really amazing to see him sitting there with a filmmaker badge and answering questions for complete strangers.
Once the Q&A was over, everyone headed downstairs to the lobby where the awards were to be announced by the director of the film festival. Anticipation was building as each award was announced until we reached the last award announcement of the night, the Audience Favorite Award. After a short pause that felt like hours, This Is Norman was announced as the winner.
It was a moment that I think Norman nor myself will ever forget. The night was a reminder to myself how much of this entire experience has really pushed Norman outside of his comfort zone and how even though Rome was a huge milestone, this journey for him is far from over.
In two weeks, I'll be heading to South Dakota State University (my graduate school alma mater) where we'll be screening This Is Norman at South Dakota's Art Museum in Brookings, SD. While I wish Norman was able to attend that one as well, I know he'll be there with me in spirit.
More updates to come! Until then...ciao!