California – Palm Springs

I traveled to Palm Springs, in March, 2014, to be part of the 2014 American Documentary Film Festival.  (,_California)

Palm Springs2014 (2)My short documentary film, “is this my home?” was selected to show at the festival.  (

Q&Aamdocs2014(copyright 2014 American Documentary Film Festival)

In case you haven’t heard of the American Documentary Film Festival (AmDocs), it is one of the best documentary film festivals in the country.  (

I felt so surprised when my short documentary was selected, that at first, I did not believe it.   When the truth sunk in, I was doing the “happy dance.”

AmDocsFilmFest2014 (10)(on the Red Carpet – photograph by Festival volunteer, name unknown)

AmDocs lasted for 5 days.  It was an amazing time!

I spoke with the audience (i.e., had a Question & Answer session)  after they viewed my film.  The college instructor in me felt totally at ease speaking in front of the group.

I received a full festival pass and saw lots of good documentaries, as well as attended parties and industry panels (information sessions/trainings) for filmmakers.  AmDocs provided souvenir bags and other products for us upon arrival, too.  The biggest treat was when I received a 4 TB external hard drive at an industry panel.

I feel  blessed to get to know some wonderful, talented fellow filmmakers from all  over the world.  I am still in contact with filmmakers from England, France, LA, Canada, etc.

AmDocs arranged for a lovely couple to host me during my festival stay.  They were excellent! They treated me like family.  We shared some meals.  We hung out chatting and learned about each other’s lives.  I had a private room and bathroom.  They even took me out for corned beef (one of my favorite foods) on my last night at the festival.

In fact, my hosts reminded me a heck of a lot of my parents – same age group, religion, political views, birthplace, etc.   Even the “spread” she put out for our sandwich lunch was just like what my mom does – the table was full of choices.   My favorite story is when I was deciding what to wear for the opening night party and my host encouraged me to dress up more – she sounded just like my mom.  (I told my parents about my hosts and they were thrilled.  Even in their 80s, my parents worry about their little girl.)

The films were shown in several venues throughout the local region.  My film was shown at the main location (Camelot Theaters).

AmDocsFilmFest2014 (30)

It was a great experience!  Now I understand why, in 2013 ” AmDocs was named one of the world’s Five Coolest Documentary Film Festivals and one of the world’s Top 25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee by MovieMaker magazine.”  (from the AmDocs webpage –!history/c1vir on 12/13/14)

Thanks, AmDocs!

I was so busy at AmDocs that I had very little time to explore and take photographs.  (These photos should give you an idea of the natural beauty of the area.)

AmDocsFilmFest2014 (37)

AmDocsFilmFest2014a (16)

       Eileen Newman, Photographer and Documentary Filmmaker                       503-451-0385

unless otherwise noted, photographs and blog content – copyright 2014  Eileen Newman

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