Week Thirty-Three: Save the Cat and Shouting Secrets at the Albuquerque Film Festival

August 22, 2012 § 3 Comments

August 19th, 2012

I’m reading Going Cowboy Crazy by Katie Lane, a fish-out-of-water contemporary romance about Chicago city-girl Faith who goes to a small town in Texas looking for her long-lost sister. What she finds is her sister’s ex-boyfriend, and the sparks start flying.

The next book I am looking forward to reading is On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. Oh, yeah, and I really need to get that eReader sometime soon.


I finished my Beat Sheet from Save the Cat. That book keeps coming up in the topic of story craft. Just this weekend, I attended a screenwriting panel at the Albuquerque Film Festival, and the producer’s reader recommended this book. He talked about how when he reads a script, he looks for something to like in a character, something to make him root for the character. I thought, hey, that sounds like Save the Cat! Sure enough.


“It’s a family drama where the family happens to be Native American.” —Korinna Sehringer, director of Shouting Secrets

Speaking of the ABQ Film Festival, I was sitting in the lobby at the KiMo theater chilling out before the feature film started, and a pretty blond with a European accent sat down by me and asked if I was there to see the movie. When I said yes, she exclaimed, “Oh, good!” Turns out she is the freaking director! Very interesting that a Green Card holder from Switzerland told the story in this movie so well. In Shouting Secrets, a Native American family, separated by location and life choices, come together when the mother suffers a stroke. As the misunderstood father tries to keep everything under control, the family differences play out awkwardly, amusingly, and explosively. Gil Birmingham (Billy in Twilight) plays the father, and he was looking pretty sexy, BTW.

I really enjoyed this movie; it had lots of laughs and heart-tugging moments, but not the saccharin kind. In the Q&A that followed the movie screening, an older Caucasian man in the audience marveled at the actors’ performances. A man from Mexico commented on how so many of the scenes really “touched everyone in the audience.” A young Native American man said he was really happy about the many moments in the film that he could relate to.

Pinti, Tushka, and Wesley are siblings who come together for their mother’s illness in the film Shouting Secrets. Courtesy Shouting Secrets movie.

Korinna herself said she connected to the protagonist’s storyline: he hadn’t visited home in almost a decade and hadn’t returned his mother’s last phone call. Korinna said that when she had been applying for her Green Card, she worried about receiving that phone call announcing that something bad had happened to a family member in Switzerland, and her being stuck in the U.S., unable to get back to them in time. She also remarked how “it’s so easy to get busy with pursuing your dream or making a living, and saying, ‘oh, I’ll call them next weekend,’ and that weekend turns into months and then years.”

That this movie so resonated with a diverse audience proves what ABQ Film Festival producer Rich Henrich said at the screenwriting panel: “Focus on themes that are broad and universal enough to be human.”

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