Harley Wallen has just returned home from Vero Beach, Florida. It was here that he attended the Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival.
Running this year from from June 7-10, 2018, the VBWFF benefited the Suncoast Mental Health Center which provides life-changing services to over 1,400 children and families in Vero Beach and the four Treasure Coast counties.
Breathtaking beaches. Fabulous screening venues. Charity galas. Exquisite hotels. Delectable restaurants. Immaculate streets, The Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival is labeled by the Huffington Post as “The New Summer Sundance”
Hosting the 2018 celebration of wine and picture was legendary film critic Jeffrey Lyons. Lyons, the five time Emmy Award winner celebrated for reviewing 15,000 movies, interviewing over 500 actors, writing or co-authoring seven books, and co-hosting national movie review shows on PBS, MSNBC and the NBC stations.
Harley was present for the screening of his film, “Into a Dark Mind.” He agreed to this interview just after he got back to Michigan.
You have just returned from Vero Beach, Florida where your movie, “Into a Dark Mind” screened. What was your general impression of the film festival?
I had a blast, it’s in all honesty the best festival I’ve attended. Great judges, great films and such an awesome crowd celebrating along! Most screenings were sold out and having the event hosted by Jeremy Lyons and lifetime achievement award given to George Takei it was a very special long weekend!
How was your film received? As your film was scheduled with other films, did you watch other films which screened? What was your impression of these other films?
I was very pleased with the feedback from the audience and at dinner from a few of the judges as well I watched a few of the short films but participated in some of the activities and met with some people separately as well. Everything looked top notch though, I am very impressed with the caliber competing at Vero Beach Wine + Film Festival!
Tell us about another film which really rocked the audience and that you dug as well.
Between films and afterwards, was there a lot of networking going on with both audience and filmmakers? Was there a common sentiment shared by the audience and filmmakers? What was that?
The schedule was packed but at the end of each night we all found our way to the party and the after party and enjoyed ourselves!
What was your take-away from how the judges addressed the audience and attending filmmakers?
My biggest take-away is that we need to enter next year and hopefully get in and get a bunch of people to go down! A fantastic bunch of judges and film (and wine) lovers who are really trying to take their festival to new heights and it came across in everything they did!
Were there people there who recognized you from the MMA?
I did not run into any MMA fans.