May 24

On this, my final day at Cannes I find myself reminiscing over the time I’ve had. It all feels like a wonderful dream that I don’t want to wake up from. I’ve had drinks on a yacht, crashed parties, met celebrities, seen amazing movies and walked the red carpet. And I’ve made so many great contacts in my time here. Today was a day of movie watching. I saw tons of short films and made it to the last feature film, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigsby.

I could not have hoped for a better experience here. I am now full of excellent food, Wine and wonderful memories. When I get home I will begin contacting the many people I’ve met here. I hope that every filmmaker has the opportunity make it to the Cannes Film Festival. And I hope to return again soon. — Katie


Mountain Xpress covers Gorillas at Cannes Film Festival



Mountain Xpress blogger Alli Marshall is helping people follow the progress of Gorilla With a Mustache producers Katie Damien and Lela Winton as they represent our film, “Joint Effort” that won the National Film Challenge in 2013 and was screened at Cannes. For updates click the link below or here.

Check back for ongoing updates!

“Local filmmakers Katie Damien and Lela Winton are part of the Gorilla with a Mustache Films crew heading to the Cannes Film Festival (yes, the one in France) to screen their short comedy, Joint Effort.

The group will be in that glamorous locale, taking in wonderful films, eating French cheese and imbibing champagne and rubbing elbows with celebs, through Sunday, May 25. Damien and Winton will also be sending back updates — e-postcards, if you will. See info on the venue at the bottom of this post, and check back regularly for updates.” (From Alli Marshall’s blog)


“Joint Effort” screened at Cannes!


May 20 Our Movie on the Big Screen—at frickin’ Cannes!

Today we screened Joint Effort for a packed theater.  People laughed and seemed to enjoy the movie. It was great to have David Ostergaard and Tina Herring join us, as well as Billy Goodrum, our composer. Billy also had another movie screening at Cannes. Lela and I went to his other screening, where Sophia Loren attended. She is amazingly beautiful at any age! A full and wonderful day. — Katie


Screening of “Joint Effort”


We’re on a BOAT


May 18 - We never thought we’d be on a boat

I can’t believe it’s only been a few days — I’m starting to loose track. I’ve done so many amazing things at the Cannes Film Festival. Today, on a whim, Lela and I walked past the rows of multimillion dollar yachts looking for a man I flew in with who invited me aboard his yacht for drink. It was a very casual invitation and I wasn’t sure if we would ever actually be able to connect. Not only did he have us come aboard for drinks, but we met other amazing filmmakers, distributors and even a reporter from CNN. We had an amazing lunch followed by cheesecake and the strongest thimbleful of espresso I have ever had. We shared stories and screened a short film by one of the filmmakers. It was a phenomenal afternoon with a fabulous host! — Katie


Lela and Katie were invited onto a yacht.



Third day here at Cannes. Started out great with a red carpet screening of Tommy Lee Jones’s new movie called The Homesman, also staring Hilary Swank. It was a pretty good film over all, though not as good as True Grit, from a few years ago, which it was strikingly similar to. After a huge tank drove down the road with the entire all-star cast of The Expendables 3 sitting on top, drawing all the tourists out to the Coisette and making walking much easier, we then moved onto a great afternoon on a swanky yacht with lots of big movie professionals. Today was full of delicious food and delightful company. Even a few good films thrown and for good measure. More tomorrow! — Lela


Cannes Oui Party?


May 17 Posts from Producers Lela Winton and Katie Damien

Hi Asheville! Having a great time here at the Cannes film Festival. Today I got my first pass to a grand theater premier: The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones. His directorial debut! It’s screening tomorrow morning, so wish me luck.



The festival is huge and busy with people everywhere. The Mediterranean Sea is beautiful and incredibly blue. There are people from all over the world and the hotels really know how to do it up in style! Last night I went to a cocktail party at the Thailand pavilion and had some great food and conversation.

Our screening for Tuesday is filling up with 70% of the seats already accounted for. Still have seven days to go at the festival, and have seen quite a few stars and directors. Really looking forward to meeting more people. Tonight we are going to a cocktail party on a quarter billion dollar yacht. #excited! — Lela Winton


Lela and Katie on the red carpet


The big news of the day was the two parties we crashed at night. Lela and I went to a party hosted by Thailand. It was by invitation only and we were lucky enough to score two invitations standing in line! The princess of Thailand was there, there were live performances and films shown. We sipped our drinks and ate fantastic Thai food. Then it was off to the next big party of the night, hosted by Germany. We did not have invitations and were nearly stopped by security but somehow managed to finagle our way in. We hobnobbed with German filmmakers for a while, then strolled past the yachts before calling it a night. — Katie




Had an amazing night. Started off the evening meeting some great filmmakers who hooked us up with a gentleman who got us in to the Thai national films party. It was a huge deal — very exclusive. Only about 100 people got in. Her Royal Highness the princess of Thailand was there and gave a talk and then there was a live film/Thai boxing demonstration, drinks and food. It was amazing! Then we casually snuck into a beach party for the German film commission. It was a huge party and also very exclusive. After the German Party we headed out to yacht row. The yachts were bumping with parties. Someone mistook me for a star and introduced me to their group as if I was Amy Adams. Now we are back at our apartment getting ready to sleep, because I have a red carpet screening tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. for The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones. — Lela




Doctor Who on my Flight to Cannes


May 16 Is there a Doctor on the plane?

Flying in, I had a bit of an ordeal with getting to France. But it turned out to be a match made in heaven when I flew from London straight into Nice.  On my flight [I] saw not only Guy Pierce (who probably would have been completely cool but I was too intimidated by to even approach) but also Matt Smith — the new Dr. Who — who was super friendly and awesome. He was much more approachable, so [below] is his photo. Very nice guy. Finally [to] Cannes and completely jetlagged … will have more tomorrow. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Joint Effort


Today we were informed that our latest short film, Joint Effort was selected as one of the top 15 films in the National 72 Hour Film challenge. This is an international competition and we are thrilled to be chosen. It’s now up for viewing on YouTube and those top films are in the running for Audience Choice Award. A “like” of Joint Effort is a vote for Joint Effort.  


You can watch Joint Effort here


We are proud of this film, and it was in fact a joint effort. Collaboration is a key part of our creative and business process and it was in full effect on this project. From our Go Pro experts Justin Mitchell and Chris Neumann to Sean David Robinson and Courtney DeGennaro who worked behind the scenes to make props and go on store runs, we are blessed to work with wonderful people.


An example of this is the brainstorming session that hatched the premise of the film. After a number of ideas had been thrown around, the story that was starting to take shape centered around people playing cards and trading stories.  Then came someone’s old idea about people who get their smartphones mixed up at a party which in turn sparked someone else’s memory of the time their parents eneded up in a rental car that wasn’t theirs. From there, it took on a life of it’s own, with everyone adding something to the mix, and in the end we had the story that would become Joint Effort. Even the name of the film itself was found during an impromtu brainstorming session between takes in an alleyway!


Thanks for reading!


The Gorillas  

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