Double Dummy Festival Premiere


Just after lunchtime, on Tuesday September 26th, I got a text message from my dear friend Joe asking, “any word on when your movie is playing?” He was referring to the festival premiere of Double Dummy which will be taking place on Saturday November 11th as part of the Virginia Film Festival.

That night, Festival Director Jody Kielbasa and Programmer Wesley Harris took turns introducing this years schedule. While I already knew that Double Dummy would be screening in this year’s festival, I did not know if they would mention the film while announcing the slate. That led to some anticipatory nervousness. I did not want to get my hopes up, and I that same time I knew I would be disappointed if they failed to mention it.

There was a time when I thought being included in my hometown festival was a foregone conclusion. After several rejections from other festivals and accidentally missing the VFF submission deadline, I have been disavowed of this belief. I am now incredibly grateful for the opportunity. #universelessons

The 30th VFF marks the festival premiere for Double Dummy and I could not think of a better place to share the film. The Jefferson Bridge Association has a strong membership base here in Charlottesville and it is where I really learned how to play the game. Part of the reason that I made this film was so that people would know that there might be a local bridge club in their hometown. For the first seven years that I played the game, I had no idea that JBA existed.

I owe an incredible debt of gratitude to my sister Melissa, who attended the party with me Tuesday, in this regard. She is the one who told me she had a group of friends that needed a fourth for their bridge classes. This led me to meet my first bridge teacher Chouky who introduced me to duplicate at the JBA.

In the early going, the big game was on Wednesday afternoons at a local church activity building. Chouky had a busy schedule so I could only play with her once a month. Eventually, she found another young player, a UVA student, and he became my second regular partner. I loved going to the bridge club in those days and still do. In fact, I am playing Wednesday.

Back to Melissa, for the beginning of my bridge career, I played bridge whenever I could with my parents and Melissa being our fourth. She was not nearly as keen as me or my parents for that matter, but she was always willing to help us complete a game. I really am thankful that I listened to the friend that suggested I bring her with me on Tuesday. Even though we were not standing together when Wesley talked about Double Dummy in the slate of Virginia based films, it made me feel good knowing she was in the room supporting me. Thank you Melissa, for all that you have done to help foster my love for bridge.

Double Dummy will be screening in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday November 11th from 2-4 pm. The screening will take place at St. Anne’s-Belfield and you can buy tickets here. Joe will be there, and I am betting Melissa will be there too. Please come and join us.

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