Saturday, February 16, 2013

movies, a river, and quesadillas: the SAICFF 2013

Hello lovely blogger world! I must apologize for coming off as a bit downhearted in my last post. You know how sometimes your so inspired--so moved--maybe by prayer, that you MUST share the deepest part of your soul? That's how I felt then. And today? Well, God is beautiful. And life is beautiful. . .more beautiful than I can express. And homemade macaroni and cheese inside me (with this morning's coffee,) makes it THAT much more beautiful. I have a great and awesome Lord. The sun isn't shining, but I feel it within me. The windows are open--letting in that first, subtle spring-tinged breeze. Best yet, I was invited--no, my way is being paid (k, I'm going halves, but that's just fair, ;) ) to visit my bestie on the West Coast. THAT could be nothing but a work of divine providence. He knows our every need! And now I say, goodbye discouragement!--I'm 22 (more on that in a very-near-future-post,) and yes, trials come, but there is good lurking around the corner of every faithful heart. Can't wait to write this new chapter. Big things are happening.

So. I have trillions of blog post ideas running like crazy through my head. . .which means, lucky for you--I won't be sitting here struggling for inspiration. . .for several months at least. ;) The Hobbit review I promised is nearly done. . .and I WILL vlog at some point (am I the only person who HATES themselves on camera? Ick.) And well. . .I'd better splurge every detail of the hugely-awesome SAICFF NOW while it's still fresh and living and in everything I think, feel, and say.

As some of you have probably figured out, my big adventure--my fernweh--was the 2013 San Antonio Independent Christian Film FestivalYou might also remember that Anna and I attended last years festival and had the time of our lives. In a very different way. See, we drove last year--a grueling 24 hour drive that left us deeply bonded, pumpkin-headed, and on a granola-bar-and-M&M-weight-loss-program. ;)

This year we flew. . .alone for the very first time.

Of course we did a lot of nonsensical fretting, because truly, the Lord planned every detail of our trip. We even survived the TSA (I'll refrain from further comments,) and both layovers in Atlanta. Flying alone was actually very satisfying--it forced us to fend for ourselves in a big world that isn't always thoughtful or kind. It forced us to keep our cool when running like two orphaned children to catch a connecting flight. . .alllll the way across the basement of an airport, (over 30 gates!) up two (unbelievably slow) escalators, and over three floors. Not to mention downhill-roller-coaster-turbulence from SA to Atlanta.

Anna made a comment to me this morning--"since when did we grow up?" It's thought provoking. When do we grow up? When do we become adults?--maybe Peter Pan was wrong after all. (horror of horrors!)  Because overnight I've turned 22. Overnight I've gotten so much experience flying that I'm confident enough to travel to Washington. Overnight my married friends are inviting me to visit them. Overnight the way I view the world is changing. . .

It was breathtaking, seeing my San Antonio again after a year. Because when Michaela loves something, she throws away chunks of her heart. It's scattered over various people, Disneyland, The Graveyard in MI, our restored Victorian square. . .and the highly spiced, colorful, whimsically Latino San Antonio Riverwalk.

I'm firmly convinced that the riverwalk is one of the most magical places on earth. Something like Louis L'amour meant when he asked, "what is romance?" The Riverwalk does that for me, especially at night, when lights dance over the water, everything is still, everything so dreamy and peaceful. It makes me quiet (maybe I'll just move there and spare my family the constant chatter :P )--strolling under bridges, admiring crooked palm trees, seeing the riverboats and people-friendly ducks. . .knowing that at the end lies one of my favorite events of all time: the film festival. And all the people I love.


It started with lunch at the cutest little Mexican restaurant in the cutest historic area. Big brick mansions, 70 degree weather, friends, and quesadillas. Doesn't get much better than that. :) Afterward we checked into our hotel, had deep philosophical discussions, and spent a whirlwind of a first day jet-lagged, immensely happy, full of Charlie Zham and good fellowship. 

{Sneak-peak of lunch and lunch people. aka, Anna and I with our friends Stacy and Josh. Josh actually doubled as our escort (and official coffee supplier ;) )  for the weekend. Very, very grateful for my "adopted" brothers. :) }

We didn't make it to any movies that day, but it was such a blessing hanging out with new and old friends, I didn't care. Which, btw, this SAICFF was doubly amazing because SO many of my special film people were all together in one place. It was like a huge Beyond the Mask reunion. (to all of you who couldn't make it--especially my sewing girls--you were there in spirit!) 


A good big breakfast was much appreciated in the morning. ;) Granola bars are somewhat of a trend when Anna and I travel. Anywho--we shared our hotel room (on the 19th floor! Amazing view of the city from up there,) with three of the lovely young ladies we sewed with over the summer. 

{yes. . .I was sad. This was our last night in SA. Though it may have helped if the photographer said WHEN to smile. ;) On another note, the costumes you see? They are everyday, usual attire for these ppls. Pretty awesome or what? }
{Friends. I didn't get photos with everyone--so much hustle and bustle from one movie to another, lectures and  whatnot-- but here are a couple. Shout out for Hedrick Brothers Productions and For Heaven's Sake! Productions.}

To make a very long story short--the remainder of the weekend included coffee (because smart people know there is no life without it, ;) ) music, trying to remember to eat. . .and of course dozens of inspiring films (including Indescribable [neat seeing so many friends on the "big screen"] and The Lost Medallion,) but especially the SAICFF's Audience Choice, Best Feature, and runner up for Best of Festival: Return to the Hiding Place. I may or may not have seen it twice. #oneofthemostincrediblywellmadeandheartrendingmoviesI'veEVERseen

{and I may or may not have been so excited to see John Rhys-Davies I  announced to the lady sitting next to me "I was hugged by that guy TWICE!"}  

Oh yes, and the crew party for Beyond the Mask. And the sneak-peak clips we watched. And the fact that I saw my mom. . .and myself. Twice. Totally humiliating? You bet. :P Especially since I look all blotchy and very obviously have a cold. *ahem* Otherwise, this is going to be a stunning film (running out of adjectives. . .I think I've used every one in the book in this post, ;) ) And I'm not just saying that because it's "our" movie. 

{Oscar DeGrate--aka the official mascot of Beyond the Mask}

The closing ceremony was beautiful. I was very inspired by the Best of Festival winners testimony (The Drop Box) and so blessed to meet him at the San Antonio airport the next day! (God works in mysterious ways.) Mr. Phillips and Faith sang Time to Say Goodbye (which was more than slightly breathtaking since Andrea Bocelli is my favorite singer in all the world,) and the Lord was praised and glorified throughout.


Have I caught the vision of Christian film making? YES a hundred times. Movie people are special. . .and the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival does the powerful work that brings them together. Not only to revolutionize the world, but in fellowship and Christian bonding. I may have only been a very small fraction of one Independent movie, but I am so proud, so excited to see what God will do in the history of Christian film. . .and to be one small voice promoting and cheering my teammates on.

I miss you, San Antonio. And I miss you, my dear, beautiful brothers and sisters in Christ. More then you will ever know. Thank you for making this girl very happy, and thank you Vision Forum for making the magic happen!


  1. I love the river walk in San Antonio. Just be glad the film festival isn't in June/July! I don't think I've ever been so hot, phew! I also love film making. Maybe someday I'll be able to go.

  2. Wow, looks like you had an amazing time! I would really love to go to the SAICFF some day.

  3. Oh no you are NOT the only person who hates themselves on camera. . . . Oh, and I meant to ask you, is John Rhys-Davies a Christian?

    1. haha. . .k, that makes me feel better. I think. :P

      No, unfortunately he is not. Prayerfully he'll become one though, being around so many Christians and working on so many Christian films. It was pretty impossible not to see a testimony for Jesus on the set of Beyond the Mask!

  4. How fun! I hope you had a great time! Washington?! Where in Washington? Maybe I will get to meet you someday ;) thanks for sharing the update :)
    Love in Christ,

  5. Ahh, I was already hit with spring fever! Now the travel bug? I need to go someplace warm and sunny and just well amazing. <3

    It looks like you had an amazing time! I haven't travelled on a plane for about three years, so I'm having withdrawals. ;)


  6. Looks like you had a great time! I loved seeing all of the photos you took....the view in San Antonio looks gorgeous!

  7. What an incredible opportunity! I have a friend who did a film thing like this in Ohio actually. I can't remember the name of the film, but it was something that had to do with the end times and she worked on it with a behind the scenes crew for several months. She really enjoyed it. It's cool how you are involved in this way. :)

  8. Wow, that looks like so much fun!!! I have some friends who went to the SAICFF too. You may have met them since they are friends with and just made a movie with your friend Stacy. (Seth and Harmony Haley?)

    1. Neat that your friends were there, Maria! I didn't meet them--though their names sound familiar. Which movie did they work on?

    2. I think it was called The Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club or something similar.

  9. Love the river walk! So much charm. :) It sounds like such a fun weekend! I know all about how flying alone can be scary! I recently flew alone on an 8 hour flight! And it was such a relief to finally get there! I'm looking forward to your upcoming posts!

  10. Amazing post! lol NO you are absolutely not the only person who hates themselves on camera!!! ;o )

    I love the pictures! Especially the very first one. :o )
    Michaela, of all the blogs I read yours is definitely the one that makes me laugh the most and hardest!!!!! :o )


Thank you for visiting Rhapsody in PINK, friend! I hope it has blessed you in some little way. Please remember to stop in again. . .and leave a name with your comment (if you do not have a Blogger account.)