So, the weekend of 4/17/09 in Asheville was pretty much all Hatchfest, all the time. If you don’t know, Hatchfest was started by local artist and businessman Sean O’Connell to highlight the interdisciplinary coolness of film, dance, fashion, music, architecture and so on. Of course I spent all my time with the filmmakers — mostly a bunch of Sundance vets who brought their fabulous films (and even more fabulous approaches and inspirational stories) to our fair city.

Adrian Belic, who masterminded the incredible Genghis Blues, Marianna Palka, with her wonderful film Good Dick, Talmage Cooley (who’s about to hit it big with Patriotville) — these filmmakers showed us local rubes how do do it with style and panache.

Perhaps the best thing I learned was how to keep from being a jaded, ‘been there done that’ type, and re-engage in the wonder of sharing film festival horror stories, trade secrets and just stupid jokes with my fellow storytellers. And to see some cool movies.

Being an artist is hard enough, of course, without feeling like you’re completely alone. It was a very inspiring time to be with these intelligent, faith-affirming artists, and to re-learn the joy of sharing. It’s easy to succumb to being jaded and cynical, so it was really good to reconnect with the simple pleasures of being with someone who has walked some of the same paths that I have.

Thanks to all the Hatchfest guys for making it happen. You made a difference!

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