13 April, 2011 US premiere in Tallahassee and Key West

By Jan van den Berg.


On April 8th, Silent Snow had its US premiere at the Tallahassee Film festival in Florida and on the 10th it was also shown in Key West at the famous Tropic Cinema. I was invited to stay at the beautiful house of John Padget, together with Jacob Gelt Dekker, executive producer and supporter of Silent Snow.


First we went to Tallahassee, where festival director Carolyn Smith did a great job making the festival a real forum with lots of discussions and wonderful films. The screening of Silent Snow was a real success and I was happy to have the chance to be there. It was a fantastic experience. The hall where Silent Snow was shown was jam-packed with people who came and thanked me afterwards and told me they were deeply touched by the film. Many praised the way Pipaluk had guided them through the film, to all these places were all these impressive personal stories were told.


 I also received very positive reactions from colleague filmmakers present that day. They congratulated me with the film and a couple of them told me they had especially liked the great song of Don Timoteo ending under the waterfall in the forest. This song, they told me, would remain in their memories for a long time.


Afterwards, we held a Q&A and I told the audience that while editing the film we had done our very best to end each of the four stories (Greenland, India, Africa and Costa Rica) with a positive message. I told them about my neighbor back in Holland, who – after viewing one of the first versions the film - said:  “after you've finished silent snow we'll all have to commit suicide anyway”. Then, a lady came to me out of the audience and said: “my husband and I, we were afraid of going to the cinema because we thought we would be depressed afterwards, but we're not. Because despite the very serious message you made a beautiful piece of art”.


After Tallahassee, we had another great ‘special screening’ in the beautiful art deco Tropic Cinema in Key West, arranged by John and Jacob. That day, the first US review of Silent Snow came out in the Sunday's Solares Hill section of the Key West Citizen, written by writer and filmmaker Shirrel Rhoades. “Silent Snow makes Loud Statement”, it said, and “Silent Snow is more than a beautifully photographed travelogue. It’s a call to arms in the battle to save our planet. John Padget and Jacob Gelt Dekker may seem unlikely warriors, but they are bringing “Silent Snow” to the Tropic Cinema to help spread the alert about the global affect of deadly pollutants”. More than hundred people came to the screening on this sunny afternoon. And they loved the film. Again, I got a warm wave of emotional reactions and people who thanked me for making this film. I felt grateful for this experience. Hopefully more US reviews and screenings will follow soon.


To read the full Key West Citizen article, including an interview with John, Jacob and me, click here.


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