But LA was, I think, an unqualified success. Our first screening, at UCLA, was organized by a Hawaiian UCLA grad student named Pua Warren, and was intended to garner feedback on the film from people who knew nothing about the Marianas. (Which is, of course, our principal target audience.)
We didn't get as many filmmakers as I would have liked -- but we had about 20 people, which was what I had hoped for. About half were either Pacific Islander or 'other indigenous,' but only four people had more than a little knowledge of the film's subject, and overall, everyone seemed to like it a lot. No one could find any places that felt boring or slow, and everyone was able to follow the story -- even one woman who had come in late and missed the opening. My friend (and music editor extraordinaire) Vordo gamely gave us some very thorough and well-articulated feedback from a white male mainlander perspective (despite being the only white male in the room), which I think will prove useful to us in the final edit. AND he liked my music choices for the soundtrack! :)
The jury is still out, though, on the title. A few people loved it. A few people thought it was too oblique. One person simply put 'meh' on her questionnaire. But no one recommended an alternative. So if anyone out there has any ideas for a better title, please comment!!
Next up, a report on the CSU Long Beach screening...