Dreams: the 2002 Lost in La Mancha tour

Edited by Phil Stubbs.

Throughout 2002, the makers of Lost in La Mancha have been plugging their film around the world. That is: directors Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe, and producer Lucy Darwin. And Terry Gilliam went along to many of the screenings. In February, the film received its World Premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Then the gang attended a screenings in Montone. The UK premiere was in Cambridge in July, which was followed by previews and Q&As around the UK. In September, the filmmakers were shipped over to the Telluride, Toronto and Doctober film festivals.

On this page is Lou Pepe's photo diary of the London premiere and Lucy Darwin's text diary of both the UK tour and the Telluride screening in Colorado.

Official Site @ www.lostinlamancha.com

UK tour
Here is a selection of Lou Pepe's photos from the night of the London premiere of Lost in La Mancha, together with his own captions. Click on the images for detailed pictures.

Terry Gilliam and Keith wait for the big show to begin.
Even though he's seen the film, Terry still talks to us!

You know you've made a real movie when your
poster hangs above a concession stand

Who watches the film anymore?
We're outside taking pictures of the marquee.

The party afterwards - just a small,
quiet gathering with a few friends.

At the party, Johnny Depp asks, "Who let you guys in?"
Meanwhile, Terry tries to impersonate the animations of himself from the documentary.

Lost in La Mancha - the UK tour, by Lucy Darwin (written for Pythonline and Dreams)
Lost In La Mancha had its London Premiere on Thursday 25th July. It was an incredible night and rounded off a week of special events which began with the UK Premiere at the Cambridge Film Festival last Saturday night. Tony Jones and his team treated us like royalty with a reception in Trinity College overlooking the river, followed by a sold-out screening on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Cambridge will be remembered fondly for all sorts of reasons... my friend Micky Astor's first question in the Q&A suggested that Lost In La Mancha was actually an incredibly sophisticated hoax...Not TRUE!! He also helpfully pointed out that our almost famous F-16's are in fact F-18's - Micky is obviously a plane spotter in his spare time..Then we legged it up to Glasgow, where the Glasgow Film Theatre's Alison managed to heighten my nerves by reminding me that we were in Glasgow and that the honesty of the audiences would force them to tell us immediately if they liked the film "if they don't like it, they'll just stand up in the cinema and tell you its shite" Thanks Alison... luckily it went down very well. By the way if you are ever in need of a hotel in Glasgow I urge you to stay at the Arthouse. Fantastic rooms and great food. Then off to Edinburgh for a preview at the Filmhouse, Keith and Lou and I had been there before with The Hamster Factor, so it was a lovely way to return and the audience was just as appreciative. Our friend Phil Stubbs introduced both of the Scottish previews and handled the Q&As with great aplomb.

Then on Thursday we rushed back to London for the Screen On The Green in Islington for the London Premiere. Romaine Hart and Roger Austin from Mainline who run the Screen Cinemas and Will Clarke, Danny Perkins, Virginia Nelson, John and Liz from Optimum our wonderful distributors pulled off a marvellous event. Terry Gilliam, his wife Maggie and their daughters Amy and Holly all came and were supported by some famous friends: Michael Palin was there and represented the Python family. Film Directors who came along included Stephen Frears and David Leland, also there was actress Tara Fitzgerald. Dustin Hoffman's seats (he said he was coming and then was a no-show) were given up to the hoards of people who still didn't have seats as the lights went down - it was a very packed house, and a wonderful audience. Romaine, who was my first boss almost twenty years ago when I started as an usherette in her cinemas introduced me - I made a little speech welcoming the crowd who included many people from behind and in front of our film such as writer Tony Grisoni, script supervisor Nikki Clapp, editor Peter Boyle, the casting director Irene Lamb and Terry's long-time friend and producer the seriously suave and marvellous Ray Cooper. Louis Pepe and Keith Fulton, the directors of Lost In La Mancha told everyone to try and enjoy what they dub "a guilty pleasure" in reference to the fact that this film is both an entertaining pleasure and heartbreaking tragedy all at once. They introduced Terry to the audience who took time to remind everyone that this is not just about his journey but also a record of the huge investment of time, energy and creative enthusiasm of the hundreds of people who worked with him on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. The film played very well and the audience applauded with great enthusiasm as the credits rolled.

The party afterwards was at La Finca, a spanish restaurant on Pentonville Road which hosted us with copious amounts of Manchego cheese and Spanish ham helped down with tons of Sol beer and wine from La Mancha - the party went on until the very small hours. I gave up at around 2am but there were still plenty of party-goers enjoying the Salsa music. Johnny Depp (who is currently at Shepperton Studios making Neverland) came to the party and had to fight his way in through the crowds of other invited guests and photographers. He made a special effort to come because he's a huge fan of the film and of course a close friend of Terry's. His presence was hugely appreciated by the crowd and made the night even more special for those of us who made the film! A truly wonderful evening and a great way to launch the film in London. Don't forget you can still see a preview next Thursday August 1st at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank. Film starts at 8.20pm and there will be a Q&A with Keith, Louis and myself after the film - so get your tricky questions ready! If you can't get in to that screening, there are special Q&A's at cinemas all around London on the films' opening weekend 2nd, 3rd and 4th of August - check the press for details or our website www.lostinlamancha.com. Lucy Darwin - Saturday (Day two of the hang-over) 27th July 2002

Keith Fulton: "Me and TG awaiting an interview on our press junket in Toronto.
We look like rock stars on a binge. Ready at any moment to trash the hotel room."

Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe, Terry Gilliam and I went to the Telluride Film Festival - as the festival selected Lost In La Mancha as one of the films for this year's event. It was in fact our North American premiere. For those who are as ignorant and geographically challenged as I was before going there, this is a small town in the Colorado mountains which has evolved from a mining town into a rather exclusive ski resort. During the summer, the town is transformed into a film festival with cinemas which are created just for the four days of the festival. The majority of the towns inhabitants, plus many that come especially for the event, turn themselves into hosts, volunteers and workers for the visiting hoards of film lovers and filmmakers. A cinephiles' paradise, Telluride is all about 'show' but without most of the business which makes it very different from most other film festivals.

Telluride is quite probably the most beautiful location for a festival anywhere and certainly it tops my experience. The town is almost 9,000 ft above sea level and the mountains that surround it are another 10-12,000ft above that. On the first day of the festival it snowed and the mountains acquired an extra beauty - being snowcapped for a few days. Throughout the day the mountains change in colour - the light is extraordinary. We were fortunate indeed with the weather which was very hot during the day and extremely cold at night. Many of the guests found it hard to adjust to the altitude which made us all a bit foggy, gave others headaches and for some unfortunate souls, sleepless nights.

This festival is also unique because the programme is secret. No one knows until the day before the festival starts what films will be shown. Festival goers simply come to Telluride and buy a pass which will give them access to a number of films of which they have no prior knowledge - it's the best kind of surprise! Also this festival is special because everyone (and I mean everyone including the filmmakers and actors) queue up to get into the screenings and if you don't make it in, you still get to meet and talk to wonderful people. Probably unique to the ever growing number of festivals, the filmmakers, actors and the public get to mingle and talk - you are likely to meet your favourite directors and actors as you buy your morning coffee! The festival chiefs Bill Pence, Stella Pence and Tom Luddy clearly know how to make this festival special for all those who make the trip.

Telluride boasted an incredible array of films and participants -we felt very honoured to be among such a crowd which included; Peter O'Toole, Paul Schrader, Bertrand Tavernier, Werner Hertzog, Wilem Dafoe, Ralph Fiennes, David Cronenberg, Michael Moore, Larry Clark, and many others.

Lost In La Mancha was shown four times (three official screenings and an extra one laid on at the last minute as it was so popular). The audiences responded very warmly to the film, to our directors and to our 'star' Terry Gilliam. On each occasion the film was shown with a truly great, unique and thought-provoking animated short film called "Anglobilly Feverson" by Rosto AD. Rosto who comes from Amsterdam was also experiencing Telluride for the first time and I'm happy to say we became friends. I'll be watching out for his future projects, so talented and so nice! You can check out his website.

Many of the audience are regulars, or perhaps 'devotees' to Telluride. Some people I met in one of the queues for a screening had been coming to the festival for 22 years without a break. They claimed they would miss a family wedding rather than miss this festival which was indelibly etched on their yearly calendar. For many it's a considerable trip, some people I met had come from as far as San Francisco - of course some of the filmmakers had come from further afield, but I'm talking about punters, people who choose to come year in year out for the experience of watching new films in this rarefied environment. I should warn you, its not easy to get there! My experience was straight out of Planes, Trains and Automobiles for those who know their Steve Martin classics. But I was lucky to be there and I have our US distributors IFC films (Jonathan, Harold, Greg and Elisabeth) to thank for the privilege.

The film played very well and we also got to see Terry Gilliam interviewed by Salman Rushdie which was as you can imagine a great treat. The In Conversation With talk covered all aspects of Gilliam's career and was extremely entertaining.

Festival closes with a picnic/barbeque polished off with lots of ice cream - what a way to go! I sincerely hope to have an excuse to return to Telluride soon. If you want to know more about Telluride, try their website.
Lucy Darwin, 24/09/02

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