When you last heard from us, we were getting ready for three premieres of My Love Affair With Marriage - all scheduled within five days of each other: the World Premiere at Tribeca Festival in New York City, the European Premiere at Festival international du film d'animation d'Annecy, France, and the Latin American Premiere at FICG - Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara, Mexico. The film was selected to be in competition at all three festivals. Thank you Jan Naszewski and the team at New Europe Film Sales for making this possible.
You might think that after taking seven years to complete the film our work might be done. No. With three festivals happening at once, we had much to do - subtitles, trailer, poster, marketing materials and more. New Europe Film Sales (NEFS) hired a company to create a trailer (on the "Welcome" page of this website). Signe worked on an image for the poster and after many discarded ideas, drafts and consultations we finally had a poster.
To get the word out, NEFS hired publicist Hilda Somarriba and her Los Angeles company Prism Media Group to handle the world premiere at Tribeca Festival. With Hilda navigating the media landscape, requests for interviews poured in.
One Monday, Signe had six straight hours of Zoom interviews, four of them with Dagmara Dominczyk who voices Zelma, the leading character of My Love Affair With Marriage.
Most of the interviews were for print, but a few were for radio and podcasts, and some posted Zoom interviews online.
This interview with Signe and Dagmara can be seen on the "Video" page of this website
Tribeca Festival is one of the top film festivals in the U.S. It has a broad agenda encompassing films, talks, retrospective screenings, TV, audio storytelling, games and more. For feature films there are two separate competitions - ten films in the U.S. category and ten in International. As My Love Affair With Marriage is a Latvia / USA / Luxembourg co-production, it was in the International category and the only animated feature film to be included in either program. The fact that the film was competing against live-action features was a triumph in itself. This does not happen often.
It was special to premiere the film in New York City. We could invite the actors, the team, our friends! And Tribeca had a red carpet. As it had been a long time since Signe had stepped on a red carpet, Publicist Hilda Somarriba took her shopping to elevate her from hardworking Brooklyn artist to a more glamorous self. Impulsively, Signe chose a pink flower dress.
On the Red Carpet: actor Cameron Monaghan, Signe, actors Dagmara Dominczyk
and Emma Kenney, producers Roberts Vinovskis, Sturgis Warner
On the Red Carpet: actors Brian Dykstra, Ruby Modine, Laila Robins,
Najla Said, Michael Laurence, Michele Pawk
On the Red Carpet: actors Jennifer Dorr White, Dan Domingues,
Carolyn Baeumler, Christiana Pumariega, Stephen Lang
Village East at Angelika originally opened as a Yiddish Theater in 1926. It was rebuilt into a movie multiplex in 1991. The premiere was in the largest venue, Cinema 1, with packed audience.
Pre-premiere / Post-premiere Q&A with Signe and Dagmara
Two days later: France.
Annecy is the largest animation festival in the world. This year 13,248 people from 106 countries attended. Annecy had over 300 screenings and 165 special events. In addition to the festival, there is the Annecy International Animation Film Market or "Mifa" where animation professionals gather to network and make deals.
My Love Affair With Marriage was in the Official Selection for Animated Feature Films, ten animated features competing for awards.
Many of our international team also came to Annecy including Luxembourg Producer Raoul Nadalet, Italian Composer Kristian Sensini (whom we met for the first time after nine years of working together), Supervisor of Colorists Anete Matvejeva from Latvia, Katarzyna Siniarska of New Europe Film Sales in Poland, and almost all of the sound team from Philophon Studios in Luxembourg. Joining us from Sweden was Lasse Persson, Signe's second husband and the inspiration for Bo as voiced by Matthew Modine.
Front: Lasse Persson, Signe Baumane, Diana Jorge, Loïc Collignon.
Middle: Anete Matvejeva, Ken Nnganyadi, Anthony Juret, Katarzyna Siniarska.
Back: Kristian Sensini, Sturgis Warner, Raoul Nadalet
The European premiere was in the Bonlieu Center Performance Hall which seats close to 2,000.
Pre-premiere / Post-premiere
Altogether, there were six screenings. For some reason Annecy hadn't scheduled Q&As for feature films, so for the screenings after the premiere we organized our own.
Every morning Signe went to the Bonlieu Center to make paper flowers in support of Ukraine and gave them to whomever wanted one. By the end of the festival numerous attendees had the yellow and blue flowers attached to their badges.
On Saturday was the Awards Ceremony at the Bonlieu Center Performance Hall, much of it in French.
Pre-awards / Awards
The Crystal, the top prize for Feature Competition, went to a French film, but the jury did grace My Love Affair With Marriage with the "Distinctive Jury Award".
Signe accepts the award flanked by Jury member Charlotte de la Gournerie
and Festival Director Marcel Jean / Celebrating with Raoul, Sturgis and Anete
Hours later, in a different time zone in Guadalajara Mexico, Roberts accepted "Mención Honorífica Jurado Rigo Mora en Largometraje" or second place for My Love Affair With Marriage in the International Animated Feature Film category.
Producer Roberts Vinovskis accepting the award at FICG
Signe and Sturgis made it back to New York in time for the final Tribeca screening. Four of our actors who were unable to attend the premiere were also there necessitating an impromptu second red carpet.
With actors Florencia Lozano, Tracy Thorne, Anna O'Donoghue, Erica Schroeder
What's next for My Love Affair With Marriage? For the time being, more film festivals as our team works to get a distribution plan in place.
Thank you for all your support!
Signe, Sturgis and the entire My Love Affair With Marriage Team