President Obama personally requested a copy of Finding Joe. I don’t normally use this expression BUT… I swear to God!!
My very good friend, Howell Caldwell, found me on the night of the Los Angeles premier and pulled me aside to say he had news regarding Akiva Goldman, who is in the film. I break into a cold sweat thinking he’s about to tell me Akiva doesn’t want to be in the film; already thinking the worst.
He waited, a long time, then said, “I was contemplating waiting until after the movie was over, but I think I’ll just tell you now. The President of the United States has requested a screener of Finding Joe.”
It takes a minute to process because I needed to make sure he said “…of the United States.” Maybe I heard wrong, maybe he said President of the Doo Dah Parade? But no, he clears it up by saying, “Barak Obama,” and all I can say is, “Oooooh.” I ask him, “How did the President find out about this little movie?” To which he replied, “He’s the President, he probably knew about it before you did.” Made sense to me! He then proceeded to explain the chain of events.
The President had somehow found out about the film. Maybe a friend told him? Perhaps he was a Joseph Campbell fan already? In any case, his personal aide, Reggie Love, started searching for Finding Joe. He went right to the top of the business and called CAA Chairman Richard Lovett, who, of course, has no idea what he’s talking about. Richard got his minions on the case and reported back that Akiva Goldman is in the film. Finally! A connection. Richard knows Akiva.
He called Akiva and explained that Reggie Love was requesting the movie on behalf of POTUS (President of the United States). Now, I’ve only met Akiva through my friend Howell, and beyond the one hour interview we did together, the man has no idea who I am. So, he called Howell and said, “What the hell is going on? POTUS wants a copy of this film. I need the filmmaker’s contact info.”
It takes a few emails, but all of a sudden Reggie Love is instructing me to write an intro letter to POTUS and send two copies of the film to his apartment in D.C., which I did. About a week goes by, and I get another email saying Reggie wants my mailing address!! OK, why would he want my mailing address? Yeah, I’m thinking the same thing you are. POTUS wants to write me a wonderful thank you note on Presidential stationery! He wants to say it was the best film he had ever seen! He wants to invite me to the White House to do a personal screening for the cabinet… DUH!
So, like a 6-year-old waiting for Santa Claus, I wait by the mailbox. Everyday the mailman comes and everyday it’s the same, no letter. After the first week, I would say a little prayer as the mailman walked up the path to my front door. After the second week, I think I gave up. It’s been over 16 weeks, and everyday I still check the mail and everyday I still get disappointed. Hey POTUS!! I know you are a little busy right now, but how about a letter? A note? A post-it will be just fine!!