After Sundance Samir went to stay with his family, it was poignant moment, he met his wife for the first time in 5 years, they held each other, hugging and crying, very moving. The young Casanova felt like an old man now.. I left him there for 4 weeks came back to the UK.
We were reunited when I returned to show the film in Boulder, Colorado. Samir was a different man, he’d been groomed by his loving wife. She’d even cleaned all his fingernails and toe nails as well as groomed his ponytail. I thought he was maybe be going to reunite with her when his visa eventually come through. But no, he told me he’d been bored and was desperate to get back on the road with the film. He wanted to get away again, so we took to the air and landed in Boulder, a great Colorado town where we met the fabulous Beeck sisters. They are an amazing trio who make films together with fabulously supportive parents. The best hosts yet. We were received in splendour with a fine hotel, drinks and all, but no cigarettes, Samir nearly got a ticket for smoking in the street. Boulder is one of those clean US towns but the Beeck sisters made up for that, especially Robin who would nip away for crafty cigarettes whenever she got the chance. We developed an intimate relationship, like kids behind the school bike sheds smoking secretly.
The closing night was in a 850 seat theatre which was packed. There was an awards ceremony before the film, we were at the bar as usual casually watching the show not expecting to be part of it as our film hadn’t been screened yet… Then out of the blue we were called out and we were given an award of excellence. They played our film and Samir was taken back stage behind the screen to where a piano was hidden. Samir changed into a tuxedo and took his place at a grand piano, he was lit by a bright light from above, then, as the film finished, the screen rolled back to reveal him sitting there. The crowd cheered and he played for 30 minutes, it became a rock concert. I stood looking from the sidelines thinking of all the times he’d told me he wanted fame, recognition, in America; and here it was. I felt and proud and happy for Samir that my film had brought him a little closer to his dream.