When the opening titles for RUSH started to blink on the screen last night and the packed house started to cheer I was able to relax a little more and enjoy the film, assured by the obvious fact that the Jalopnik Film Festival was a great success. But this isn't the end. This is just the beginning.
As I told the crowd Wednesday night at the Classic Car Club Manhattan, the reason why no one has been able to do this before is because it is just as hard to do as everyone had warned me it would be. It requires a ton of things to break your way, and I'm fortunate that it did and that we had a great bunch of people at Gawker Media and Jalopnik willing to put in the time and effort to make it a success.
Of course, it helped that we had a great sponsor in Sony/GT6, who helped us steal Kazunori Yamauchi away from the Tokyo Games Expo to be a part of the JFF. There were three excellent directors willing to share their films and their time with us, as well as numerous entertaining panelists. The producers of RUSH were also kind enough to give us the ability to film that film first for our audience.
Our media partners, /DRIVE and Road & Track were a big help and I look forward to sharing the videos of the panels with you.
Finally, we couldn't have done this without support from the Jalopnik community. That so many people were willing to take a couple of days away from work or home to support car culture so enthusiastically is an encouraging sign.
This was the first one of these. It won't be the last. I had some great conversations with those involved in this year's JFF about how we can make it even bigger and better in the future. Stay tuned.