Libby makes the front page of the OC Register AGAIN

 Check out all our pictures from the festivals at Libby Blood Films 

O.C. filmmaker wows Cannes, N.Y., herself

You can easily guess the first couple of lines from a faux script we'll call "Libby Blood's Big Adventure."

It's a road movie, of sorts, telling the story of a 19-year-old filmmaker from Fullerton, Libby Blood, and the trip she and her family took to support "Lucy," the short film she entered at this year's Cannes International Film Festival.


We see an animated airplane follow a dotted line across part of the globe, from Los Angeles, over the Atlantic and finally to Nice, France. As the plane flies, we listen to ...


"When we left her, our plucky heroine, Libby Blood, along with part of her family, had packed their bags and taken flight for Cannes – though where they would sleep remained a mystery!"


LIBBY BLOOD, and her parents TODD and CATHY BLOOD, and the lead actress in "Lucy," 12-year-old KERA McKEON, step off a French bus and look around, in awe, at the crazy wonderland that is Cannes during the world's most famous film festival. We follow the crew as they wander the picturesque town. For Libby, it's a Technicolor dream come true.

And so on ...

You get the idea. Our imaginary movie about a young moviemaker raises a series of dramatic questions: Will Libby and her film find success? Will the Blood family survive a month on the road? Will they find a place to sleep?

"It was just so much fun," a very real Libby Blood said a few days after returning from their 41-day journey.

"(It was) so exciting, all the energy there. I felt like I was in the movies."


In May, this space told you about young Libby Blood and her film.

We told you that "Lucy" – a French-language short inspired in part by Libby Blood's younger brother's autism – had been admitted into Cannes' Short Film Corner. We told you the Bloods were considering extending the trip, after Cannes, to include the BosiFest festival in Belgrade, Serbia, where "Lucy" also was slated to be shown, and that on the way back to Orange County the Bloods and "Lucy" would spend a week at the New York City International Film Festival.

We even pointed out how Libby Blood and her parents were doing all this without a single hotel room booked and on a very limited budget.

Here are some answers.

First, yes, in Cannes, they found places to sleep. Initially they stayed at a tiny hotel, and later they stayed in an apartment.

Second, in Cannes, they killed it.

At the festival hall the Blood crew checked in and got their official Cannes badges that allowed access to nearly every part of the festival. After that, they headed off to the Short Film Corner, a marketplace in which to make deals and mingle with filmmakers from around the world.

The family had made postcards to serve as calling cards for "Lucy," and they handed those out to anyone who would take them.

"That was really fun, being able to meet all these amazing short filmmakers," Libby Blood said. "Wherever we were we'd talk about 'Lucy.'

"Once more people got to watch the film, that created a lot more buzz about it," she added.

Eventually, they booked a screening room and invited people to watch "Lucy," a period film set in 1930s France that was shot in a warehouse in Brea. Blood fought her natural shyness long enough to stand up in front of the crowd, introduce the movie and answer questions when it was all done.

By the time the two-week festival wrapped, in June, they'd done a bit of business, selling the rights to "Lucy" to distributors in France and Turkey.

If the film reps are able to sell it in their respective countries, Blood and her family production company will share in the profits.

"I've been hearing about it all my life," Blood said. "So being at Cannes, at the film festival, was kind of unreal."

The next stop on their adventure was supposed to be BosiFest. But concerns about security and timing prompted a cancellation. Instead, tight on money, the Blood crew booked a Mediterranean cruise – $399-per-person tickets that provided food and lodging for a week, along with stops in Barcelona, Mallorca and Rome.

Even while sightseeing, Libby Blood found time to network. In the cruise ship's bar, the piano player told them he was planning a move to Los Angeles. Libby might use him as a composer or performer for the soundtrack of a feature film idea set partly in the milieu of silent films and Charlie Chaplin.

"I'm an introvert, but I love meeting new people," she said. "And once I get to know them it's so much fun."

After the cruise, the crew flew to Manhattan, repeating their Cannes experience by scrounging for a room and then networking hard on red carpets and at after-party schmoozing.

In New York, closing night was awards night, and the first category on the program was "Best Student Short Film."

Libby Blood said she was even more nervous than she'd expected she'd be because she was up against college filmmakers from the United Kingdom, Israel and Australia.

"I had mixed feelings," she said of her pre-award ceremony mindset. "You have to get up and give a speech, so I was thinking, 'I hope another one wins so I don't have to get up.'

"But I really want(ed) to win, too," she added.

The nominees' names were read, the envelope opened.

And then they paused for what seemed forever.


The final page of "Libby Blood's Big Adventure" shouldn't be so easy to script.

But it is.


As we scan the room we see presenters on the stage, holding an envelope with the name of the winner of best student short film. At a table in the crowd, Libby Blood squirms.


The winner is ... "Lucy," USA!

Yes, the indie "Libby Blood's Big Adventure" has a Hollywood ending.

"I was, like, shocked," Libby Blood said. "I was kind of, like, blown away."

Libby Blood can't tell you a word she said at the podium in New York. But now that she's home, working on the Chaplin-themed script that might include the piano player, she can say what she was thinking as the audience applauded.

"It kind of brought me back to making the film, staying up all night – all the hard work that went into it," she said. "After all that hard work, this is the reward. People recognizing a film I made in high school.

"It does feel like 'Lucy' is finished now," she added. "Now I want to build on the experience of 'Lucy' and let loose the stories in my head."