The 48 Hour Film Project held its 2020 Filmapalooza event in Rotterdam, the Netherlands March 3-7, 2020. International filmmakers gathered to watch city winners’ short films from all over the world and to attend parties, including the closing night awards show aboard the SS Rotterdam.
The event was presented just days before international travel was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you can see in photos posted here, there were no masks and no social distancing. I, personally, had been so busy preparing for Filmapalooza and the trip, that I had not been watching the news in the U.S. and knew little about the coronavirus or its dangers.
I traveled with dear friends from Jacksonville, Monique and Adam Madrid, city producers for Jacksonville, Florida’s 48 Hour Film Project. We had two nights in Amsterdam at the wonderful Hendricks Hotel, then took the train to Rotterdam for the five-day festival. We spent one extra night back in Amsterdam at the Hendricks before flying home.
Mark Ruppert, co-founder of the 48 Hour Film Project worldwide, invited me to present a workshop for filmmakers called Selling to Hollywood. I also launched an e-book called Secrets to Writing A Killer 48 Hour Film Project Screenplay at the fest. And I presented the Best Screenplay at the 2020 Filmapalooza Awards night ceremony.
While in the Netherlands, I was so busy with the non-stop schedule that I rarely got a glimpse of news in English, so the first warning I remember getting about the pandemic was the night before our flight out of Amsterdam when Delta sent an email asking us to get to the airport four hours early due to the COVID-19 check-in precautions. What!? When we got to the airport, we rarely saw anyone wearing a mask and no social distancing. Airline personnel took temperatures and asked questions about our previous travel history. Had we traveled to China recently? Nope. So we were grateful when our flight took off on time headed to Orlando, Florida.
We enjoyed 2020 Filmapalooza and our trip to the Netherlands, which became the last hurray before the pandemic shut down most travel. Below is a photo gallery of the trip.