TROY — A little slice of Hollywood came to Miami County on Friday, as the Mayflower Arts Center hosted a market-exclusive premiere of a new motion picture.
“Best F(r)iends Volume 1,” starring Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau, screened for one night only, and will be followed by a screening of “Best F(r)iends Volume 2” on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m.
The event featured an appearance by the film’s writer and leading actor, Greg Sestero, who conducted a VIP meet-and-greet and a question-and-answer session with attendees.
According to Mayflower owner Lisa Bauer, the Mayflower was chosen for the event based upon its presence on a registry of regional art theaters.
“I asked Mr. Sestero’s booking agent how they heard of us,” Bauer said. “He said they have a list of about 100 independent theaters across the country they source for booking events. The Mayflower was on the list, so he checked us out online and confirmed that we indeed were what they were looking for.”
Sestero stated that the exclusive-screening tour, which is taking him to various art venues in small towns throughout the country, offers something special that larger venues often lack.
“Personally, I prefer smaller towns,” Sestero said. “I think sometimes you get to have more time with your audience, and I think small towns appreciate you coming out. They’re just as important in their own way, and it’s always cool to see that the movies have reached people in smaller areas. It’s fun and it feels adventurous.”
Sestero also offered a three-hour workshop on Saturday morning for registered ticket holders, hosted by Mayflower Arts Center and Proscenia Film Society. During the workshop, Sestero shared experiences and lessons learned in the making of projects such as “The Disaster Artist,” “The Room,” and “Best F(r)iends, Volumes 1 & 2,” and provided insight into what it takes to succeed as an independent filmmaker, writer, and actor in today’s industry.
Of the workshop, Sestero said his main objective was simply “sharing the journey with others and having them hopefully get something out of it.”
“You go through these experiences and these struggles, and you hope you can help somebody avoid some of the things you’ve had to go through,” Sestero said. “It’s easy to second-guess yourself or not follow through on something you’ve wanted to do. Smaller cities often may be looking more for a push or reason why, and I think it’s good for them to know that a lot of people start off in small towns, and things don’t happen overnight. It’s important to enjoy the journey.”
In writing the script for “Best F(r)iends, Vol. 1 & 2,” Sestero was motivated to work alongside “The Room” co-star Tommy Wiseau once again, and offer audiences a surprising narrative for their reunion.
“We just wanted to surprise the audience, and give them something they’d enjoy, but also not expect,” Sestero said. “I think the goal was just to get back together for something new and fresh. The key is just to continue to make new films, and hopefully they continue to get stronger and reach more people.”
“It was such a pleasure to watch the crowds of people, many whom drove over two hours to attend, enjoy the unique experience and interact with each other as they shared their common love of filmmaking and watching stories unfold on the big screen,” Bauer said.
Sestero will re-appear at the Mayflower for a question-and-answer session following “Best F(r)iends, Vol. 2” on Friday, April 12.
“The Room,” along with Sestero’s book, “The Disaster Artist,” are available on Amazon. “Best F(r)iends, Vol. 1 & 2” are available on iTunes.
For more information on tickets and events, visit www.mayflowerartscenter.com.