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Thank you, Bootleggers.

All the talking is done. All the noise and the chaos and the drama is over. This is it. The nightwatchman has hung up his hat and the floor has been swept for the final time. Bootleg has closed its doors.

When you step away from something you launched, it’s leaves a strangeness in the soul. A feeling that, no matter how used to it all you became, it’s good to see it sunset in the distance. You should never stay in a situation too long, working your fingers to the bone, going broke over and over and over again, no matter how much you love the concept. Instead, hit up the party and then step away to refocus all over again.

Thank you to every single filmmaker we ever hosted. At a rough approximation, that’s more than three hundred of you. Three hundred filmmakers who had a small corner of the world, showing their story at some point in the last five years. I don’t know about you, but that’s one of the things I’m most proud of. Bootleg NYC was the perfect ending to an incredible story, and I’ll miss you all. And seeing everyone hanging out at the bars after each night in the screening rooms, seriously, that was fucken amazing. I loved it.

To my Bootleg family - Neil, Jeff, Cim, Nikki, Gav, Grabes and Phil, thank you. You guys are amazing and I owe you so, so much. But the band will be working on other things soon enough I’m sure. Additionally, thank you to all the viewers who helped us with selections and to our volunteers, sponsors and supporters throughout the years. It’s been immense to have you all aboard.

And now, well, what’s next? No longer being the centre of the Hurricane Bootleg is going to be strange, but you know what, I’ve got plenty to occupy an unquiet mind. There are the two features I’ve already shot this year, the third one on the way, and whole bunch of other things on top. But between now and then, I’ll just hold onto the good feelings I’ve been left with after five incredible years of Bootleg Film Festival.

From the smallest start to the biggest finish, it has been nothing but immense.

Rock n roll.