Seeing H.P. Mendoza’s Bitter Melon up on the marquee of the Landmark Regent for its official theatrical release was beyond satisfying. It’s strange with a film project, though, because it feels like the end of the road. H.P. first talked to me about the film about two years ago, we shot it over a year ago, and toured it around at festivals this year.

But now that it’s out, I’m like “Damn, that went by quick!”

While I’m admittedly being a bit sentimental, the life of H.P.’s film is of course just getting started. Festival screenings are awesome, but in reality only a small cross-section of the film’s audience can get to those. Bitter Melon will now have a chance to reach a wider swath of viewers — both those who’ve heard of the film and those who haven’t but soon will.

And since H.P. wrote the first draft of the script over 20 years ago, I’m sure his anticipation is on another level.

This is where Bitter Melon grows up, moves out, and heads to college (or whatever kids are advised to do these days). It’s time for it to go and meet some new people, make some new friends.

And that’s the most exciting part.

H.P., thanks again (and always) for letting me be on this ride of yours. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it once more here: Bitter Melon has truly been one of the greatest, most cathartic, most fulfilling creative experiences I’ve ever had.

Yes, I know the adventure’s not “over-over”, but I’ll definitely miss this part of the process — hoofing it around festivals with cast and crew, interacting with audiences, meeting new folks, and seeing your inspired hard work up on the big screen.

Congrats on all that you’ve accomplished with this film thus far, my brother!

You deserve it.

Below are a few photos (and a quick video) from Opening Night in Los Angeles attended by me, fellow cast mate L.A. Renigen, producer Michael Oberst. Our Q&A moderator was none other than Paola Mardo.

(L to R) Paola Mardo, L.A. Renigen (Tiva), Patrick Epino (Troy), producer Michael Oberst. Photo cred: Nathan Barrios.

Where can I get one of these?

“Westwood is far!”

There was something pleasantly familiar about these posters.