Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tacoma Film Festival, Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross, Author Meet and Greet with Extra Special Giveaway!

Let the adventure begin, proudly I can tell you I did the dang "Pope Joan" movie thing in Tacoma Washington and I loved every last minute of it. I have to let you in on a secret that I have been fiercely hoping an opportunity like this would arise and now I get to tell you the down low on the movie. I could not take it much longer if I could not watch the movie based off of Donna Woolfolk Cross’ novel “Pope Joan”. Very near and dear to my heart this novel still is; it was my first author request review. I not only got a wonderful book to review but found a kindred spirit with Donna. The gift of Joan’s story is profound to say the least; she is one of histories most self empowered women. I loved the book and I had to list it last year as one of the top ten reads of 2009. Really it could not get much better than that but then to go to a movie, I could hardly contain myself. You had better believe when I got the news that Pope Joan was coming to Tacoma and Donna really was going to be there, I knew I must go. I was on it and the plan was no children allowed and I am unavailable all day.

I bought tickets online the day the announcement went out and had the confirmation paper printed immediately. I dragged, well not really more like force-ably removed my mother and sister from home. We took off and pulled into Tacoma in 2 hours from mom’s house out on the river in the sticks. We made record timing and we even made it in a bit early for an exclusive meet and greet brunch with the lovely Donna to hear a few thoughts on the creation process of Pope Joan. First off the hotel was lovely and themed in glass because one thing about Tacoma I did not know was that it has a glass museum. This is me and my sister about to head in we were so excited. My sister is in green. When we converged to the room Donna was just everything I had ever hoped and so much more. She is expressive and is charismatic with her knowledge and just her all around person. She just exudes warmth and love for her work and is a real motivation to never give up on a dream and the key to power is the one found within. I could go on I swear I am so in love with Pope Joan and Donna all over again.
 Meet and Greet with Donna 
Donna speaking on the struggles the movie has faced in the US, Everywhere else in Europe especially Germany loves Pope Joan. The Vatican even took the time to condemn the movie.
Donna must have her own glass to share too!

I had the pleasure of hearing the tales of woe of all the hurdles the movie has made it over while sharing delicious champagne with the ladies. It seemed like Donna went through nothing but struggle for over twelve years from scripts to companies to even the actors and the dreaded plagiarisms was thrown in there. It is a labor of love for Joan and Donna has put in hard work to make sure Joan gets her just desserts. Honestly lets get down to the nitty gritty here and this goes out to the ladies but any modern day woman today could admire the story of a woman who defied everything to be disguised as a man and later become the POPE of all things. I have to believe Joan existed somewhere in the Vatican is a hidden book with more on “Joanna” or “Joan”. I can not believe she did not live she is the ultimate symbol of a woman empowerment, crashing the male dominated glass ceiling of the Roman Church.

After the brunch with Donna it was movie time at the theater right down the street. We really had no inclination what to expect but I can say when we all came to the door to see the turn out we all were stunned. It was a full house the theater entry was lined up to the doorway and it was great to see so many other people interested in the Joan I fell in love with. I was so excited beyond the point of containment when the movie began. It was Barveheart meets middle-aged Rome. It was just as violent as the book and just as passionate. I loved every minute of it. The hottie David Wenham who was in the first Lord of the Rings movie was the perfect fit for the role of Gerold. He was honorable and sexy; really he was modeled just for this part. I really loved it and I know everyone around me enjoyed it. Hearing what was being said in the hallway afterwords I gathered many people enjoyed the movie and were raving about it. We have to prove the US that they are wrong we do want this movie to be local. I also came to realize that Pope Joan the movie was the closest book to movie rendition I have ever seen, I think it has come down to the fact that Donna worked on the script also. She was a key contributor to the script and it showed. I found it very like the book and of course it has differences and that is because it is a movie and if every word of the Pope Joan novel was in the movie it would be like 6 plus hours long. Johanna Wokalek played Joan with a style and grace that befitted her; I loved how she lowered her voice to sound more like a man. She did an excellent job and really did Joan justice. Bravo!

Donna giving holding a Q and A after the showing. I really enjoyed the questions on the documents that make reference to Joan. The best one for me was the reference that a document that stated "we do not count Joanna".
Donna graciously sighing my books.
Shocking as it was but when Donna opened the first one I bought at the Q and A it was already signed. Cool I thought it was just meant to be.

I love these last few ones of Donna she is adorably classy chic and I love her personality she is so vibrant and funny at the same time.

Since this was a very special event it needs to have a very special giveaway to go with it. This is a absolutely to die for brand new paperback copy of Pope Joan, signed by Donna Woolfolk Cross. Since I am the one hosting this one I am making it INTERNATIONAL this time! YAY finally one that everyone can enter. Since I am already changing it up a bit how about we change up the rules this time also?

For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.

For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do, thank you, and please let me know in the comments. You're eligible for the extra entry as well.

For 3 entries blog or tweet or facebook it, get creative if there are any other sites you can post viewable links for me to see on leave me a address link and that counts for a point too. 

Want more points this time? How about this time you can come back once every 24 hour period and retwitter it or refacebook it. Whatever you can come up with. You just have to come back here and leave the link each time. 
You had better believe this time around I will be regulating on the links and that means I will be checking each and every link to make sure you really did it. I will be checking the links this time through email notifications.

Live in Califorinia? If you go to the show and come and enter this giveaway with a comment on a status update on face book or twitter where you saw the show then you will get 10 automatic entry points.
I know for a fact this book is a treasure trove treat and I do want to share, one absolutely lucky reader is going to be elated with this beauty.
To celebrate the showing of Pope Joan in LA and San Francisco the giveaway will end on October 23 which is the last night to catch the movie on San Fran. 

Giveaway ends on 10.23.2010 at 12 PM.
Here is the movie schedule,
Los Angeles, California Goethe Film Festival
7:30 PM, Friday, October 22, 2010
Aero Theater
1328 Montana Ave at 14th Street,
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Tickets:  $ 11/ general, $9/seniors, students
Advanced Tickets @

San Francisco, California Goethe Film Festival
7:30 pm, Saturday, October 23, 2010
Castro Theater
429 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114-2019.
Tickets and info: (415) 263-8760 
or email:

Want more?
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  1. Wow, what a very interesting post! And, lucky you - living in a small town in western Oklahoma I wonder if I'll ever have the opportunity to see this film. Like you, I loved the book, and I believe in Pope Joan

    extra entry - Google follower


  2. I am so glad you were able to meet Cross, especially since you are so passionate about her book. This is a story I am interested in, because it is only one of the many that the Church has hidden, obliterated and condemned during the years. The movie looks fantastic and is something my mom and I will go see. Congrats to Cross for seeing this movie through..
    Thanks for the contest.

    Already follow your blog.

  3. Thank you for including me. =) I looked up other reviews for Pope Joan and would love to read it.

    I'm a follower.

    tiredwkids at live dot com

  4. What a wonderful post. Thank you ever so much for including us (overseas readers). Much appreciated.

    I follow you on GFC.


  5. That is so awesome that you got to go Lizzy. I think it is coming to Boston - I will have to see when (or if I missed it). I would love to be entered as somehow I don't already have this one.


    I am a follower and I tweeted!/dolleygurl/status/27588426987

  6. I'd love to read this (I love historical nonfiction) - thanks for the chance to win it!


  7. I SO want to read this book and see the movie!

    Extra entry: I'm a follower

  8. I wish the movie was going to be shown in Louisiana! I would LOVE to read this book, and now especially after reading your personal connection with the author!

    Thanks so much for the chance!
    I am a follower.

    tiger_fan_1997 AT yahoo DOT com

  9. I'm a follower! Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Linda, I know what you mean about events not happening. Nothing ever happens in Portland either. I hate it. Hehe I am glad I am not alone in my belief.

    Jenny Girl, Thank you I am so glad I got to meet her. Donna is uber friendly and I am sad it was probably the only time she will ever come to the west coat. Well at least anywhere near Oregon.

    Shannon, the book got wonderful reviews. It seems like to me almost everyone who read it loved it.

    Mystica, I thought of you when I did it. Especially your facebook comment "I need a good book anyone going to town".

    Dolleygurl, if it does come to Boston go, it is so good it for sure is Braveheart meets Rome. I really loved it, I am always a sucker for a good HF movie.

    Arceli, this one is fiction but I think you might really enjoy it. It sure got the gears in my mind spinning.

    Good lucky everyone I hope someone really loves the book as much as me and keep entering this is not a one time thing, the more you come back the more chances you get to win it.

  11. +1 This is truly very exciting news! My friend and I have been waiting for this movie since she's read the novel and has kept me posted on it. I yet have to read it, and now more than ever I better get to it. It's so cool that you had a chance to meet Donna!

    +2 I'm a follower

    nunezbella at hotmail dotcom

  12. I just posted about it on Facebook. Thank you! -Bella Nunez!/permalink.php?story_fbid=154811684556505&id=1373272023

    nunezbella at hotmail dotcom

  13. I just watched the trailer. Wow! I hope I is shown someplace close enough for me to watch. If not, I will be looking for the DVD.
    This book has raised many questions and intrigues me. I want to read it and will be researching the history behind it.

    Thank you so much for the Giveaway.

    I am a GFC Follower.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  14. I've been wanting to read this book!

    I'm a follower.



  15. Very cool. I would love to read anything condemned by the Vatican. heh
    I follow
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

    I facebooked!/pattyleonardwoodland/posts/112945165435032


  16. tweeted!/BrokenTeepee/status/28448578485
    thank you
    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  17. Sounds fascinating. And the trailer was terrific.

  18. I follow you on GFC!

  19. Hello everyone and thank you for for the out pouring enthusiasm for Pope Joan. I really loved this book and movie and really I have to say it is one of my all time favorite HF books. I just got done tallying the winner and will announce all giveaway winner tomorrow in mailbox Monday. Thank you and if you still want to read this book I must implore you to seek it out by whatever means possible because this is one story you do not want to miss.


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