I just spent five extraordinary days at the Amsterdam International Film Festival 2018 with directors, filmmakers, scriptwriters, actors, and distributors from around the world.

The festival itself was founded by Carl Tooney to give independent film and script authors an opportunity to showcase their work, network with peers and submit themselves in competition for international filmmaker awards.

The festival is held in different locations around the world including London, Nice, Madrid, Milan and Amsterdam. It is a place where you can “seize the day” as you immerse yourself in the experience of watching films and documentaries across many genres and styles. It is a place where you can also meet amazing people, forge great friendships, find people to collaborate with on future projects and if lucky be nominated for an award and walk away with a trophy.

The phrase Carpe Diem was first used by the Roman poet Horace to express the idea that one should enjoy life while one can. This is the attitude that my client and co-creator of Living My Illusion Documentary Series Joel Van der Molen and me had throughout the festival.

In between films and every evening we got to know many film directors, scriptwriters, and the entire team behind this festival including Ray Davies, the co-founder of Film Industry Network, a platform designed to share film advice.

As someone who loves to know people, I took the opportunity to interview few of the film directors, music writers, and the marketing director of the festival Steve Grossmith, who kindly shared a lot of useful tips that every attendee of the festival could benefit.

In an age where domestic violence, addictions, loneliness, and depression is on the increase, Living My Illusion E1 – The Truth Hurts was co-created to shine a light on the toxic effects of suppressing your inner truth has on your mental, emotional, familial, physical, business, and financial health. The feedback we got from the festival goers was encouraging, humbling, and inspiring.

The Q & A that followed after the screening of our documentary was a testament to the importance of creating this timely documentary. It offers a mirror from which millions of people who find themselves in difficult situations can self-reflect and address the lies they tell themselves and the impact they have on their leadership style, family life, and the way they show up in the world. Little did we know that we would walk away with a trophy, be acknowledged in front of hundreds of amazing film directors from around the world and be selected as one of the winners.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Carl and his team for organising such a wonderful event, to Adam Tinnion, Dan Hickford, Roy Abbots, Chelsey Baker, Mark Doree, Brad Blain, Neil McEwan, Paul Eyres, everyone who has supported us on this life-changing journey, all the people who attended this event and the judges who selected Living My Illusion – The Truth Hurts as the Winner in the Best Story Category of this prestigious Film Maker Award.