Well, it's certainly been a packed couple of weeks. Not every film I've seen has been great - with War, Inc. a particular standout in the "dreadful" department, the line-up has been pretty strong across the board. Since the press showings have now finished, I opt for some screening room action and manage to catch Old Man Bebo, which won the best new documentary maker award for Carlos Carcas. It is a joyful - if rather long - exploration of the life of a Cuban pianist, set against the backdrop of the historical events which affected his homeland, and by extension, his career.
After that, I get the chance to chat to Niels Arden Oplev about Worlds Apart - which has been one of the strongest features shown at the festival. He reveals how an argument with his wife led to the recasting of his leading lady and also what inspired him to tackle the subject of Jehovah's Witnesses. We'll be bringing you the full interview later.
I also make time to squeeze in Mark Street's documentary Hidden In Plain Sight - a meditative examination of several different cityscapes from four continents. Intercut with title cards offering observations about the filming process and pertinent quotes, it is a surprisingly absorbing film that asks us to question the way we view things. Now I know why he was so interested in how the canape baskets worked when I met him the other day. His film also plays around with the soundscape of each city depicted and I notice that since I watched it I've become much more tuned in to the general squeak and growl of everything in New York.
Rounding off the day, I try and fail to get a ticket for Let The Right One In but resolve to come back tomorrow, for one last roll of the dice. Surely they know by now that I am the Right One to let in?
Later, I meet a woman in a bar who admits to having several outfits for her dog. Seemingly this hound couture stuff is more the norm than the exception. Sadly, the press screenings being at an end means that there's only so much you can fit in during the day, but at least it gives me some time to write.
And on the final day of the festival I finally - thanks to those nice folk in the press office (Amy and Casey, in particular, you are both stars) - I get to see winner Let The Right One In. It is, in many ways, quite a remarkable film managing to combine vampirism, coming of age, horror, romance and comedy, without ever seeming strained. The story of a bullied boy's love for a girl with a dark secret is full of surprises. The only thing which stops it being perfect is the slightly poor production values when it comes to body parts and a cat fight but otherwise it is a complete gem. It definitely shares top spot in my mind as a festival favourite alongside Somers Town. Strangers, Worlds Apart, Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-Itchy-Footed-Mutha, Fermat's Room and - for those looking for solid mainstream, coming-to-a-cinema-near-you comedy action - Bart Got A Room are also feature highlights worth looking out for. If you're more documentary-minded, then War, Love, God & Madness, Pray The Devil Back To Hell, War Child, Old Man Bebo and Milosevic On Trial should be added to your 'to watch' list immediately.
Its so pleasing to see this high-energy festival going from strength to strength. I'll be back next year and, yes, Melvin, I promise I'll bring round doughnuts.