Really didn't think this would happen as I hadn't managed to nab any gala performance tickets. And even Poly didn't realise that the ticket she offered me for Monday night's screen of The Kids Are Alright was a gala until she arrived to the same scene I'd experience 10 minutes earlier: Leicester Square crowded with people, barriers up, paparazzi and the lovely long, plush red carpet leading into the cinema we were meant to be in.
I had to ask a policeman how I got into the cinema and he pointed somewhere towards the middle of the square near the end of the barriers.
'Shit, I might have to walk the red carpet,' thought I, a slight thrill passing through me.
And so I did.
Right,' thought I 'I'm going to take my time and enjoy the moment. No skulking quickly with my head down looking embarrassed - I'll look like I walk red carpets all the time and ignore the fact that people won't be taking a blind bit of notice.'
And so I did. I passed a couple having their photo taken by the paps - haven't the foggiest who they were but they looked day-time soap star-ish. And then it was all over and I was in the foyer. I hung around messing about on my phone just in case someone who was actually famous walked by but no.
Then Poly arrived and we headed off to our screenings (we had tickets in two different screens which start 15 mins apart).
It being a gala there was an odd mix of people milling around: press, glammed-up industry people and the everyday ordinary film-loving folk who'd bought a ticket, like me.
Then came the second surprise of the evening, well third if you count the free bottle of water and small chocolate bar each seat was furnished with. Just before the film started the artistic director of the festival arrived to say a few words, as is customary at a gala and then she introduced writer/director Lisa Cholondenko who said a few words. Then, and here was the really nice surprise bit, well it was for me as first-timer at a gala, she called up to the front a couple of her 'friends' one Ms Julianne Moore and Mr Mark Ruffalo who are in the film.
I'm not sure if they said anything because I was so busy scrabbling around in my bag for my iPhone to take a pic I missed most of their very brief appearance. The pic is below, cropped to buggery so you can make them out. You sort of can.
And then it was all over and time to watch the film.