Here’s the latest news.


Two New Releases, Camden Film Fest, and More.

Hi everyone.  I hope you had a great summer.  The strike wears on - but we have been busy prepping two releases and also getting ready to launch a new distribution initiative - which will be the focus of the next newsletter.  I'm also heading to the Camden International Film Festival next week - let me know if you are going to be there.

Of all the writing related to the strike - I found this must-read post by Matt Stoller "Time to Break Up Hollywood" one of the the most informative, prompted by this piece by Ted Hope (who also gave a much reported about talk at Locarno this year) which is out from under his paywall. Matt indicates, and I tend to agree, that one of the root causes of the mess we are in (and to be honest what affects much of what ails our economy in general) is monopolization and in the case of our industry - vertical integration caused by the relaxing/elimination of the Paramount Consent Decree and the fin/syn regulations which prevented studios and TV stations respectively from vertically integrating.  Since the elimination of those anti-trust protections within the film/tv/cable/streaming space - studios but especially streamers can control products from production through distribution, eliminating the need to buy content from independent producers - reducing the number of players involved and hence eliminating options for producers. I've included some choice excerpts below. His call to action is to get Congress to hold hearings and enact legislation to break up these media monopolies and feels there should be bi-partisan support for it. 

But even if the studios/streamers get broken up - or some other solution comes into play - even if the strikes are settled on favorable grounds for the writers and actors - independents will still need to be engaged with the distribution and marketing of their films - even the "halcyon" days - or the variety of halcyon days - never worked for all. 

This is part of the reason I am heading to Camden next week to engage in this year's version of their distribution confab - looking forward to what people are thinking are solutions to help our independent creators thrive.

Last week, we lost someone who was a champion of creators - Nancy Buirski. I loved her most recent film “Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy” and was lucky enough to work with her on “A Crime on the Bayou”.  She founded the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in 1998 which was one of my favorite festivals because of the intimate setting it created with audiences and other creators.  She won a Peabody for “The Loving Story” and her accomplishments go on.  Nancy was a visionary and a one of a kind artist and storyteller.   
Today marks the US premiere of one of our releases - KEYS BAGS NAMES WORDS a quirky and inspiring doc feature about Alzheimers and Dementia at the Vogue Theater in San Francisco.

This premiere will be followed by over 75 screenings (and counting) in over 25 countries around the world in recognition of World Alzheimer’s Day on Sept 21. See the trailer and get tickets below.

"Thinking of dementia in terms of deficits hardly paints a complete picture. Ambitious in its scope, “Keys Bags Names Words” draws that fuller portrait. It’s one we all need to look at." Bob Strauss, SF Chronicle

For the past several months I've been working with award winning filmmaker Cynthia Stone and her team on this beautiful film about people with Alzheimer's and other Dementias who share their stories of hope and heartbreak. This powerful new international film explores the ways we can protect our brain health, connect with our loved ones and live a higher quality of life, even after diagnosis.