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Thursday, May 14, 2015


Some interesting facts and ideas here on distribution strategy. These four plans of attack in particular:

  • Core over general audiences
  • Conferences over film festivals
  • Partnerships over distribution deals
  • Direct over third party sales

How did AGE OF CHAMPIONS succeed where countless other documentaries have failed? The film has been seen by more than 3 million viewers and has grossed over $1.2 million dollars.

Produced by Keith Ochwat and directed Christopher Rufo, AGE OF CHAMPIONS chronicles athletes who “sprint, leap, and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics.” The film’s main characters range from 63 to 100 years old.

AGE OF CHAMPIONS premiered at Silver Docs to standing ovations in 2011. The filmmakers developed and began testing their distribution strategy in 2012 and did their major rollout in 2013. This featured a 20 state theatrical tour underwritten by AARP, which generated substantial press coverage, including appearances on NPR, CNN, and ABC.

To read full article:

Monday, May 11, 2015

Satyajit Ray

John Huston and Satyajit Ray. One might not think these two major directors had similar taste in movies. In the 1950s, Huston made “The African Queen” and “Moby Dick”; Ray made the three films generally known as the Apu Trilogy: the epic story of Apu, a boy born in a village in India who struggles for education and recognition as a man in the cosmopolitan city of Calcutta (now Kolkata). Yet, when I was writing a biography of Ray in the 1980s, Huston sent me a letter about Ray and his work. “I recognized the footage as the work of a great filmmaker,” he wrote. “I liked Ray enormously on first encounter. Everything he did and said supported my feelings on viewing the film.”

For full article and video clips:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy 100th Birthday Orson Welles!

What a better way to celebrate the big O - with my friend F.X. Feeney running the show:

The word “genius” has been associated with Orson Welles (May 6, 1915 - October 10, 1985) nearly since his birth in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The son of a successful inventor and concert pianist, the future actor-director proved to be gifted in the arts as a child. The title was such a frequent refrain through his life that a 1940 Saturday Evening Post story joked, “Orson was an old war horse in the infant prodigy line by the time he was 10. He had already seen eight years' service as a child genius. Some see the 24-year-old boy of today as a mere shadow of the 2-year-old man they used to know.”
Previous successes shadowed Welles for so long that some view his career solely through the prism of missed opportunity, allowing uncompleted works such as THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND to obscure a long string of triumphs. While his debut, CITIZEN KANE, is unquestionably a masterpiece of unusual lighting and camera angles, innovative use of sound and extended takes, so is TOUCH OF EVIL, made 17 years later. His Shakespeare adaptations, created without the support of a major studio, offer further testament to Welles’ continuing growth as an artist over the decades: From MACBETH (1948) toOTHELLO (1952) to CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (1965), each was more impressive than the last.
Though it would have been wonderful if THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS hadn’t been recut against his will, or if he’d gotten to direct CATCH-22 instead of simply acting in it, as it stands, Orson Welles’ body of work remains among the richest in cinema history.
Series programmed by Gwen Deglise, Grant Moninger and John Hagelston. Program notes by John Hagelston.
F.X. Feeney will sign copies of his new book 'Orson Welles: Power, Heart, and Soul' and introduce each night in the series!

Films in this Series at the Aero

Book Signing With F.X. Feeney!
Thu, May 7, 2015 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Book Signing With F.X. Feeney!
Fri, May 8, 2015 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Book Signing With F.X. Feeney!
Sat, May 9, 2015 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Book Signing With F.X. Feeney!
Sun, May 10, 2015 - 7:30pm
Aero Theatre
Aero Theatre • Thu, May 7, 2015 - Sun, May 10, 2015
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