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Sundance 2011 and Theater in DC

At CORMAN'S WORLD premiere party with Pat Kaufman and the inspiration for The Big Lebowski, Jeff "The Dude" Dowd

Greetings from Park City. I had the incredible honor of seeing “Gallant Films” on the big screen at the Egyptian Theater last night, at the world premiere of a film I exec-produced, CORMAN’S WORLD: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel. The film, directed by Alex Stapleton and produced by Stone Douglass and Taylor Materne, played to an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd, including Roger and Julie Corman and the great team at A & E Indie, which bought the domestic television rights on the eve of the festival.
It occurred to me after seeing the film that I haven’t updated my Gallant Films page in forever. The primary reason is that for the past year I have been monomaniacally focused on opening and running the West End Cinema, a three-screen art-house movie theater that my business partner Jamie Shor and I opened in my home town, Washington, DC, in October 2010.
One of the cool things about being at Sundance this year is seeing two films — Kaboom, directed by Gregg Araki, and TROUBADOURS, directed by Morgan Neville and starring James Taylor and Carole King.
I pledge to update this much more regularly, now that life is returning to some semblance of normalcy!

PS: The people in the pic are Pat Kaufman, head of the New York Film Commission (and wife of low-budget auteur Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Films); and Jeff Dowd, “the Dude,” the inspiration for the main character in The Big Lebowski!

Add comment | January 22nd, 2011

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Ready for my close-up?

If you have been reading my blog posts and are curious about how I look and sound, you can catch me on video! My friends at Media Halo (www.mediahalo.com) have posted the first of a two-part interview with me on their site, which is dedicated to bringing filmmakers, actors, musicians and other creatives together.

Due to a lighting problem, it appears in the video that my hair is thinning. Apparently, the folks at Media Halo never heard of effects!

:)

Add comment | January 22nd, 2009

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The Sky is Falling… Sort Of

The news from the business side of the film world is decidedly mixed this quarter, and while there are some bright spots, the outlook for documentaries going through traditional distribution pipelines is even bleaker than it had been.

 

THE BAD NEWS:

Indie distributors are dying– the Yari Film Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this past week and has suspended operations of its distribution practice. Meanwhile, Peace Arch, First Look and the Weinstein Companies have all announced layoffs.

 

THE GOOD NEWS:

People are going to see “specialty” films – this past weekend saw record attendance for independent film (depending on how one defines “indie”), with huge per-screen averages for Doubt, The Reader, Che and Wendy and Lucy, while Milk, Frost/Nixon and Slumdog Millionaire all expanded from a handful of theaters to much larger rollouts.

Blu-Ray is catching on – The Dark Knight became the first Blu-Ray title to sell 1 million units in its first week in release; Netflix reports higher-than-expected demand from subscribers for Blu-Ray rentals.

 

Another bright spot: Image Entertainment, a significant DVD distribution company that had been reported to be in trouble and openly shopping around for a buyer for almost two years, announced this past week that it is having its best year ever, and expects to report record profits in FY2009!

 THE FUN NEWS:

First, thanks to everyone who attended the first-ever Meet Up event hosted by Docupyx and its parent company, Pyxix. We had a good crowd for the “Connecting Artist with Audience” Meetup, and look forward to hosting more Meetups in 2009!

 

Speaking of Meetup events, I attended the weekly Stranger Than Fiction screening event in New York last night, and it was the best experience I have had as a fan of documentary films outside of major world film festivals. A full house with an engaged audience roughly divided between people passionate about making documentary films and people passionate about the subject matter of Tuesday’s film (The Garden, by Scott Hamilton Kennedy). Well-done post-screening Q & A with the director, and a truly fun reception two blocks away at the 99 Below bar.

This group meets and screens great documentary films every Tuesday night at the IFC Center. It is run by people with deep roots in documentary film and terrific connections throughout the industry, which brings the experience to a higher plane. Check ‘em out at www.stfdocs.com!

Add comment | December 17th, 2008

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I am the guest host of a filmmaker networking event in the West Village on Dec. 9

Attention Filmmakers, Comedians and Musicians,

You are invited to the inaugural “Connecting Artist with Audience” Meetup in New York City — featuring me!

“Connecting Artist with Audience,” sponsored by the Pyxix® Corporation, is a group dedicated to helping musicians, filmmakers and comedians network, collaborate and share ideas and experiences about both the creative and business sides of entertainment.

Our first event will take place Tuesday, December 9, from 7 to 9 pm, at the Westbeth Community Room, 55 Bethune St., New York, NY. It will consist of a presentation by Yours Truly on self-distribution opportunities and challenges for filmmakers in the digital age. I will be joined by Sara Millman, the Creative Director of Pyxix, for an audience Q & A session. There will be time to network with fellow artists before and after the discussion, and refreshments will be served.

Admission Fee : None!!!!

Click here for more info: http://www.meetup.com/Connecting-Artist-with-Audience-SM-NY-Metro-Chapter/

Add comment | November 19th, 2008

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Follow-up on The Big One

Since my blog site was compromised for mot of the past eight weeks, I wanted to go back and update my posting of September 10 titled, “Has THE Big One Hit?” The post referred to the announced release of DVD-copying software by RealNetworks which was ”legal, at least until the MPAA drags RealNetworks into court.”

Well, the lawsuits started flying immediately after the software hit the market September 30, with RealNetworks filing a preemptive lawsuit against the major studios, and the studios filing for a temporary restraining order halting the software’s release until the legal issues could be resolved. The TRO was granted October 6, after 3,000 copies of the ripping software were purchased, and remains in place while the legal wrangling continues.

 

Add comment | November 12th, 2008

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