Actor and producer Lance Greene talks about self-distributing "On Broadway" starring Joey McIntyreApril 7th, 2008 | Lynn Tryba
On Broadway, a movie about a working-class Bostonian’s attempt to stage a play in the back of an Irish pub, has received such a good response from film festival audiences around the country that the producers decided to self-release the film in Boston last month.
Filmmaker Cherry Arnold discusses self-distributing "Buddy," a documentary on Providence mayor Buddy CianciApril 7th, 2008 | Lynn Tryba
Cherry Arnold didn’t know what she was in for when she started filming Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Mayor. “If I had known all the work involved…,” Arnold says. “Pure ignorance kept me going. I underestimated by months at a time how long each step would take.”
Filmmaker Buzz McLaughlin was so adept at self distribution, that he eventually caught the eye of a traditional distributorApril 7th, 2008 | Lynn Tryba
It’s no wonder Buzz McLaughlin feels some pride and relief. His New Hampshire-based film production company, Either/Or Films, just signed a distribution deal for its first movie, The Sensation of Sight, during the last week of March.
Three filmmakers talk about their experiences distributing their films themselvesApril 7th, 2008 | Lynn Tryba
Unless you get your film into the very top festivals like Sundance, Toronto, or Cannes, you'll probably have a hard time attracting interest from an established distributor. So how can you get your film in front of audiences? The makers of three successful indies—The Sensation of Sight, Buddy, and On Broadway (pictured)—chose to self-distribute. As The Independent's Lynn Tryba reports, this grassroots approach is hard work and there's no sure payoff. But self-distribution can work beautifully—turning a small film into a word-of-mouth phenomenon. Part 4 of our special report on distribution.
Long after they wrap their films, independent filmmakers struggle to get their projects seen by as many people as possible. A distribution deal with a mainstream distribution company is, of course, the Holy Grail. And in the quest for a deal, a filmmaker's family ties will often get strained, their bank accounts will dwindle, and their stress level will surge.
The deeper she got into shooting, the more emotionally engaged filmmaker Gabriela Böhm became in her subjects' plight. The result is a very different film from the one she set out to makeApril 5th, 2008 | Fernanda Rossi
The Independent's Fernanda Rossi interviews Gabriela Böhm about her film The Longing: The Forgotten Jews of South America. Böhm initially intended to make a dispassionate historical documentary complete with reenactments. As she became emotionally attached to her subjects, however, Böhm decided to rethink the tone of her film. The result is a compelling documentary that has been screened at more than 20 festivals worldwide.
About this new column: Many filmmakers ponder in anguish, How do other people—celebrated people—do it? Am I taking too long to make this documentary? Does everybody spend as much money as I am spending, or am I spending too little? And when filmmakers share their lessons learned in interviews in the glossy trade magazines, their tales seem to follow the arc of otherworldy heroes rather than real documentary makers, i.e. human beings like you and me. So each month, the Doc Doctor will go out into the world (this real world) of filmmakers who are successful and find out how they made it. The "Anatomy of a Film Column" is a chance to learn from filmmakers' hits and misses in real life examples. —Fernanda Rossi, story consultant a.k.a. the Documentary Doctor
This year's winners include "Taxi to the Dark Side" and "Silence of the Bees"April 3rd, 2008 | Mike Hofman
The 67th annual Peabody Award winners were announced on April 2. Among the honorees: Taxi to the Dark Side, Alex Gibney's Oscar-winning look at the torture of alleged terrorists in Afghanistan; Silence of the Bees, a film about colony collapse disorder; Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life, a biography of the composer; Cheney's Law, about the veep's sweeping claims of executive privilege; Nimrod Nation, a rumination on small-town life; Sisters in Law (left), a look at two sisters who defend women's rights in Africa; and To Die in Jerusalem, an intimate take on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. To view clips from these films, click on their names above or go to our "Watch" page.
The full list of 2007 George Foster Peabody Award winners was released on April 2. The winners include films such as Taxi to the Dark Side and To Die in Jerusalem, as well as popular television programs such as Dexter, 30 Rock, and Project Runway.
Astrid Bussink's film was screened at Hot Docs in TorontoApril 30th, 2008
Astrid Bussink's film was screened at Hot Docs in Toronto
Paul Rowley's documentary was shown at Hot Docs in TorontoApril 30th, 2008
Paul Rowley's documentary was shown at Hot Docs in Toronto
Geoffrey Smith's documentary was screened at Hot Docs 2008April 30th, 2008
Geoffrey Smith's documentary was screened at Hot Docs 2008
Filmmaker Celia Maysles documents her search to learn more about her father David, the legendary documentarianApril 26th, 2008
Filmmaker Celia Maysles documents her search to learn more about her father David, the legendary documentarian