Just got back from a short trip to SF to catch 35 YEAR OLD MAN screening at the 5th annual Iranian Film Festival. I did miss my screening as usual, but catch the tail end of the program. I meet Saeed Shafa, the festival director (he also runs a few other festivals), whom was a very cordial and nice man, from my brief estimation. This has become a very literal update. And, here is an obligatory picture from the Bay Area.
With the DVD launch in progress, WHALE screens at the Independent minded film festival screening series, Indies for Indies. Indies for Indies is curated by Lucas McNelly, talking the freshest films from the Independent film circuit and screening them at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont Pennsylvania.
This is the perfect type of supplemental screening opportunity to further support my newer ideas towards releasing WHALE and possibly other projects. As I focus more towards the DVD and digital distribution options, screenings further support my main objectives. I am not relying on the festival first, then see what happens method. Those were my ideas previously, but as I spent more time finishing the project then I ever expected, I felt no need to further delay the existence of the film. Its here, if you want it, you can buy it. But, you can also see it screened if you are in the right place, at the right time. I'm hand choosing where this film goes, no blind festival submissions. Why lose money? Why not make money? The economic and industrial world we live in is a bit different, so why really on the same old approaches? Is it because it worked for so and so in the past? Well, fuck that, every case is different, time has passed, so I'm opening up to new possibilities, and so far, so good.
Also, another reason Indies for Indies is a fascinating case study, is that the festival proposes to give back some of the box office to the filmmaker. Now, isn't that a novel idea, one in which should have been implemented 10 years earlier. I applaud these types of positive approaches to the stagnate film festival infrastructure. Whether they work or not isn't the final question, but whether people have the initiative to try to do something different, something vital to resurrect a dying form which is losing younger audiences daily. Indy film will start to be vital again when filmmakers stop thinking they are Quentin Fucking Tarantino or Kevin Smith, and make work which truly speaks to their generations now. That's what was going on with Tarantino and Smith in the nineties. There was personalty, a fuck you attitude, a vision. Look at how loyal audience fan base were. Think about how Harmony Korine spoke to millions of young adults his age. People gave a shit then, they really did. And most importantly, it was the youth who admired the auteur. Nowadays, we lost them to Avatar and the newest Vince Vaughn comedy (not making a judgment on the quality(in fact i really was quite taken by Avatar), but on the fact that values have changed). Indie film nor the arthouse is hip anymore culturally, lets face the fact. But that doesn't mean that it cannot be again. Lars Van Trier proves the case, with personality, insight, radicalism, and again, a fuck you attitude. Hate the guy, or love him, you cannot deny the magnetism he draws on the form. He makes you go see the work. Of course, I'm talking about the little guys right now, who, if you support them, can grow into the next generation of filmmakers who speak directly to you, the audience. A stale, dying infrastructure will only drown the voices without peoples support.
So, get to work, and support films which speak to you. Support them the same way you support bands that you love. Go buy their shit, ask your local "arthouse" theaters to bring you new shit, make your own screening series of indie films at your local bar, or your own house. Indie film nights, coming straight to the couch. Buy some obscure DVD from someone you heard about, then invite a bunch of people for drinks and enjoy the night. Stop being a critic, a cynic, a negative asshole. Be good, be kind, be helpful. And last but not least, go see WHALE, or buy the damn DVD!
Saturday, March 6th @ 4:30pm
Monday, March 8th @ 7pm
Tuesday, March 9th @ 9:30pm
If live around Taos, go check it out on a larger screen.