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Last Spring I was approached by the filmmakers of a documentary film called “Who Does She Think She Is” about using Emerging Pictures to distribute and exhibit their film. The film is a moving exploration of the difficulties women have in being taken seriously as artists. It had already had some modest theatrical exposure, and the filmmakers had been besieged by individuals and organizations who wanted to organize events and buy copies of the DVD. They had read all the various manifestos about DIY distribution, and armed with that information, were keen on trying to break the mold in the service of getting the film out to as many people as possible.
I liked the film and the niche audience it was playing to, but I’m always dubious about filmmakers’ abilities to deliver an audience. My experience is that no matter how many organizations come forward to help, and how big their mailing lists are, they are very good at delivering an audience for one night…and that’s it. When I expressed this, I was pleased to find out that expectations were not out of line, and that they were game for whatever made sense. After many brainstorming sessions, assessing all the opportunities, we had a plan. (more…)