Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Where Have We Been? DNWA project 8-point update

Please accept our apologies for the prolonged silence, but we have been busy. Here is what's been going on:

1. The 521 Family: Helen has just this week heard that she and Precious and Quinton can move into an apartment at Woodlawn Terrace. This is HUD-subsidized housing and so the rent will be affordable. Helen is very pleased that she will be able to move in before Christmas. This will be where the family lives until project 2 is completed.

2. The house at 521 that was burned out has now been gutted as part of the preparation for the next phase: rebuilding a new home. George Holman has done a terrific job clearing the fire damage and Don Davino of New Augustine Construction arranged for the necessary "cans" [local term for dumpsters or what the Brits call skips].

3. In the New Year we will convene a meeting of building professionals to plan the next steps (permitting, design, etc). Incidentally, it was the same, some say the one and only, Don Davino, who was responsible for a major renovation of Woodlawn Terrace a few years ago and they are very nice units.

4. Financial donations to aid the 521 Family continue to come in (over $1,000 so far). Your generosity continues to inspire hope that has spread much further than this one family. We will be reporting on this campaign in more detail soon and letting you know the goals for 2007 and the rebuild.

5. The film (yes, we have to remind ourselves sometimes that Dare Not Walk Alone is a film as well as a movement) has been selected by THINKFilm for "non-theatrical distribution." What does this mean? First of all, THINKFilm is a highly respected company in the film business, self-described as a "Controversial producer and distributor of edgy and artful features." Being approached by, and then signed to, THINKFilm is a major achievement for the film, its director, and its loyal supporters (so give yourself a hearty pat on the back). We should to point out that this does not mean any revenue for DNWA, yet. DNWA still continues to cost money, not earn money [one of the executive producers plans to publish an article about this soon--some folks seem to think movie out=money in, but there is a lot more to be said about it than that, most of it written in red ink).

6. The best news about the arrangement with THINKFilm is that it pretty much guarantees a broader distribution of the film and the [eventual] DVD. We think this is a very good thing. The term "non-theatrical distribution" means screenings at festivals, schools, colleges, and a whole range of other venues. It keeps alive the possibility that, if the film plays well in these screenings, there will be some form of theatrical release, i.e. in regular or art-house movie theaters. And this means we will still pester you to "motivate the base." In other words, we will tell you when and where the film is playing so you can get your friends and family to go see it.

7. Speaking of staying in touch, be sure to get the feed from this blog to be kept posted, and/or sign up for the mailing list by going here and completing the form. We promise not to spam you...besides we're too busy to even try!

8. The last point for this posting is something of an open secret. It is certainly both unusual and exciting. The director, Jeremy Dean, is currently working on a new cut of the film that will include the fire. He has received the support of THINKFilm in doing this, which is a brave step on their part. This means there are no screenings scheduled for the next few months, and no mention of the film on the THINKFilm web site. But you will be the first to know when the new release is ready to roll.

Thanks again for your continued support. We hope that you will continue to believe, as we do, that the spirit of unconditional love can indeed achieve the Beloved Community of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.

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