Monday, April 30, 2007

How to Schedule a Screening of Dare Not Walk Alone

We're getting more and more requests these days from people wanting to know: How do I arrange a screening of Dare Not Walk Alone in my city, school, college, film festival, etc.

The short answer is: get in touch with THINKFilm. The contact details are on the left. The more screenings there are, the better (see the long answer below for an explanation).

Thanks to the efforts of THINKFilm, Dare Not Walk Alone has already been screened at eight festivals so far this year, with more to come. But you don't need to wait for a festival to see the film. Schools and colleges and community groups can arrange screenings.

Whenever possible, either the director or one of the producers will attend the screening to participate in a Q&A session afterwards. We love to do this, particularly at colleges and high schools. The sessions often prove to be both lively and enlightening for all concerned. But it has to be said that right now the budget for travel is very limited so we can't promise to attend every screening. (Fortunately, some colleges and festivals are able to cover travel costs for this sort of event.)

Just to clarify a couple of things--making this the long answer--the film does not accrue any direct revenue from these screenings (which is one reason there is not much money in the travel and PR budgets). You may not have realized this, but when you buy tickets to see a film at a film festival the money goes to the festival, not the films. It is is all part of the complex financial arrangements that make up the film industry today, including the licensing limitations on copyrighted material like music, photographs and, particularly in the case of documentaries, old film footage.

So, right now the path forward looks like this: the more DNWA screenings we book and the more awards and rave reviews DNWA gets, then the greater the chances that there will be limited theatrical release of DNWA. On the back of that would come the DVD release and that is when the project could actually turn cash flow positive. However, there would still need to be quite a lot of positive cash flow before the project ever got out of debt. Such is the nature of independent film-making, especially when you choose to make a film about a 'difficult' subject. But then again, we didn't choose the subject, it chose us.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Civil Rights Film Wins Festival Audience Award

Drumroll please...

Hushed silence...

"And the Audience Award for the Columbus, Ohio, 2007 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival goes to...envelope please...Dare Not Walk Alone."

Thank you, audience, thank you!

It is hard to express just how much your recognition means to us. Accolades from critics, from other filmmakers, these are wonderful things to have. But for a documentary about civil rights to scoop the audience vote, against some really tough competition, that truly makes the whole thing feel totally worth it.

We want to thank the festival sponsors and the organizers, especially Melissa Starker, for screening the film.

We would also like to thank all our supporters out there who have done so much over the last twelve months to promote awareness of this film. Your efforts are pushing us ever closer to making the film available to everyone.

After all, when a film comes out top in Columbus, you know there is a huge audience across America that is likely to feel the same way about it.


p.s. We will be posting a picture of the award when we get it. And of course, we will be updating all of our fliers to say "Award Winning."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Columbus Fliers Now Online: Dare Not Walk Alone Premieres 4/20

Here is the flier for the Columbus, Ohio premiere this Friday (8PM) and the second screening on Sunday (5:30PM) both at the Arena Grand Theater:

Flier for the Columbus Screenings

Please feel free to download, photocopy, and prolifically [yet responsibly] distribute, post, email, fax, etc.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Getting Out The Word in NC! Print out Dare Not Walk Alone fliers and hand them out

Wow! A great idea from one of our supporters: Why not make fliers for the film available on the web for people to print out and distribute? Why not indeed! So here is our first:

Winston-Salem screenings

This is a black and white Adobe Acrobat pdf file which should print fine on most laser and inkjet printers. It has the times and locations of the Riverrun festival screenings plus the web and contact info. This is also a document you can fax or email to friends.

Note: Please use responsibly. This is an experiment. Dare Not Walk Alone has zero budget left for promotion until we can reach critical mass through strong showings at festivals. We are depending on word of mouth and you.


Win a Dare Not Walk Alone T-shirt: Send us your photos of NC and OH screenings

Here's the deal: Dare Not Walk Alone is playing four times in three days in Ohio and North Carolina and it is close to impossible for the director or producers to put in an appearance at all these events (not to mention the fact that we have no travel budget left) . BUT we do have some t-shirts left and we will award four of them as follows:

  1. the person who sends the best cellphone photo of one of the Ohio screenings,
  2. the person who sends the best regular digital photo of one of the Ohio screenings
  3. the person who sends the best cellphone photo of one of the NC screenings,
  4. the person who sends the best regular digital photo of one of the NC screenings
You should email the photos to "info at dnwa dot info" (ask someone to help you if you don't see the email address in those characters). Make sure that no picture is larger than two megabytes (you may need to use a graphics program to reduce the size). If you want to send multiple pictures, send a separate email for each one.

The best overall picture will also win a signed copy of the limited edition DVD when it is released later this year. There is no need to include a postal address when you enter. We will contact you by email if you win. All the usual rules apply, like must be over 18 to enter; judges decision final; etc.

What we are looking for is not pictures of the film itself--we have plenty of those--but pictures of people at the theatre, the audience in the theatre, perhaps before or after the film. Please DO NOT USE FLASH during the film or do anything else that makes us regret this idea.

Good luck!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Next Up: Columbus and Winston-Salem as Dare Not Walk Alone screens 4 times in 3 days

That's right, we have dueling festivals coming up this weekend! After the standing room only screening in Sarasota, we'd love to see a repeat at both of these venues:

Winston-Salem, North Carolina Riverrun Festival
Friday, 20th, 10:30AM Babcock Theatre
Saturday, 21st, 10:00PM Sawtooth Building

Columbus, Ohio 2007 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival
Friday, April 20, at 8PM
Sunday, April 22, at 5:30PM

Come on Columbus! Go Winston-Salem!

We are trying to think up a prize for the city that turns out the biggest audience. If you have any suggestions for a city-sized prize, let us know:

Monday, April 16, 2007

THANK YOU SARASOTA! Dare Not Walk Alone sells out Sunday night show in Sarasota

Putting together an independent documentary with very few resources and a fair amount of opposition can be a long and lonely journey over pretty rough ground, but nights like last night, when the screening of Dare not Walk Alone at the Sarasota Film Festival was sold out, make it all worthwhile.

So we want to send out a huge shout of "Thanks!" to everyone who attended, and encouraged attendance, and told a friend, or posted a flier, or made a call, or otherwise spread the word. We'd also like to thank Neil McCurry, Dr. Welch, Jody Kielbasa, and everyone else at the festival for their terrific hospitality, and the folks at "Embracing our Differences", for sponsoring the screening (Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy, and Carroll and Carol Buchanan). Thanks as well to Mike Fretto and the crew from Rosa Loves. Seems like the world loves your t-shirts and we were delighted to see you mobbed by eager buyers.

And for those of you who could not get in to see the film last night, or would like to see it again, please consider the 1:15PM showing tomorrow, Tuesday the 17th, at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. We know it is a work day, but why not treat yourself to some time off, take a break from doing your taxes, file an extension? You'll be glad you did.

After Sarasota it is on to Ohio! The good people of Columbus will have two chances to see Dare Not Walk Alone in April. The 2007 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival is screening the film in Columbus on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m. This will be the Ohio premiere of the film. Both screenings are at the Arena Grand Theater. Get your tickets now. Here's a link to the official festival web site.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Emancipation Day Finally Gets Noticed: IRS gives all Americans an extra day to file taxes

Some might call it the best thing that the Internal Revenue Service has ever done, delaying the 2007 tax filing deadline in honor of Emancipation Day, celebrated annually on the 16th of April by the District of Columbia. Since taxes are normally due on the 15th, which is a Sunday this year, the due date would have been the 16th, but the IRS very wisely delayed one more day to respect the DC holiday (maybe to compensate for the shameful fact that residents of DC have to pay federal taxes even though they have no federal representation).

But ask most people "What do some Americans celebrate on April 16" and you are likely to get a lot of blank stares.

In fact, several countries celebrate Emancipation Day on August 1 because it was on that day in 1834 that slaves in the British Empire were emancipated. The DC celebration stems from President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act for the release of "certain persons held to service or labor in the District of Columbia" on April 16, 1862 (better late than never some might say). According to Wikipedia, that act "freed about 3,100 enslaved persons in the District of Columbia nine months before President Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation which presaged the eventual end of slavery to the rest of the nation."

2007 is actually a major milestone in the history of slavery as it marks 200 years since the British abolished slavery (the act took a while to reach the rest of the empire). Abolishing slavery is something of which the British are quite proud, but that pride is tempered by deep-seated guilt about their role engaging in, and profiting from, the slave trade. Indeed, some people in Britain marched 250 miles in yokes and chains this year as an expression of regret for Britain's participation in the slave trade and the enormous profits it brought Britain in the nineteenth century (arguably enabling the nation to reach the global pre-eminence it enjoyed under Queen Victoria and laying the foundation for levels of prosperity that lasted well into the twentieth century).

According to British-born Stephen Cobb, one of the Executive Directors of Dare Not Walk Alone, the sense of guilt regarding slavery is still quite strong in some sectors of British society. Says Cobb, "As a boy I learned about the evils of the slave trade in Sunday School and I think my life-long interest in issues related to Africa and African-Americans stems in part from that."

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hello Bradenton: Come see the civil rights story they didn't teach you in school

A quick shout to Bradenton Herald for listing the upcoming screenings, at 8PM on Sunday April 15, and 1:15PM on Tuesday April 17 at Hollywood 20 Theaters, Sarasota, Florida. Director Jeremy Dean will be attending both screenings and will be available for discussions. If you think you know the history of civil rights in America, come see this film. We think you 'll be surprised.

You can get tickets from the Sarasota Film Festival listing right here.

Also, check out the "Embracing Our Differences" web site which is re-launching soon with the April 2007 content. Sounds like a very interesting program.

Note, the image above is from archive footage used in Dare not Walk Alone. It shows a police officer using a cattle prod on a white civil rights demonstrator as law enforcement tries to clear a sit-in outside the racially segregated Monson Motor Lodge, site of several events crucial to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including the arrest of Dr. Martin Luther King and also the notorious "pool integration" which sent shockwaves around the world.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hello Ohio: State premiere of Dare Not Walk Alone set for April 20!

Folks in Ohio will have two chances to see Dare Not Walk Alone in April. The 2007 Alive Deep Focus Film Festival is screening the film in Columbus on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, at 5:30 p.m. This will be the Ohio premiere of the film. Both screenings are at the Arena Grand Theater. Get your tickets now. Here's a link to the official festival web site. And here's the very well-worded announcement:

"Jeremy Dean uses amazing, never-before-seen archival footage of racial clashes in St. Augustine, Florida, America's oldest city, to spotlight the role the town played in the passage of the Civil Rights Act and take a hard look at the legacy left behind."
Please put out the word to all your friends and family in the Columbus area (also any schools, colleges, churches, news outlets that might be in your network).


Friday, April 06, 2007

Relish: A Spicy Mix of Things To Do in North Carolina

Just a quick shout to the folks at Relish Now! for covering the RiverRun International Film Festival where Dare Not Walk Alone will be playing on Friday, April 20 at 10:30AM at Babcock Theatre and again on Saturday, April 21 at 10:00PM in the Sawtooth Building. Click here for ticket details.