Now this ain’t right. Lance Edmands’ “Bluebird” was one of our favorite films of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. It had its international premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and it won the award for Best Actress (shared by its female ensemble) and the Ecumenical Jury Prize. It screened at festivals worldwide including Busan (Korea), Stockholm, Thessaoloniki (Greece), Chicago, Maryland, and the Viennale. But apparently no one’s manned up to give it distribution in the U.S. (which is a bit bullshit considering some of the indies the usual domestic indie distrib suspects release, but we’ll refrain from naming names).
And thus, Edmands and his producers have had to go the Kickstarter route to get the film on digital outlets. They explain here:
- Despite the success we’ve had on the festival circuit and a few offers for traditional distribution, we felt that the film deserved a more nuanced, grass-roots approach to its release. Unfortunately, the support for small-scale adult dramas in the world of traditional distribution is severely lacking these days. Additionally, the financial structure and creative control is less than ideal for filmmakers looking to maintain artistic ownership of their work. We’ve had an incredible time taking this film all over the world and introducing it to audiences, but we didn’t make this film just for film festivals. We believe that there is a larger audience out there who would love this film, if only they were able to see it. Through Kickstarter we’re hoping to raise enough to be able to release the film on a few screens across the country and also make it available on digital outlets, such as iTunes, Amazon, and Netflix.
What’s "Bluebird" about? Well, first off it stars Starring "Mad Men" actor John Slattery, Amy Morton (George Clooney’s older sister in "Up In The Air", Tony-nominated for her role in the stage version of “August: Osage County”), Louisa Krause (the bitchy, scene-stealing hotel clerk in "Young Adult"), Emily Meade ("Fringe," "My Soul to Take,") and it also features Adam Driver ("Girls") and Margo Martindale. In our review, we described it as a “well–observed and striking debut about family, connectedness and consequences. Subtle, nuanced and absorbing…’Bluebird’ is a remarkable first feature and wise beyond his and its years.”
Everyone is terrific, but Karlovy was correct to award the four main actresses in the film. Morton, Meade, Krause and Martindale are all revelations and to watch this film as a casting agent and not go, “holy shit, let’s get them on the radar stat” essentially means you’re deaf, dumb and blind. We also included the picture on our 21 Best Films Of 2014 We’ve Already Seen list from earlier in the year and had we made a Best Films Of 2013 With No Distribution That Should Be Released (like Variety did), “Bluebird” would be seriously high on the list (and yep, they were on Variety’s too). OK, so yes, we feel passionate about this film. It’s intelligent, mature filmmaking and it should be celebrated. We hope the film reaches its goal because it deserves to be seen and hopefully it can find an audience digitally. Below, watch the Kickstarter intro, which includes the brand new trailer for the film as well.