DAILY NEWS: Movie Theater Benefit; "Go Tigers" Sticks to Release
by Eugene Hernandez and Anthony Kaufman/indieWIRE
>> Movie Theaters Join Forces to Benefit Relief Efforts
(indieWIRE/09.21.01) -- Movie theater owners from around the country are
putting aside financial concerns and their competitive nature to assist in
the relief effort. The National Association of Theater Owners has announced
a special National Benefit Day for Disaster Relief Efforts, it announced
yesterday (Thursday). 100% of ticket sales and concessions receipts gathered
from participating theaters on Tuesday, September 25th will be donated to
the United Way and the Red Cross. Those two organizations will split the
Tuesday's "Victims' Benefit Day at the Movies" will comprise more than
26,000 movie screens, according to the National Association of Theater
Owners. Among the participants are the leading theater chains and numerous
independent venues (including AMC, Clearview Cinemas, Edwards Theaters, General Cinema, Landmark Theaters, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, Regal Cinemas, and many many more) -- a list of sites is available on the association's website (www.natoonline.org).
CEO Paul Richardson of participant Landmark Theaters commented in a prepared
statement yesterday, "I hope that every seat in our circuit can be used to
raise money for this effort. Every cent that is generated that day will go
directly to their cause." Landmark's Marketing VP added, "Turn off the
television, get out of the house and go see a movie. Bring all your family
and friends, have a great time and do something for everyone out there that
really needs our help." [Eugene Hernandez]
>> NEW THIS WEEK: "Go Tigers" Aims for Patriotic Spirit
(indieWIRE/09.21.01) -- This weekend, IFC Films will release "Go Tigers!"
Kenneth A. Carlson's documentary about the Massillon Tigers, a high school
football team striving to better their season and save their school.
(Variety called it "arguably the best sports-oriented docu since 'Hoop
Dreams.'") It would seem like a hard film for indieWIRE to miss in our
weekly New This Week column, which looks at independent movies opening in
theaters. But we completely overlooked it. We could blame ourselves, but it
seems like just as much a result of current events than human error, where
marketing and distributing movies are facing a whole new set of challenges.
"We're at a strange time now," said Jeremy Walker, of Jeremy Walker and
Associates, the PR film hired to publicize "Go Tigers!" "I feel like I have
to gingerly approach people in the journalism business, because obviously
their number one priority is covering this disaster. But nevertheless, we
have to go about our business."
Walker is confident that the sports-related film has gotten attention, but
notes the specific problems of garnering airtime on TV this week. "We went
to a news director of a station," Walker says, "and asked if there would be
room for sports in the broadcast, and she said, 'We're only going to be
covering funerals in the next few weeks.'"
But "Go Tigers!" and it's small Ohio town, All-American football story of
victory and adversity perhaps could not be coming out at a better time.
"It's a strange time for the movie, but a great time for the movie,"
commented Walker. "It's about American a film as you could ask for." Besides
an exclusive New York release this Friday, the movie is also going out to
major sports cities throughout the U.S. such as Chicago, Minneapolis,
Louisville, and Pittsburgh.
Bob Berney, IFC Films' Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution,
offered, "If it was a darker film, I might have pulled it. But it's football
in Middle America; it has this upbeat, win the game spirit and we thought,
let's go for it."
Several films, from Hollywood to independent, have shifted their opening
dates in the wake of the attacks -- and Berney says he's staying "careful
and cautious" with the film's release pattern, because "obviously, we don't
know how the U.S. is going to respond," he said.
At the beginning of this week, Berney didn't even know if he'd be able to
deliver the print to theaters, if TV ads would run, or if the director could
fly to do publicity. Now it looks like everything is "mostly back to
normal," said Berney. "You can't just stop," he added, "you can't just
shutdown." [Anthony Kaufman]
>> EDITORS NOTE: Join the Discussion
(indieWIRE/09.19.01) -- The editors at indieWIRE have questioned how we
should react editorially to what has happened, while at the same time we
have pondered the relevance of the arts during times of turmoil. We anxious
to hear the thoughts and reactions of our colleagues and readers.
We invite take a moment to join other members of the community to offer your
thoughts or perhaps pose a question or idea that we all can consider. We
look forward to your participation. [Eugene Hernandez]
PLEASE JOIN THE DISCUSSION @ indieWIRE.com:
>> Yesterday in indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: indieWIRE Readers React and Respond
(indieWIRE/09.19.01) -- We've all spent significant parts of our day
contemplating and commenting on the events of the last week. It is with that
in mind that indieWIRE invited our readers to join an unstructured
discussion on our website.
GET YESTERDAY's indieWIRE Daily News @ indieWIRE.com: