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Groundbreaking Tour "Fuels" Indie Film Distribution

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire July 17, 1997 at 2:0AM

Groundbreaking Tour "Fuels" Indie Film Distribution
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Groundbreaking Tour "Fuels" Indie Film Distribution

by Mark Rabinowitz




Starting fresh with new sponsors after the Sundance Channel's 11th hour
pullout of their support last December a new method of independent film
distribution is scheduled to make its long-awaited launch this
October when the Fuel film tour kicks off an eleven city, month-long bus
trek across the U.S. The tour consists of four films, none of which have
distribution. The films are: Suzanne Myers' "Alchemy" (Myers is also the
tour's founder), Chris Smith's "American Job", CLC Films' "Delicate Art Of The
Rifle
" and Hannah Weyer's "Arresting Gena". The tour will give four
independent films their first theatrical exhibitions, with the filmmakers
accompanying their works on an the tour with a 2-3 day stop in each
location. Each stop will serve as the launch of a week-long playdate for
all four films at a selected arthouse, with four prints of each film
leapfrogging their way around the country. Much like the rest of the
independent film world, the Fuel tour will use alternative marketing
methods -- advertising in alternative weeklies and college newspapers Its
films will play exclusively in small independent arthouse theaters, with
the exception of two dates at the national Landmark theaters chain. The
Independent FilmChannel (a tour sponsor) has also committed to providing
on-air support.


"Fuel is special because it was started, organized and run by filmmakers,"
said tour managing director Christie Colliopoulos. In fact, Myers wisely
has a vested interest in the tour's success, that being a wider audience
for her award-winning film (best feature, South by Southwest, 1996). All of
the filmmakers are taking active rolls in the planning and organization of
the , which is scheduled to make stops in three Northeast, three Midwest,
three far Western and 2 Southern locations. Organizers have secured
sponsorship from the Independent Film Channel, GQ, Vanity Fair, Details and
Dockers Khakis, in addition Myers and Colliopoulos are looking for
additional sponsors. The two had nothing but praise for the IFC, saying
that they came on board shortly after the Sundance Channel pullout, with
things being firmed up by early March, 1997. "They (the IFC) have really
been godfathering the project along," said Colliopoulos, and Myers added
that "folks like Caroline
Kaplan and Jeff Lipsky at the IFC have really been a big help" in the
organization of the tour. However, both Colliopoulos and Myers made it
clear that there was no single "presenting sponsor", pointing out that it
was a collective effort on the part of the financial suporters.


Inspired by the Lollapalooza traveling concerts of the past several years,
the tour will wind its way through Cambridge/Boston, Massachusetts;
Providence; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Raleigh, North Carolina;
Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; Chicago; San Francisco; Seattle; and Portland
and will
be managed by veteran tour manager Jackie Farry (Hole/Stereolab) with the
film bookings handled by October Films co-founder and director Jeff Lipsky
("Childhood's End"). "Delicate Art Of The Rifle"'s CLC Films (Cambrai
Liberation Collective) consists of D.W. Harper (director), Stephen Grant
(writer), Alicia Kratzer (designer) and T. Todd Flinchum (producer).


[For more information, visit the FUEL website
www.fueltour.com or send email to
info@fueltour.com]