Back to IndieWire

DAILY BRIEFS: Million-Dollar Indie Tour; New Jem Cohen/Fugazi Doc

DAILY BRIEFS: Million-Dollar Indie Tour; New Jem Cohen/Fugazi Doc

by Eugene Hernandez

>> Details Unveiled for IFP’s Million-Dollar “Classically Independent” Tour

Picking up where the landmark FUEL Tour left off, a tour of four new
independent films and other classics has been officially announced, and it is
being underwritten by a corporate sponsor reportedly to the tune of more
than $1.5 million. Developed by the IFP in New York, the “Classically
Independent Film Festival
” has been in the works for months and former
Hamptons Film Festival programmer Stephen Gallagher was brought in to
program and organize the tour as part of the IFP’s 20th Anniversary

Following a recent “Classically Independent Film Festival” presented in
conjunction with the Film Arts Foundation in San Francisco, Dockers Khakis
has joined forces with the IFP to underwrite and market the event — the company was
also a sponsor of the 1997 FUEL Tour. Next month, high-quality, full color
inserts will roll out in national newspapers and magazines, including the
New York Times, Variety, and Premiere, touting the tour. Additionally, a
special bus equipped with a screening room will follow along and promote
the event. On May 7th the five-city tour of new and old indie films will
kick off in New York City before traveling to Chicago, San Francisco, Los
Angeles, and Minneapolis. While Dockers would not specifically confirm the
$1.5 million marketing and tour production figure, a tour spokesperson
indicated late yesterday that the amount quoted by indieWIRE is “in the

Scott Ziehl‘s “Broken Vessels,” Cauleen Smith‘s “Drylongso,” Brett Morgan &
Nanette Burstein
‘s “On the Ropes,” and Eric Bross‘ “Restaurant” make-up the
lineup of new films screening on the tour, while an array of classic films
will also be shown: Alan Rudolph‘s “Choose Me,” Tony Bill‘s “Five
,” Louis Malle‘s “My Dinner with Andre,” Carl Franklin‘s “One False
,” Jennie Livingston‘s “Paris is Burning,” and Hal Hartley‘s “The
Unbelievable Truth
.” New 35mm prints of the film’s will be presented on
the tour and a series of panel discussions are in the works. Short films by
local filmmakers and others commissioned by grants from Dockers will screen
prior to each showing.

>> Jem Cohen and Fugazi Unveil Documentary at Benefit Screenings in New York

Acclaimed film & video-maker Jem Cohen debuted a new feature length
documentary, “Instrument,” at special benefit screenings here in New York
City on Tuesday night. Capturing ten-years in the life of the band Fugazi
— the two-hour doc was finished on video, premiered in Rotterdam and
has also screened in Italy — it was shown twice via digital projection at
the NYU Cantor Film Center.

Cohen told indieWIRE that because of his friendship with the band members he began
shooting their earliest rehearsals back in 1987, not even intending to make
a documentary at that point. He added that in 1992 approached Good
to facilitate multi-camera live concert footage and the idea for a
feature-length documentary grew from there. Known in part for his work on
a number on R.E.M. videos and the band’s concert movie, “Tourfilm,” Cohen
worked closely with Fugazi, who underwrote his expenses while he was on
tour, and also worked with him to edit down the nearly 80 hours of footage
— the movie will be released on home video next week by Dischord Records.

Tuesday night’s screenings, which drew large crowds that included Cohen
supporter Michael Stipe of R.E.M., and rocker Patti Smith, were benefit
showings for the Stay Free! zine and the Center for Commercial-Free
. Reflecting on the evening, Cohen explained that it was
important to have his NYC debut as part of a benefit, rather than at a
film festival, in keeping with the band’s history of playing low-cost
benefit gigs. “I don’t ever really make money,” Cohen explained, adding
that this was a way to donate to worthwhile organizations
through his own work — a mid-April D.C, screening of the movie is currently being
organized to benefit a local health-care facility.

Fugazi has been vigilant in its efforts against the rock industry, pricing
its shows at $5 and remaining an entirely independent and vocally political
group. Capturing that was important to Cohen, as was aligning himself with
the Stay Free! publication which in part has a distinctly
“anti-commercialism” bent — it is edited by Carrie McLaren who writes
about advertising for The Village Voice. Discussing the subject, Cohen
offered that these days it is becoming “a given that no one is going to
fund (independent films) and we have to rely on corporations to do so — I
don’t want that to become the assumption (because) then people feel that
there wasn’t any world that existed beforehand — that’s the whole point of

[“Instrument” is available for $18 post paid from Dischord Records
(703/351-7507): 3819 Beecher St., NW Washington, DC 20007-1802, and will
also be sold at local video stores. Their website URL is:

Stay Free! can be reached on the Internet at:

On Tuesday night, Jem Cohen forgot to mention that he is currently looking
for an intern, and that he will be screening his 1996 movie, “Lost Book
,” on April 5th in NYC at the King Juan Carlos 1 of Spain Center
(212) 998-3770.]

SUBMIT A BRIEF suggestion by email, or to the office at:


110 W. 57th St.

New York, NY 10019

Phone 212/581-7642

Fax 212/581-1857.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox