A few months ago, in their year-end lists, indieWIRE asked us to offer five picks for best films of the year still without distribution. My picks were: Apart From That, Eve and the Fire Horse, Gretchen, Jam, and The Last Romantic. Fast forward to this weekend, and I’ve received separate email blasts from the makers of SXSW world-premieres Apart From That and Last Romantic that they (as well as Eve and the Fire Horse) have been chosen to participate in the annual “indieWIRE: Undiscovered Gems” screening series co-presented by Emerging Pictures and The New York Times. Three out of five ain’t bad!
The “Undiscovered Gems” series is an annual showcase for a different “undiscovered” film each month (Eve has May, Romantic has June, and Apart has July). Click here for a full list of the 2007 selections. And, by the way, the Last Romantic blurb on the site is my program-catalog synopsis cut and pasted…hmmm. Anyway, the series means the films will play in 15 theaters across the country and audiences will get a chance to vote for their favorites. The winner of the audience award receives an official theatrical run in 2008, including both New York and L.A. The winner also gets $50,000 for P&A, and a $50,000 licensing fee for broadcast on the Sundance Channel. The 2006 winner was SXSW favorite, Four Eyed Monsters. I’m incredibly happy for all the filmmakers chosen, but especially jazzed for our SXSW 2006 alumni. When both The Last Romantic and Apart From That made their world premieres at SXSW 2006, audiences and critics fell in love… but distributors didn’t quite know how to turn that into a full-fledged release. Hopefully more audiences will get a chance to boost their support during the summer. Congrats to Julia, Aaron, Adam, Randy, and Jenny!