(1) American Fair finds distribution with prestigious Documentary Educational Resources (DER). Now available for viewing and purchase.
American Fair's Somerville preview and "barn-raising" was successful, raising over 10K for the film. With guests from as far away as Maine and France in attendance.
DER director Cynthia Close after viewing, comments about the films visual style, the sense of people and process and culture, and links it with American documentary film making tradition: Pennebaker, Wiseman... She asks which filmmakers influence my work: I answer, Wim Wenders, Germany, for films like "Paris, Texas" and "Notebooks from Cities". And Len Kamerling, an ethnographic filmmaker working in Fairbanks, Alaska. Len is a mentor and close friend. He has dedicated over 30 years to community-collaborative film making in Alaska and Japan. He has a film in the Library of Congress, "Drums of Winter" made with Sarah Elder.
Working with DER is a great honor, not just because American Fair will join a world-class collection of ethnographic documentary films, but also because several of Len's films belong to DER. I am honored to be in his company.
Special thanks to American Fair's generous contributors: George and Ann Fischer, Katherine, Michael and Jeanne Widmer, Claudio and Jean Marzollo, Allen and Bonnie Martin, and David Blumsack. Thanks to so many family and friends. Thanks to DER for believing in the film. Cynthia, Brittany, Michael, Razan. Thanks again to Redbones, Avid, and Sherman Cafe.
Final titles and sound design are complete. DVD is professionally mastered. Available for purchase. Submitting to film festivals. Awaiting decisions. Still working on a curriculum guide.
(2) We are returning to China in July.
Two-year agreement with the TODAY ART MUSEUM in Beijing, to develop and operate a film and television production department. Zhao Hong is pregnant with our second child. The 2008 Olympics. The Joe Maneri Birthday project, Pilgrim's Progress, Maiden Voyage. Contemporary Chinese art documentary. All this and more...
Work hard, and make dreams come true.
30 May 2007
31 January 2007
The music for the American Fair documentary was composed and performed by Emre Yilmaz. Thank you, Emre.
Emre is from Istanbul, Turkey. He is a conservatory-trained classical guitarist. Today he lives in NYC. Emre's beautiful sounds and structures broadened the film's American themes. And give the film a life of its own.
Take a bow, Emre. You deserve it.
The farm fresh milk is long gone. Almost two months have passed since the preview screening of American Fair on that cold Monday in early December. But I haven't forgotten the night. The moon was full. A great vibe was flowing in the theater. I am behind on my thank you notes to everyone. But here is a quick wrap:
The “barn-raising” event was 100% successful, raising over 10K for the completion of the project. The room was packed. Face after face of my closest friends, family and supporters. Rosalie Barnes hosted. She is a lifelong friend. Pempa Tsering played three Tibetan tunes to open the performance, bless the audience and the film. New faces too. Redbones restaurant donated a feast of ribs. Sherman’s Café contributed coffee. I expressed my thanks to all and we played the film.
And people loved it! During a question and answer session the second person to speak was a woman named Cynthia Close. She praised the film up and down, and linked my work to a string of the greatest American documentary film makers of all time, and tossed me a softball question about influences in my work. (I answered with Studs Terkel, Wim Wenders, Len Kamerling). Well the amazing thing is — she runs a distribution company called Documentary Educational Resources, she is an expert, and has offered a contract with DER to distribute American Fair!
05 December 2006
Thank you, everyone. Your particpation and support inspire me:
Maribeth Swan: a truly special night, and you could feel the love in the room, for you and the project. the film itself tells such a heartfelt and honest truth about an American way of life, almost obsolete, and I loved the idea of you showing this in the [Far] East... where everyone thinks of us as corporate mongers... would be interested to hear about the reponse it gets internationally!
Cass Sapir: Great film last night. I knew it would be well edited and a compelling story, but I had no idea the depth you would go to reveal the characters. You mentioned Studs Turkel. I just finished rereading "Working"... it was right along those lines.
Adam Carlson: Thanks for inviting me to share in the unveiling of this project, hopefully one of many... It reminded me so much of my first job on my friend's dairy farm and how that family took me in as another son to them. It brought back some warm memories. I could definitely see this as an educational/historical piece and hope you succeed.
Josh Gigantino: I'm really impressed with both American Fair and how you put your support network together. You know I'm from that area [York County], right? The kids from Shapleigh all go to my old high school, Massabesic. It's great seeing someone pay attention to the farmers back home.
I'm decompressing today. Cleaning-up and re-organizing. I somehow thought that this project would be over after last nights show... but it seems that this is just the beginning.
I see someone found the comment button, on the previous "SHOWTIME!" post. How interesting...
04 December 2006
Perfect night for a movie. Just a few hours from now we'll be gathered, well-fed, warm and cozy at the AMERICAN FAIR "barn-raising" movie event. And the Tibetan troubador will begin...
The phone is jing-jing-jingling. People are coming! I AM PSYCHED!
Look here, the event is OPEN TO ALL. So many people have rolled up their sleeves and lent a hand that the "barn-raising" is nearly complete. And tonight just might put us over the top. Now it is time to celebrate your support and have a good time...
EVERYONE IS WELCOME. The screening is casual. You can "pitch-in" with a small donation at the door - or just stroll right in! The film will be playing anyhow. It's all about community, right? Bring your conversation and goodwill. Come on in from the cold!
Thanks to Ty Burr of the Globe for mentioning our show in his Movie Nation blog. [Side Kick is still showing Friday's picks...]
03 December 2006
I drive to Maine today. Final day of preparation for the screening on Monday night. 2 hours north to get some milk from Ridley Farm. Borrow some handsome farm tools from the Roberts. I'll pick up the hay from Winston's on Monday morning. When is the snow arriving?
Mon Night Screening @ JTOB: 255 Elm Street, Somerville, Davis Square
Driving directions from Acton, ME to "barn-raising" in Somerville.
01 December 2006
BOW WOW WOW. Yesterday Valerie from REDBONES Barbecue & Southern Hospitality (Davis Square, Somerville) called me back...
"I just wanted to give you a call and let you know that the donation request for your film HAS BEEN APPROVED!..."
REDBONES will provide tasty ribs, corn, cornbread and pies! (My mouth is watering...) Ridley Farm in Maine will provide farm-fresh milk! With all this support, our "barn-raising" event will be a cornucopia of food, music and film.
AMERICAN FAIR represents the best of what this coutry is all about -- neighbors helping neighbors -- it is a beautiful film and poised to succeed. Join us, roll-up your sleeves, pitch-in and feast on Monday night!