A chain letter to filmmakers without chains
“For something real to happen in India you need a group of determined and able people to give their time and energy,” says renowned Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman. Being actively involved in both the commercial and independent streams of cinema, Dan recognizes and highlights the need of a reformed distribution system for independent filmmakers.
Here is a letter written by him to every filmmaker:
If a psychiatrist would ask me about my filmic childhood – trying to understand what formed the patterns of my film behavior – I’m sure he would say
that it all started with the traumas and experiences of my early student days when I made my first short films. After hearing me out he would say
“Here is a classic case of arrested development – someone poisoned by the sweetness of too much freedom and independence when he started
making films and now entering the adult world he can’t cope with the fact that he has to collaborate with others who want to change his screenplay,
decide for him which actors to choose, intervene with the content of his film while shooting and at the end edit the film to their whims”.
Yes, I have become a prisoner of the sweetness of that period, I liked the freedom, I liked being involved and responsible for every aspect of my film,
and since then I can’t free myself and make films “normally”.
How lucky we all are to have been born to taste the digital age, lucky to be able to shoot on a shoestring and edit our films on our home computers.
But, lucky are not only us – lucky are the audiences who can see new kinds of films, films which are as personal and individualistic as are poems, paintings, novels, plays and symphonies…
We share the same passion for cinema as commercial filmmakers do, but in many ways our freedom is greater.
We choose the stories of our films because they interest and fascinate us – not just because we hope they’ll make money.
We have the freedom to make films with good actors whom we’ve selected because they are right for the role and not just because they are famous.
We are far off from the cliché of the chubby producers with the cigar who try to put as much money from the film’s budget into their pockets.
We, the new producers – put the money in the film itself – hoping to make enough money to live on and be able go on making films.
Yes, we can control all aspects of our filmmaking, but – with the exception of one – it’s distribution.
Enough of chasing and begging others to show our films in their venues. We want our own distribution network.
We know that there are thirsty eyes and audiences who will pay to see our films.
Let the big commercial distributors keep the glittering malls and multiplexes, give us the informal, unofficial screenings at clubs, underground cellars and rooftops.
From now on we’re moving from words to deeds. I have formed a new company “Nafitz” and am starting distribute films according to my vision.
I am starting modestly in my country – but hope my experiment here will be a model for independent filmmakers the world over.
I have no budget, but I have friends – many have approached me asking to join and fight.
Please pass this chain letter to friends – independent filmmakers and lovers of independent cinema without chains around the world.
Let our voice be heard and away with the middlemen and tycoons.
To know more about the movement and share your thoughts with Dan Wolman, visit : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Revolution-in-distribution/227157784098863
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