Why You Should Follow "I Will Follow"
A new group (one I've never heard of, AFFRM) pulled off an $11,235 per screen run in multiple cities with "absolutely no formal P&A, no four-walling, no touring, no service deal on their first try." Ava DuVernay wrote a May 4th, 2011 guestpost for Ted Hope's blog about how she completed a 7-week theatrical release of her film, I WILL FOLLOW, in 20 major US cities, including NY and LA, without studio or corporate backing and no formal P&A. Thanks to Sheri Candler and Jon Reiss for blogging about this remarkable DIWO (Do It With Others) new world distribution success story.
UPDATE MAY 4th, 2011: Apparently the NY Times covered Ava DuVernay's plan to put black-theme movies in commercial theaters back on January 7th, 2011. According to the Times, the AAFRM release plan called for an initial run in the AMC theater chain using the marketing power of exsiting film festivals. Under the AFFRM plan, the filmmakers get an initial run of two-weeks "supported by social networks, mailing lists and other buzz-building services at the disposal of allied ethnic film festivals." To build national media buzz, the films would screen in all cities simultaneously with promotional backing from various local festival organizations, which will share in revenue. The inaugural group of backers included the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York, the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, the ReelBlack Film Series in Philadelphia, the BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta and the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle. A second film, and three more cities — Chicago, Boston and Nashville — were expected to follow in August.