Sunday, April 30, 2006

Goodbye Jennifer Dawson

The House Next Door blog reports that filmmaker & critic Matt Zoller Seitz's wife Jennifer Dawson has passed away. Am shocked and saddned by the tragic news and I wish the best for Matt & his family in dealing with their terrible loss. Goodbye Jennifer Dawson, lots of people will miss you.

- Sujewa

Saturday, April 29, 2006

3 questions for Date Number One star & punk rock legend John Stabb Schroeder

John Stabb Schroder as the ninja Mark H. Temonium from Date Number One

Julia Stemper & John Stabb Schroder from a scene in Date Number One :: Copyright 2005 Sujewa Ekanayake

John Stabb Schroder is a DC based actor & musician. He was the lead singer in the punk band Government Issue (G.I.) from 1981 - 1989. Starting this year (DC 5/13, Seattle 5/19 - 21) John can be seen playing a ninja who goes on a blind date in my new movie Date Number One. I did an 11 question interview with John last year, here's 3 of the exchanges, the rest can be found here. Enjoy.

Sujewa: What were your thoughts when I first explained to you that you will be playing a ninja in this movie?

John: When you offered me the role, I jumped at the chance! I’ve always enjoyed Bruce Lee movies and thought “I’m going to play a f’n ninja!” And the moment I slipped into the ninja outfit and headgear, I was ready to take on any martial arts actors. David Carradine, Chuck Norris, Michael Dudikoff, Uma Thurman, Rudy Ray Moore … bring em’ all on-ha! I guess you could say “blonde ninjas do have more fun”.


Sujewa: So, let’s get back to music. DC has a long history of punk rock & activism, and you were there from the beginning - late 70's and early 80's. What moments stick out in your memory from the last two plus decades of punk & indie music in DC?

John: I am pretty fond of those years. I cannot say that the last 20 years of the WDC punk scene has been as enjoyable as the initial earlier ones. There was a certain naïveté and innocence about the time. It felt like you were really part of something special. To me, it was like a family kind of thing. A bunch of us discontented (but fun-loving!) aggressive kids just living for the next punk gig to happen. There was a lot of exciting earth shattering music back in WDC during the eighties. Especially say in the years 1980-85. Teen Idles, Untouchables, Black Market Baby, Slickee Boys, Youth Brigade, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Double-O, Void, Deadline, S.O.A., Red C, just to name a handful. From 1985-90, the local music community became distant and lost a lot of that special connection for me. Many people I felt close to were moving on and chose to lose touch with me as a friend. I’d considered a lot of those folks as friends but it seemed they didn’t feel the same. I still feel that Ian (Ian MacKaye from Fugazi, The Evens, etc.) is a friend. Sure we disagree on many issues (and we’re not hanging out) but I feel a certain friendship with him. I guess that’s the nature of adulthood: moving on with your life. Sometimes I miss a bunch of those guys but there is something to be said about that expression: “you can never go back home”.

Sujewa: I am a big fan of the local punk label Dischord Records. Do you have any stories, memories and or thoughts about Dischord that you want to share with us?

John: It was the winter of ’81 and I’d just been through a nasty ordeal. My group housemates (an alcoholic married couple) attacked my other roommate Monique and me. Monique and I filed an assault & battery charge against the violent newlyweds. While we waited out for the trial, all of us still lived at the same house. But we all refused to pay any more bills and it got pretty damned cold without heat or hot water. The husband of the wife was living off her lucrative inheritance so they decided to move into a motel room. A bit after that I split and didn’t want to go back home to my parents home. My punk musician pals at the Dischord (Records) House nearby let me move in with them 'till I found another place of my own. So even though the members of Minor Threat, Untouchables, Iron Cross and Double-O really hardly knew me (other than from my band G.I.), they were so generous to let me stay there. That’s a memory I’ll always treasure.

Read the rest of the interview here.

- Sujewa

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Word from Sri Lanka

Latest news from the Sri Lanka based unit of the international peace activist organization Nonviolent Peaceforce:

April 25, 2006

While this report is being prepared, LTTE-controlled sea side areas
close to our office in Mutur in the East are being targeted in a
coordinated action by the Sri Lankan Navy and Airforce. The bombs and
shelling by a naval craft and fighter jets, which can be felt and heard
by the team members from their position in the office, are part of a
retaliation for the suicide bomb attack on General Fonseka, Chief
Commander of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, at the army headquarters in
Colombo earlier today. Meanwhile, the Airforce has assured us that the Mutur
town and our team are safe. The town has lost electricity and reports of
casualties from the area targeted are coming in slowly but the exact
numbers will not be known until the enforced curfew expires.

It appears the suicide bomb was set-off by a young female, who pretended
to be pregnant while visiting the army hospital. Early reports inform us
that she threw herself on top of the army vehicle with the General,
killing his five body guards and three civilians. Twenty-seven people
were injured. The General sustained injuries but miraculously survived.
This evening the President of Sri Lanka has appeared on national
television and asked the people to remain calm. For the moment, Colombo
is under curfew until dawn while the army is conducting house searches
in certain areas.

At the moment, it is difficult to predict what will happen next but the
incident definitely has decreased further chances of the talks, which
are meant to enforce the current Cease Fire Agreement, in Geneva taking
place any time soon. Last week, the LTTE temporarily pulled out of the
talks, claiming that a level of normality in the East will need to
emerge first.

In recent weeks there have been almost daily attacks on the security
forces in the East and North. Some of these have also killed and injured
civilians, including two NGO workers killed by a claymore mine attack
while passing an army convoy. There have also been shootings, killing
and retaliation on civilians for the mine attacks blamed on the LTTE,
mob killings, burning of houses and shops, gun fights between partners
and displacement of communities.

The worst violence has been seen in the Trincomalee district. The
violence included a terrible bomb set off in the busy market on April
12th killing at least five persons, including one child. Within minutes,
a Sinhala mob came and targeted revenge at mostly Tamil shops, homes and
civilians, leaving at least 19 more civilians dead and over 30 shops
burned. The ethnic violence continued in other areas where Sinhalese and
Tamil communities border. Thousands of villagers from the areas have
moved to public places of worship or schools for safety.

In the context of this tension, after witnessing the aftermath of the
bombing of the market and assisting several of the injured people to a
hospital, our Trinco Team was attacked by an angry crowd of Sinhala
youth while returning to the office. The crowd surrounded the NP vehicle
which was marked with the NPSL sign and flag. Members of the crowd
slapped and punched the driver, FTM Charles Oloo Otieno, who was trying
to turn the vehicle and move away from the hostile scene. Parts of the
truck were ripped from the side. The team was also threatened with a
hand grenade. Before they could leave from the area heavy stones were
thrown at the vehicle, smashing the side and back windows. Luckily the
team was not seriously physically injured. However, the whole event took
place 30 feet (10 meters) from a police/army checkpoint and the forces
present made no attempt to intervene. The team recovered quickly
from the attack and continued work the next day, hence it provided
protection for the delivery of relief to those displaced by the violence.

Due to the diplomatic skills of its local translator, the team managed
to reach out to the gang who had attacked them in the days afterwards.
Subsequently, their leaders have apologized to our field team members
and agreed to take part in a local peace meeting between the
communities soon.

The next 48 hours will tell us more about the situation and whether we can
expect a further increase in violence or are faced with a serious
war scenario. Questions that need to be answered are: Are today's
suicide bombing and the subsequent retaliatory attacks by the armed forces
indications that the CFA is officially dead? Will the EU now decide to
ban the LTTE, which the government of Sri Lanka has lobbied for, hence
further isolating the LTTE? How will NPSL operate if war breaks out?

For the moment, we are assessing the situation daily and continue to
provide protection to civilians, where possible. But the environment we
work in is extremely complex and the circumstances are increasingly more

Marcel C.A. Smits
Project Director Nonviolent Peaceforce Sri Lanka

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Save The Internet

Gi-normous companies want to carve up the internet for themselves. Bad news for indie artists, small biz people & alternative views. Go here to help stop the sale of the internet to the highest bidders. Thanks.

- Sujewa

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tour update from Kelley Baker, pic from Kensington show 4/20/06

Angry Filmmaker Kelley Baker outside of Kensington Row Bookshop on Thu 4/20/06 in Kensington, MD, where he screened his film Kicking Bird at a Capital City Microcinema event. photo copyright 2006 sujewa ekanayake

At his blog DIY filmmaker Kelley Baker writes:

" The tour is going great! Arizona and Texas were a ball, I had some great screenings at the Alamo Draft House in Houston, my work shops went well, and it was good to see some old friends. From there Moses and I went to Grand Rapids, MI for a guest lecture and a self distribution work shop.

I did Rochester, NY at RIT. I went from doing just a Visiting Artist gig to 4 class lectures over 3 days. Not bad... After that I hung out with friends in Mass then off to Kensington, MD for a sound design workshop and a screening. A small but enthusiastic group. Even though we had a brief power outage during the movie everyone stayed until the end."

Read the rest of that entry here.

- Sujewa

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Quick update re: Kelley Baker in DC 4/19 & 20

The last time I saw DIY filmmaker & self-distributor Kelley Baker he was riding down the highway, heading south w/ his laid back dog Moses, and that was about 9 hours ago, after 2 days of activity: a sound design class, couple of fun dinners, a screening where almost every customer in attendance bought a DVD, meals w/ 2 local producers (one of them invited Kelly to come back to DC in the fall to play a popular local festival), and many inspiring conversations and stories. I am too sleepy right now to go into all the details, but soon - maybe on/by Tue, I'll write a longer account of the 4/19 & 20 activties, & will post some related pics. Kelley's latest feature "Kicking Bird" is excellent.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Lance "The Last Broadcast"/"Head Trauma" Weiler now blogging at Indie Features 06

Lance Weiler, director of The Last Broadcast & the new flick Head Trauma is now blogging at Indie Features 06. Here's his first entry:

- Sujewa

Sex Addict doing better than 74 other indie films at the box office, per screen

Where I operate, the DIY film world, box office performance is not the most important story regarding a film's distribution. However, in the indiewood realm where Caveh Zahedi works now w/ his excellent new film I Am A Sex Addict, the box office performance is important (and in the next realm over, Hollywood, box office performance is like water, religion, or sex - very, very important). That being the case, it is nice to see Sex Addict doing well. It was my #1 choice for Best Films of '05, nice to see it getting a chance to display itself to more people.

According to indieWIRE's indie film box office chart for the previous week, Sex Addict is in the 15th place, above 74 other indie films. Placement on the chart is determined by the per screen average. See the chart here. Rock on Caveh & Team Sex Addict!

- Sujewa

Monday, April 17, 2006

Intro to DIY 2005 Film Movement



Amir Motlagh, Sujewa Ekanayake, April 2005
copyright 2005 sujewa ekanayake

DIY05 is a little film movement that Amir Motlagh & I cooked up around this time last year. Here's the basic approach of DIY05 towards indie film production & distribution:


1. No budget/ultra-low budget digital video & or film D.I.Y. production

2. Touring like punk rockers/indie rockers, self distribution

3. Providing much value to each of our worthy audience members

DIY05 principles are being put into practice right now w/ Date Number One.


Official web page (needs to be updated)

Entry 29, April 25, 2005 @ Indie Film, The World, Our Lives blog re: the weekend in which DIY05 was cooked up, at

"Kicking Bird", "Stolen Toyota" & Kelley Baker in DC on Thu April 20

April 20, 2006, 7 PM: Portland filmmaker Kelley Baker at Kensington Row Bookshop (3786 Howard Ave., Kensington, MD 20895) w/ feature drama "Kicking Bird" & short "Stolen Toyota". A Capital City Microcinema screening.

KICKING BIRD (2005) is the story of Martin "Bird" Johnson, a 17 year old high school kid who runs. With his Mother in jail, his father gone, one brother in a work camp and his bitter grandfather beating him, there is nothing else to do but run! One day the manipulative high school cross country Coach sees Martin out run his entire team, (they want to beat him up), and thinks that Martin is his ticket to a college coaching position. On a budget of $6000 and an 18 day shooting schedule this movie was shot in digital video. It features an original Soundtrack, available on CD.

W/ short film Stolen Toyota. Stolen Toyota chronicles the loss of Kelley Baker's 1977 Toyota Pick up.

Kelley Baker is well known for working with other people. He was the sound designer on six of Gus Van Sant's feature films including MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, GOOD WILL HUNTING, and FINDING FORRESTER. He designed the sound on Todd Haynes feature film FAR FROM HEAVEN with Dennis Quaid and Julieanne Moore. He was an Editor and a Sound Designer for Will Vinton's The Adventures of Mark Twain, and on four Claymation Specials for CBS. Baker has written and directed three full length features. He also wrote and directed 8 short films which have aired on PBS, The Learning Channel, Canadian and Australian television. His films have been shown at several Film Festivals, including London, Sydney, Annecy and Edinburgh, Sundance, Chicago, Mill Valley and Aspen.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Friday, April 14, 2006

From A Federal Standpoint, Ninjas Are Not Right

Suspicious? John Stabb Schroeder as the ninja Mark H. Temonium from the upcoming film Date Number One. Photo Copyright 2005 Sujewa Ekanayake/Wild Diner Films

Hilarious (& a little sad, sorry ninja dude) news story about ATF agents taking down a student dressed as a ninja. Thanks to The Ugly Betty Blog for the link. Check out the comments to the story for further entertainment.

- Sujewa

Found on the web: GreenCine PR site, Not found (yet): Goodbye Cruel Releasing's website

Always nice to find new, interesting & possibly relevant web sites. The find of the day is the web page for GreenCine PR. Page lists promotional info. related to GreenCine, the VOD & DVD rental by mail company (& the people who pay the bills for the #1 super fantastic happy monkey juice syrupy creme caramel film blog GreenCine Daily).

I am still trying to find the website for Goodbye Cruel Releasing. Just found out that they will be releasing Andrew Bujalski's low key charmer "Mutual Appreciation". If anyone's got the URL for the Goodbye Cruel Releasing website, lemme know. Thanksalot!


Almost went to see Brick tonight, but didn't since it was playing at a Landmark theater

Yup, would have liked to have seen Brick tonight. But since Mark Cuban has not reversed his decision to ban Caveh Zahedi's I Am A Sex Addict from playing at his Landmark theaters in Comcast markets, I am still trying to stay away from Landmark. Almost gave in, nothing too interesting was playing in town, except for Brick. But Brick was playing at a Landmark theater - E St. in DC. So, instead of seeing Brick I saw V For Vendetta at Uptown. V is a pretty good movie, liked it. And Uptown is a nice theater to see a movie in, gigantic screen. Would have been nice to give my $s & time to the indie Brick, but couldn't, due to Landmark. I guess I'll see Brick on DVD, as long as a Cuban owned company is not putting it out.

- Sujewa

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

DIY filmmaker & self-distributor (& sound designer on 6 Gus Van Sant films) to teach class in DC area on April 19

Sound Design For Indies Class By Kelley Baker, Sound Designer on 6 Gus Van Sant movies

What: Sound Design For Indie Films Class
Who: By Kelley Baker, Sound Designer on 6 Gus Van Sant movies (“My Own Private Idaho” to “Finding Forrester“, and also on Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven”)
When: Wednesday April 19, 2006, 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Kensington Row Bookshop
3786 Howard Ave.
Kensington, MD 20895
venue phone (for directions only, see Contact for other needs): 301-949-9416
How Much: $30
Contact (local/DC event producer): Sujewa Ekanayake,, 240-354-3394
Contact (instructor): Kelley Baker,, 503-329-6112

Additional Info:

Sound Design for Independent Filmmakers

"We'll fix it in the mix..." is an often heard expression, but what does it mean? As a sound designer it means you're in trouble. As the Sound Designer on Gus Van Sant's films, as well as animated features, network television specials and his own features, Kelley Baker has a unique approach to the Art of Sound Design. Whether you're working with a huge budget, or a non-existent one, sound is the one area of filmmaking that always gets neglected, until the end. There's never enough money or time. So what do you do? Kelley will share his insights, and show you creative solutions to many sound problems. He'll also discuss what to do when you have no budget, and how to blow a lot of money when you do have it.

Kelley Baker is best known for working with other people. He was the sound designer on six of Gus Van Sant's features including MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, GOOD WILL HUNTING, and Todd Haynes’ feature film FAR FROM HEAVEN.

Kelley Baker has also written and directed three full-length features, 8 short films, and a few documentaries. His newest feature, KICKING BIRD (2005) is the story of Martin "Bird" Johnson, a poor, white 17 year old high school kid who runs. Runner's Gazette says: "KICKING BIRD KICKS BUTT".

Kelley's films have been shown at Film Festivals like London, Sydney, Annecy, Edinburgh, Sundance, & Sao Paulo. His short films have aired on PBS, The Learning Channel, and Canadian and Australian television. Kelley is currently touring the US on his 4th US Tour. His films are being screened at Art House Theaters, Colleges, Universities, Media Arts Organizations, and yes, even bars.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Get the Big Picture on the AIVF issue from Anthony Kaufman's Village Voice article

4/11/06 Village Voice article by Anthony Kaufman,kaufman,72822,5.html

Check out the entire article, there is a good Spike Lee mention & quote in there too. Here's a paragraph from the article:

"Indeed, the terrible irony of AIVF's current crisis, says McKay, "is that there is a greater need in this country for the activist part of AIVF now more than ever." As the major studios shut down new technologies that could help independent artists distribute their films (e.g., Grokster), as government institutions intermix with private companies to limit the availability of public information (e.g., the Smithsonian's recent deal with Showtime to privatize its archives), and as the Senate guts "net neutrality" provisions from a telecommunications bill, "there needs to be an organization that is lobbying Congress," says McKay, "that is dealing with broadband issues, that is shining a spotlight on grassroots organizations." "

- Sujewa

Monday, April 10, 2006

MySpace is afraid of Sex Addict

Read all about it here at filmmaker Caveh "I Am A Sex Addict" Zahedi's blog:

- Sujewa

Indie Features 06 film wins Best Feature Award at Longbaugh Film Festival, Portland, OR

" September 12th wins Best Feature at Longbaugh!

I am happy to announce that September 12th just won the Best Feature Award at the 2006 Longbaugh Film Festival in Portland, OR. It has been a great festival, and we are very thankful to David Walker and Joe Lesher of Willamette Week, the festival directors. There will be a repeat screening tonight of the film.

posted by Magicfying @ 4:38 PM "

Preview Screening of Date Number One on Fri May 12, 2006, 7 PM, in Kensington, MD

I wanted to give at least some of the interested DC area people a chance to check out my brand spanking new superdelicious feature Date Number One before it has its world premiere in Seattle in late May. So, a small preview screening has been set up at the Kensington Row Bookshop, a Capital City Microcinema event, for Fri May 12 @ 7 PM. $5. More info. on the film & the preview screening coming this week. Thanks!

- Sujewa

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The oldest Date Number One blog: the production blog

Long before I started blogging on an almost daily basis, I kept a production journal for Date Number One.

It covers events starting in March '04 (still working on the script at that point) until late'05 (August I think, end of shooting). Then there were a couple of attempts to keep a post-production & distribution blog, those blogs did not get used much, which brough me to this blog, which will cover the distribution story of the film.

From time to time I am going to post entries from the production blog here at this new blog.

- Sujewa

Friday, April 07, 2006

Notes from I Am A Sex Addict opening night @ Balboa

A couple of days ago I signed up for San Francisco's Balboa theater's e-mailing list. Theater programmer Gary Meyer wrote the following in a mass e-mail received today:

“... "I Am a Sex Addict" had a spectacular opening on Wednesday at the Balboa. Near capacity crowds laughed, gasped and responded just as we hoped they would. Zahedi proved to be as entertaining on stage during his Q&A as he is on film. Joined by cast and crew, after a few questions, Caveh’s cell phone rang. Looking a little surprised and embarrassed, he answered it.“Hi Ryan. Yeh, it’s going great.”Looking up at the audience, he confided, “It’s my distributor.” Back to the phone, “ I’m on stage answering questions. Can I call you later?” I hope you get a chance to meet this talented filmmaker or some of his great team. They will be appearing at the evening shows throughout the coming week.

• April 7 and 8 -CavehZahedi, Director/Writer/Actor
• April 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 -Thomas Gogoreci, Producer
• April 11th - Emily Morse, Actress
• April 9, 10, & 11 -Amanda Henderson, Actress "

Visit Balboa's website here.

- Sujewa

Update On All Things Filmic From My Little Corner Of The World

This ninja (John Stabb Schroeder) goes on a blind date in Date Number One
photo copyright 2005 sujewa ekanayake/wild diner films

Rolling nicely into Spring over here. Here's what I'm up to film action wise:

* Editing Date Number One. Almost done, just a couple more days & I'll have that screener DVD peeps have been waiting for.

* Seattle 5/19 - 5/21 Date Number One World Premiere is set. Need to create a web page for that event, this weekend. Fine tuning travel, crew, ticketing, etc. plans for Seattle at the moment. Also making Seattle publicity plans, to go into effect starting around 4/15.

* Searching for a DC area venue to have a benefit screening (partial benefit @ least, 50% of ticket sales, for We Are Family, a DC charity that helps the elderly, run by punk author & activist Mark Andersen) in early May, before I head out to Seattle for the World Premiere (i like that term, World Premiere, i guess a lot of mundane things can be world premieres too, not just movies, will have to think about that, possible idea to explore in a movie :).
- Found out that AFI Silver will not work out for a benefit event, too expensive, but I am hoping that at some point in the future there can be a regular run of Date Number One at that fine local theater.
- Need to check w/ several other local venues re: the benefit, should have it all worked out next week.

* Need to update the Capital City Microcinema website, almost finished that work today, but had to take a long trip to go get a XL1s to shoot an Ext. AM shot on Fri, so the CCM website will have to wait 'till tomorrow. The CCM events will be very well attended/sold out anyway, I've already got the word out among Kensingtonians.

* Need to get caught up on my blogging, several things to blog about, will do next week. On the blogging front, still need to add all the links to the Indie Features 06 films to that blog - early next week at the latest (maybe this weekend). Kelley Baker (in US) & Liz Nord (in Germany) are doing well on their DIY tours, the last I heard, need to check back & blog about them.

* Couple of DVDs still!!!! need to be mailed to Chuck T. (they are like 2 weeks late!!!!!!). Definitely getting that done tomorraw.

* Spent a couple of hundred dollars last week on setting up the CCM screenings for April & May. Still need to send $s to AIVF. James Israel's recent post says AIVF raised $13K so far, a very good start, they'll get another $70, from me, soon.

* Bunch of dayjob work needs to be finished up. Tomorrow. Not directly film related but the $s from the dayjob makes film work possible right now. In a few months the film work should pay for itself.

* Lightly planning New York City & Baltimore play for Date Number One at the moment. Will fine tune those plans in May. Hopefully, between May - end of July I will play Date Number One in DC, Seattle, New York City & Baltimore. And will have it available on DVD on a limited basis (mail order from me, DC retail in a handful of places). And hopefully by the end of the May - end of July period I should have screening dates worked out for a dozen other US cities.

* Will start submitting to festivals this month, need to look at which deadlines are coming up. & i i need to update my withoutabox page (also MySpace, Friendster, but my indieLOOP page is doing well - worked on that regulary the last few days).

* 235.987661some "little" items need to be taken care of, on film stuff & general life stuff, let's see what I can get done this weekend :)

And that's the latest from Kensington, MD folks (less than 15 mins. outside of D!C!). Have a lovely weekend, talk 2 ya next week!

It's gonna be an awesome DIY film Spring '06. y e a h

- Sujewa

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Last word (hopefully, for a while) on Cuban/Sex Addict trouble

There are more important & more interesting DIY film matters for me to blog about here, but let me just get these hopefully final words out about the disturbing indiewood drama that just occurred, since theaters deciding not to live up to their booking agreements hurts all filmmakers, audience members, distributors & related businesses.

When Mark Cuban canceled the Landmark Theater bookings of the Caveh Zahedi film I Am A Sex Addict (in Comcast markets only, as Cuban likes to point out in his recent blogging) earlier this week, with about 5 days to go before an advertised opening in Berkeley, he made it very difficult for a lot of people in the indie filmmaking & distribution & consumer arenas to look at him & Landmark Theaters as a potential friend & ally.

While I appreciate the physical high-quality of Landmark theaters & Cuban's focus on the bottom line (which indies need a little more of, so things like AIVF coming up $60K short can be avoided, perhaps) & experimentation (day and date, etc.), Cuban's approach to indie film as a pure commodity, a strategic piece in his financial empire, is alienating.

On a personal level, just a few weeks ago I was looking forward to the relative ease of working w/ Landmark on some DIY distro events/rentals/four-walled screenings for my new feature Date Number One (since Landmark is throughout the US & I could deal pretty much w/ one office in LA for accessing those screens it would have meant fewer phone calls & e-mails, probably), but now I am definitely very weary of that option 'cause the strengths of Landmark: its size, reach & simple command structure (Cuban decides all, apparently), can also make it incompatible w/ small indie film entrepreneurs like myself, here is why: if I worked a few weeks on promoting a booking w/ a small indie theater & for some reason they decide to pull the booking at the last minute, I may be better able to fight that decision because the theater is most likely not controlled by a multi-millionaire (or is it billionaire?) who really couldn't care less, has almost nothing to lose if I decide not to do business with them/him again & to spread the word that the theater engages in questionable business practices. Cuban's wealth & the size of Landmark makes it possible for him to mess even w/ IFC Films (probably one of the largest & most active indie film distributors in the country) w/ very little to no regard for the consequences.

Luckily more people are becoming aware of Landmark & Mark Cuban's alienating tendencies at a time when Landmark not yet owns every single indie film theater in this country.

Let's keep track of non-Landmark theaters & support them so that they may: 1) continue to serve the indie film fan & filmmaker community, 2) continue to bring interesting movies, alternatives to Hollywood, to the greater audience, and 3) perhaps keep Landmark in check to some degree.

I am making a list of non-Landmark theaters at this blog entry:

Add some names & locations to it when u get a chance, if u know of some non-Landmark indie theaters. I am going to keep adding names & URLs & links to that entry all year long. Let's see what the non-Landmark indie film exhibition options in the US look like.

While a greater part of the US indie film audience probably has no idea & couldn't care less about the hard core indie film fan & indie filmmaker community, its history, its future, there is a significant minority of participants who do care, the type who invented the genre, the type who will re-invent it in the future & keep it alive. They, we, should try to keep this Cuban/Sex Addict/Berkeley episode in mind for a long, long time.

Mark Cuban may have just crossed outside of the "friends of indie film" line. We'll see what happens in the future. Cuban is wealthy enough, he does not need US indie film. Perhaps US indie film can do just fine w/ out Cuban too.

We'll see how it goes.

Good luck to all of us in surviving the Landmark Theaters/Mark Cuban combination.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Let's make a list of non-Landmark indie theaters & support them when we can

Monopolies & vastly powerful corporations can lead to all kinds of problems. In the case of Caveh Zahedi vs. Landmark Theaters/Mark Cuban it is: the worker (in this case the filmmaker) being punished for something that he had nothing to do w/- the battle between Mark Cuban & Comcast (read indieWIRE for details on that issue). Landmark Theaters is the nation's largest indie film theater chain, so I've been told, so it will be difficult to avoid them all together (as indie film fans or indie filmmakers), however, it is in our best interest for there to be competition for Landmark Theaters or for there to be other indie film theaters (non-mega-corporate, not chain owned, if possible) in Landmark cities, towns. Let's spread the word about non-Landmark indie theaters everywhere in the US & support those theaters whenever we can so that they may stay in business & keep Landmark in check to some degree.

I'll start w/ DC:

Indie film theater alternatives to the Landmark Theaters in DC (E St, Bethesda Row):

AFI Silver

The Avalon

(there may be a couple in nearby VA, I'll add those plus links to above mentioned theaters tomorrow AM).

Post your non-Landmark indie theaters suggestions in comments please.



Some Luv from indieWIRE!

The cool kids who run indieWIRE are no slackers, not only are they all over the Mark Cuban/"I Am A Sex Addict"/Comcast battle that is making people loudly question the healthiness of the relationship between INSANELY HUGE monied people/companies & indie film, they found the time to add this blog to their Blogs We Love section.

Thanks a lot indieWIRE, this blog loves you too!


got some good mail today

received a copy of the Ms. Films DIY Guide to Film & Video in the mail today from Parcell Press.
the Guide is an inspiring little 100 page DIY filmmaking info marvel, i plan on selling copies of it at my site and at Date Number One screenings.

also received the paper copy of an important document from Matt "Rentals" C. at NWFF in Seattle. my 5/19 - 21 DNO Seattle gig is becoming more & more real every day. it's gonna be officially called the Date Number One World Premiere, i have decided. can't wait to play Seattle!

all in all an excellent mail day. time to go get some eggs & coffee @ Tastee Diner, read mail, & then go home & edit! edit! edit!


Gary Meyer, U Rock! (he helps in saving Sex Addict in Berkeley)

Looks like Elmwood in Berkeley is going to open Sex Addict on Fri:

(from Green Cine Daily, comments section of Sex Addict review, posted today):

" I program the Balboa and have become an I AM A SEX ADDICT addict. When Landmark pulled the film I urged other east bay exhibitors to book it and the Elmwood in Berkeley will open SEX ADDICT on Friday.

If the movie does strong business it will be interesting to see if Landmark changes their policy. I have a hunch the film buying department, all good folks, were not happy to be pawns in this game. But they don't hold the purse strings on a very big bank account.
Posted by: Gary Meyer at April 4, 2006 11:26 AM "

Awright, Sex Addict lives in Berkeley!

Go Gary Meyer!

- Sujewa

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mark Cuban says no to Zahedi's Sex Addict

In a totally f***ed up development, after the screening has been advertised, Mark Cuban cancels an opening engagement screening of Caveh Zahedi's "I Am A Sex Addict", so says Caveh at his blog.

- Sujewa


Mark Cuban responds to Caveh's post at Caveh's blog. Check that out too, to get more info. on the situation.

Comments still coming in re: Film Festivals & Money post

Several days ago at my recently retired blog Filmmaking For The Poor I asked a couple of questions: 1) should film festivals share some of the $s they make from a film's screening w/ the makers of that film?, and 2) what are the festivals that do that now? The discussion still continues over there, check it out.

- Sujewa

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Gettin' rrrrrreaady for Seattle ::. Awesome, I Fucking Saw That

Jewel Greenberg as Missy, the character who goes on a blind date w/ a ninja in Date Number One.
photo copyright 2005 sujewa ekanayake/wild diner films

It has been a productive & enjoyable S-a-t-u-r-d-a-y here in K-town, Kenfantabulousington, MD.

* Edited for a few hours early AM
* Did some dayjob work @ the lovely All Books Considered
* Had dinner w/ The Amanda
* Shot some ext night footage of Kensington, the film needs a few minutes of those
* Started a new blog, this blog
* Saw the Beastie Boys concert video movie Awesome, I Fucking Shot That! in Georgetown w/ housemate Allie. An interesting movie, in the best sense of the word interesting. A movie u can dance to. Nice to see the Beasties still rocking out after all these years. I see them rocking out even when they are like 75. Jackvalentistyle.

Pretty good day all in all.

Been Thinking about all the promo work ahead for the Date Number One 5/19 - 5/21 screenings in Seattle @ the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF), been coming up with some master plans. Around 4/10 they will start to go into effect. I will be setting up a new web page on the site for the Seattle screenings, while I wait to see if the NWFF website will mention the event (they at present do not mention rental/"4-wall"/DIY events, only stuff that they themselves program, that could change, working on it). Even w/ that, perhaps temporary, problem NWFF have been very cool people to work w/ so far. Go Matt "Rentals" C & gang!

No matter what, all media in Seattle will know about the DNO gig there by the middle of this month baby. Hopefully at least some of them will mention the event.

Need to update my MySpace & Friendster sites to serve the film. That too will get done around 4/10 - 4/15.

awright, G'night! time to go sleep so i can wake up & edit, edit, edit.


Saturday, April 01, 2006

one blog to "rule" all sujewa blogs?

that's me in the green shirt rehearsing w/ dc based actress Jewel Greenberg, we are working on the segment of Date Number One called The Superdelicious Language Lesson (story 5). Jewel is working on learning some French words. i videotaped a French speaker speaking the words, and am playing it back to Jewel in this shot. on the floor is Jim Laughlin's XL1s, which was used to shoot most of Date Number One. photo copyright sujewa ekanayake/wilddiner films 2005

i have too many blogs going * need to simplify, need to focus mostly on blogging about my new movie Date Number One * but from time to time I will want to write about other filmy things, political things, life thingies, so maybe this blog could be an all purpose blog * until Date Number One distro is over i think i'll blog mostly about that project here * it'll take a while to add all links from other blogs & make this blog ready for the public, but the process starts nou!



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