From Breakthrough Weekend, new comedy by Sujewa Ekanayake

From Breakthrough Weekend, new comedy by Sujewa Ekanayake
Breathrough Weekend coming June 12, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Date Number One NYC Premiere THU 8/31, 9 PM Pioneer Theater

The epic event is here folks, see ya at the show - those who are bold & sexy enough to attend :)
And, one last time, here is all the info, including link for tix purchase:

DATE NUMBER ONE
http://www.wilddiner.com/
a comedy about several first dates
a movie by sujewa ekanayake

Thursday, August 31, 9 PM
The Two Boots Pioneer Theater
http://www.twoboots.com/pioneer/monthly_programs/2006-08.htm#DateNumberOne
155 East 3rd Street(between Avenues A and B, closer to A)
New York, New York
212-591-0434
ticket prices:$9 adults, $6.50 members
Buy Tix Now: http://pioneertheater.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=65968

Film's Description:"Date Number One" is a comedy about several first dates. This 115 minute movie is made up of 5 different stories: Story 1: Just Another Ninja Searching For Love, about a ninja who goes on a blind date (ninja is played by John Stabb Schroeder from the DC punk band G.I.), Story 2: A Romantic Dinner For 3, about a woman attempting to add a third partner to a romantic relationship, Story 3: Washington "City Of Love" DC/Start Over, about a writer who tries to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, Story 4: Air Quotes Woman, about a woman who always uses air quotes, and her search for a new boyfriend, Story 5: The Superdelicious French Lesson, about a first date where a character learns a little bit of French in an unusual way.

Featuring Hot DC Indie Film Stars John Stabb Schroeder, Julia Stemper, Jennifer Blakemore, Shervin Boloorian, Dele Williams, Steve Lee, Kelly Ham, Christine D. Lee, Fritz Flad, Subodh Samudre, Jewel Greenberg

Not Rated * 115 Minutes * yummy

Director will attend the screening.

"The film is about as charming as they come...presents a world in which cultures don't clash, they mesh. It's refreshing to see characters who all appear to have a natural optimism, as opposed to the typical indie-film predilection for bitterness and cruelty. "
- Michael Tully, Rotterdam & SXSW film festivals selected filmmaker
http://blogs.indiewire.com/tully/archives/010529.html

"I found the characters and the premise sexy, sexy, sexy."
- Jerry Brewington, Hollywood Is Talking blog, on Story 2 of Date Number One
http://hollywoodistalking.com/Blog/508/

"...witty...often inventive...and, even better, airy: characters are given time and space to spell out their views...views that never bear the artificial markings of a Hollywood screenwriter's compulsion to reduce them to sound-bites."
- David Hudson, Editor, GreenCine Daily blog
http://daily.greencine.com/archives/002353.html

"FIVE really entertaining, fully realized romantic interludes...a shamefully rare achievement"
- Tom Kipp, Seattle audience member, former film reviewer for Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger
http://diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/2006/05/interview-with-seattle-audience-member.html

"Heartfelt...poignant...I loved it!"
- Jon Moritsugu, award winning filmmaker

"Date Number One is quite funny...twentysomethings and occasional thirtysomethings looking for romance recall Richard Linklater's philosopher slackers and Jim Jarmusch's minimalist attention to conversation...also a subtle, thoughtful film...might be understood as the anti-Crash depiction of life in the city...depicts a comfortably multi-ethnic community...I'd happily recommend it."
- Chuck Tryon, media professor & blogger, The Chutry Experiment blog
http://chutry.wordherders.net/archives/005873.html

BUY TICKETS NOW FOR THIS MOVIE:
http://pioneertheater.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=65968
(Pioneer is a small theater, buy tix as early as possible, thanks!)

website: http://www.wilddiner.com/
blog: http://www.diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/

Copyright 2006 Sujewa Ekanayake/Wild Diner Films

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Date Number One features 5 minority actors in lead roles :: It is fairly easy to write interesting characters of ANY ethnicity, race or gender

One of the problems I had with American cinema back in the early 90's was that there weren't enough good roles/lead roles for minority actors. Not the biggest problem in the world by any stretch, but, since the world is very diverse ethnically or "racially"* & since America is very diverse, I found it very odd that most of the leads in most of the movies around me were "white" (I do however live in a very diverse part of the country, the Washington, DC area, so for someone who lives in an area that is not this diverse, it may feel perfectly normal not to see non-"white" people in movies). So, when I decided to become a filmmaker in '91, I also decided to have a very diverse cast in my movies & to create roles for minority actors.

I was able to follow through on that goal in Date Number One. Date Number One, a film made up of 5 stories, features a diverse cast that includes 5 minority actors in lead roles: Shervin Boloorian in Story 2, Dele Williams in Story 2, Steve Lee in Story 3, Christine D. Lee in Story 4, and Subodh Samudre in Story 5. The way that Date Number One is constructed, plot wise, some of these leads in each of the stories mentioned also show up as supporting characters in other stories, which allowed me to show different sides of the characters.

HOW TO WRITE/CREATE INTERESTING FILM CHARACTERS WHO ARE NOT OF YOUR GENDER OR ETHNIC GROUP, SOME TIPS:

1. Write from the inside: Forget the external differences (skin color, body parts) for the most part & focus on your universally human qualities (world views, fears, loves, needs, intellectual & emotional lives) & then locate those same universally human qualities in the characters that you create.

2. Be as specific as possible. There is no person in the real world named or at least with the identity of White Man or Black Man or Asian Woman. All group identities are mostly for political (organization & control of society) purpose and stop far short of reaching/adequately reflecting the personalities of each individual member in a given group. So, if you want to create a character who can belong to the group Asian Male & you are not a member of the group called Asian Male, then start with giving a unique identity to the character, an identity far removed from the Asian Male aspect of the character, & then work your way towards a point where that Asian-Male-group-member aspect of the character becomes relevant (it will be very far down the road of building the character). Or, by the time you come to considering the character's membership in a given ethnic group, you will already know several hundred unique things about the character AND that will help you keep the character from slipping into being an ill-defined member of a large group in your mind/creative project, a character whose behavior you cannot predict. So, be as specific as possible about many aspects of the character's life. It will help you create both unique & recognizable characters.

3. Use real life models: so you are a member of the group called "Black" Male or African-American Male and you want to create a character who is an arty "white" dude but you do not know how you should proceed, & you do not know any arty "white" dudes. Well, you can start by researching news info on creative "white" dudes. Thanks to the web you should be able to identify one pretty quickly & then also find interviews with the person which will allow you to figure out tastes & habits of the said celebrity or personality. That can be your starting point for building your character. Of course you want to add several dozen layers to the character so that the character will be unique, not a weak imitation of a celebrity.

Also, make new friends, observe their behavior, and those observations can provide material for you to flesh out characters.


4. The easy way out: Define the plot & other essential story elements well but leave the personality of the character loosely defined, hire an actor from the gender or ethnic group that you want the character to be, work with the actor to fill in the personality of the character, also work with the actor to get dialogue that would be authentic for that character, and be open to changing the plot & other essential story elements as the character gets well defined. Plot & character are linked in good stories, each affects the other.


Good luck in creating interesting characters who are not of your gender & ethnic group. There is a lot more I can write on this subject, and I probably will down the road.

- Sujewa

*note: i have race in quotes ("race") and Black, White in quotes ("White", "Black") in order to reflect my view that the idea of race is a theory and a very poorly constructed & largely false one at that, or to say that i do not believe in the theory of race but i am using terms from race theory in order to communicate with others who live in a society that largely accepts race theory, even though i do not believe in the meaning of the words as used by most people in the given context. hope that makes sense :)

Monday, August 28, 2006

GreenCine Daily Review of Date Number One

Regarding Date Number One, David Hudson at GreenCine Daily says, in part:

"... witty (I particularly like the recurring references to a band's unlikely popularity in Ohio), often inventive (the story in which the first date isn't really the first date at all is particularly well-written and performed) and, even better, airy: characters are given time and space to spell out their views on abortion, Buddhism, quantum physics or the ongoing war in Sri Lanka, views that never bear the artificial markings of a Hollywood screenwriter's compulsion to reduce them to sound-bites."

Read the whole review here.

Thanks for watching the movie & writing a review about it David!

Very exciting to see a review of my movie in GreenCine Daily (best indie film blog in the western world, no doubt), which is my favorite indie film blog (even if David's verdict on the film is a mixed one :).

- Sujewa

Indie Features 07 is alive!

Read all about it here: http://indiefeatures06.blogspot.com/2006/08/indie-features-07-is-alive.html

Filmmaker/bloggers interested in participating in the 2007 version of Indie Features 06 should go check out IF07 blog & if their projects seem like a good match for the blog, can e-mail me at wilddiner AT aol.com w/ a description of their films. We'll take things from there.

Thanks!

- Sujewa

Screening Venues Anywhere in the US, Get In Touch If You Want to Check Out Date Number One for Screening(s) w/ Director in Attendance

Just spent some time on the Greyhound website, looks like it is possible to travel relatively fast by land & for relatively cheap. The US is huge, but DC to LA in 2 days is not bad at all, for like $180 (1 screening with decent ticket sales can cover that easily). Also, if I work in some stops along the way - some screenings, like in Chicago, etc., the trip can be more bearable & useful.

This of course is also a chance to imitate Jack "On The Road" Kerouac's cross country travelin', re-live my 18 year old self's fascination with (which happened the first time back in '91 when I was in Chicago) traveling America by land.

And I am not crazy about flying. Feels weird. I'll do it if I must, but I prefer not to. Land travel by fast buses, w/ screening stops every few hundred miles may be the trick to getting around the air plane issue that comes up when considering a US wide screening tour. & bus travel is cheaper than air travel.

Yeah, it could suck. But you know, I am a young DIY filmmaker, always down for adventure & some hardship :) & my dayjob is flexible, no kids to feed right now either.

So, programmers of indie screening venues across & up & down the country, get in touch if you want to check out Date Number One to see if you want to host a screening of the film, an event featuring the filmmaker. I am going to try to visit & show the film in as many US cities as possible this year & next. Indie theater & microcinema & alternative screening venue programmers can e-mail me at wilddiner AT aol.com. Or go here & click on CONTACT. thanks

It could be a wild trip. Punctuated with loooooooooong stretches of staring outside a bus window as the land rolls by rolls by rolls by.

is traveling a drug? maybe

it certainly is addictive

- Sujewa

Boston Globe article re: Netflix, GreenCine, etc.

Read it here. good stuff

if the top link does not work due to your irrational fear of registering with the Globe, read about the article here.

- sujewa

greyhound may be the way

i am trying to figure out the whole round trip dc-nyc/staying over night? thing for the thu 8/31 screening of Date Number One at Pioneer Theater in NYC. let's see: driving is a possibility, but doing 4 hours of driving each way/total 8+ hours in one day/24+ hour period may not be healthy, plus I may be sleepy + tired after the show lets out around 11 PM (later if Q & A goes long) - will most likely have to rent a hotel room or bug a pal for crash space if I am not going to drive back the same day. flying & train travel seem too expensive, plus not something that can be easily duplicated for other shows in nyc, due to cost of course.

so, greyhound maybe the best alternative for a lot of east coast (let's say mid-atlantic area - DC, NYC, philly, baltimore, etc., i can handle being in a bus for 4-6 hours i think) travel for the diy filmmaker. they have round trip tix, dc-nyc, for around $45 - $70. and they travel overnight. so, if i want to, i can leave nyc at 1 am & get back to DC in time for an early breakfast at the 24-7 diner Tastee in silver spring, md.

not sure how comfortable greyhound trips are, but maybe i'll bring some DVDs to watch, & a nice pillow.

if this 8/31 trip to nyc & back on greyhound goes well, then greyhound maybe a good option for me & other east coast diy filmmakers, cheap travel between cities at all hours of the day - good way to go for getting to screenings & back i think. we'll see how it goes. will report back.

jam econo.

- sujewa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

September 28 Kensington screening moved to October 5

yup, due to a scheduling conflict at the bookstore, the Capital City Microcinema/Kensington Row Bookshop screening of Date Number One that was set for Thu 9/28 has been moved to Thu 10/5. more on that next week.

in the meantime, here is the link to the info & tix for NYC Premiere screening of Date Number One, happening this Thu 8/31 @ Pioneer Theater.

- sujewa

on the other hand, not being based in NYC & making indie films elsewhere has its benefits

my previous post was about possibly moving to NYC in mid-'07. but i wonder if it is better to keep living in the DC area & keep making movies here, since so few people do something close to what i do (ultra-low budget, DIY features, comedies, self-distribution) in this area. either way, the key is to make good movies & then distribute them, where i live is not that important in comparison. also, due to the internet, i may not need to live in NYC to grow my career, i think i just need to keep making good movies & getting them out.

who knows, but on to more important & immediate things, like the 8/31 NYC Premiere of Date Number One THIS WEEK!!! posts re: the film, a very important review, & a reminder or two about the screening coming this week.

talk to ya soon!

- sujewa

every US indie filmmaker's got two homes: 1 where they are from/live & 2 New York City :: next stop, Brooklyn

that's a quote about writers & paris that i am re-working up there. yeah, US indie film as we know it was invented & re-invented in nyc - thus each indie filmmaker in the US (& also US indie inspired world cinema) has a second home - a spiritual/creative soul home if you will - in nyc, the way i see it. the filmmaker(s?) who inspired the french new wave were from & were making their movies in nyc, i am pretty sure john cassavetes worked in nyc, & more relevant to my generation of filmmakers: jim jarmusch became the filmmaker we know & luv in/through nyc. and also (and this may be the biggest reason to move to NYC :) :) :) fellow MD New Wave filmmaker & "movie star of the future" Mike "Cocaine Angel" Tully is living & causing trouble/breaking hearts in NYC now. it will be fun to try living & working in NYC for a year. i am thinking brooklyn (got a few friends there now, plus jonas mekas lives there, also indieWIRE lives there now :) me & housemate & valiant assistant Allie are making plans NOW to move to Brooklyn by mid-'07. watch out nyc! :)

all the famous peeps aside, an artist needs new stimulation & new things to discover, see, do, new people to meet in order to come up with new work. & i've lived, & worked, in & very close to DC since '92 - since the beginning of my self-identification as a filmmaker, so now it is time to try out a new environment. but i am sure i will still visit DC often & will shoot films here - since i know the place well & got connects.

so if all goes according to plan i will be living & making movies in/from Brooklyn w/ in 10 months! (i think that may be both a threat & a promise :)

- sujewa

Friday, August 25, 2006

6 More Days until DATE NUMBER ONE NYC Premiere on Thu 8/31 @ Pioneer Theater!

See ya there. Say hello, I'll be there hanging out in the theater lobby before the show, & then will do an intro to the movie, & then will do a post-show Q & A session, & then will be hanging out for a bit at the theater lobby after the show. Maybe a party after that at some nearby cool place (more on that soon). Here's all the info for the show. Advance tix are on sale now, buy some. See ya at the show!

DATE NUMBER ONE
http://www.wilddiner.com/
a comedy about several first dates
a movie by sujewa ekanayake

Thursday, August 31, 9 PM
The Two Boots Pioneer Theater
http://www.twoboots.com/pioneer/monthly_programs/2006-08.htm#DateNumberOne
155 East 3rd Street(between Avenues A and B, closer to A)
New York, New York
212-591-0434
ticket prices:$9 adults, $6.50 members
Buy Tix Now: http://pioneertheater.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=65968

Film's Description: "Date Number One" is a comedy about several first dates. This 115 minute movie is made up of 5 different stories: Story 1: Just Another Ninja Searching For Love, about a ninja who goes on a blind date (ninja is played by John Stabb Schroeder from the DC punk band G.I.), Story 2: A Romantic Dinner For 3, about a woman attempting to add a third partner to a romantic relationship, Story 3: Washington "City Of Love" DC/Start Over, about a writer who tries to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, Story 4: Air Quotes Woman, about a woman who always uses air quotes, and her search for a new boyfriend, Story 5: The Superdelicious French Lesson, about a first date where a character learns a little bit of French in an unusual way.

Featuring Hot DC Indie Film Stars John Stabb Schroeder, Julia Stemper, Jennifer Blakemore, Shervin Boloorian, Dele Williams, Steve Lee, Kelly Ham, Christine D. Lee, Fritz Flad, Subodh Samudre, Jewel Greenberg

Not Rated * 115 Minutes * yummy

Director will attend the screening.

"The film is about as charming as they come...presents a world in which cultures don't clash, they mesh. It's refreshing to see characters who all appear to have a natural optimism, as opposed to the typical indie-film predilection for bitterness and cruelty. "
- Michael Tully, Rotterdam & SXSW film festivals selected filmmaker http://blogs.indiewire.com/tully/archives/010529.html

"I found the characters and the premise sexy, sexy, sexy."
- Jerry Brewington, Hollywood Is Talking blog, on Story 2 of Date Number One http://hollywoodistalking.com/Blog/508/

"FIVE really entertaining, fully realized romantic interludes...a shamefully rare achievement"
- Tom Kipp, Seattle audience member, former film reviewer for Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger
http://diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/2006/05/interview-with-seattle-audience-member.html

"Heartfelt...poignant...I loved it!"
- Jon Moritsugu, award winning filmmaker

"Date Number One is quite funny...twentysomethings and occasional thirtysomethings looking for romance recall Richard Linklater's philosopher slackers and Jim Jarmusch's minimalist attention to conversation...also a subtle, thoughtful film...might be understood as the anti-Crash depiction of life in the city...depicts a comfortably multi-ethnic community...I'd happily recommend it."
- Chuck Tryon, media professor & blogger, The Chutry Experiment blog
http://chutry.wordherders.net/archives/005873.html

BUY TICKETS NOW FOR THIS MOVIE:
http://pioneertheater.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=65968
(Pioneer is a small theater, buy tix as early as possible, thanks!)

website: http://www.wilddiner.com/
blog: http://www.diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/
Copyright 2006 Sujewa Ekanayake/Wild Diner Films

T h a n k s !

This week in Seattle's Real Change: Katrina survivor, transgendered policy in jails, community station KBCS, slavery scars, against death penalty

Here are the stories in this week's edition of Seattle anti-homelessness activist newspaper Real Change:

Resettled and Homesick: Tate Lazard survived Katrina only to experience a greater loss (page 1)

In Light of Katrina: City disaster-response agency adjusts approach (page 5)

The Change: Ad-hoc group pushes for transgendered policy in county jails (page 1)

Radio Static: Community station KBCS aims to balance talk, music (page 3)

Still Bearing the Scars: Interview: Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary says people of color need to tune into slavery’s aftermath (page 6)

Just Heard: schools levy split; no food at the 13 Coins; expunging the Needle Exchange from 2nd and Pike (page 3)

The Six-Ounce Problem: Tuna, America’s affordable seafood, endangers mothers and infants (page 2)

This Week’s Action: End the unfair, arbitrary death penalty

Elsewhere: Dr. Wes says the lifeless have only themselves to blame (page 9), The Iliad: the world’s greatest epic poem for the price of a sandwich (page 8), cavorting offshore in the new movie Going South (page 8)

Read the stories here.

- Sujewa

Pioneer Theater Ext Pic 8/06


yup, that's the pioneer theater. another pic from my nyc trip earlier this month.











Photo Copyright 2006 Sujewa Ekanayake

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pioneer Theater Intersection, NYC, August 2006 :. pic 1 from 8/06 nyc trip


took this photo when i visited nyc 8/12- 8/14/06 to promote the 8/31/06 Date Number One screening at the Pioneer Theater.

more photos coming in the coming days








photo Copyright 2006 Sujewa Ekanayake

Hey Newspapers, do full reviews of movies that only play for one night, just the way you write about bands that only play for one night

So, as some of you indie filmmaker/distributor types know, most newspapers require a week long run of a movie in order for them to review the movie. Now, if the movie is screening for one or two nights in a given city the major newspapers (mainstream & alterna) may write some type of a story about the movie, but there won't be a full review. Not sure how this practice evolved, but it is with us.

Now, in the music world, a well regarded musician or a band can play one show in a given city & the local newspapers will write a story about that show & they may also publish a review of the show the next day. This practice should be adopted for film reviewing. Otherwise the newspapers are mostly going to be writing about Hollywood product (as they do now), not new indie movies or foreign movies that are being self-distributed or are being distributed by small distributors (unless they are playing for a week).

On the bright side, the internet is around. Here we can write about whatever screening event we want, whether it's happening for one day or for a month.

But it would be useful to have newspaper reviews of movies that play for less than a week. A lot of people still read newspapers, and there are a lot of good movies that can afford to play for a couple of nights but can't afford to play for a week or more.

- Sujewa

Hollywood Is Talking's review of Date Number One

Less than 10 days to go until the Date Number One NYC Premiere at Pioneer Theater on 8/31! So, in celebration of that fact I will be re-posting some of the best/most useful posts about Date Number One. Here's one from May:

"Date Number One" review # 2! (very positive)

Check it out here at the Hollywood Is Talking blog. Very glad that Jerry Brewington liked the movie. Here's a segment from the review:

" Story 2, ‘A Romantic Dinner for Three’, was my favorite because I have to admit, I found the characters and the premise sexy, sexy, sexy. Shervin Boloorian plays Kamal and Jennifer Blakemore as Sunshine are a hip, progressive couple in the most diverse region of the Americas, Washington DC. Sunshine wants to learn about Buddhism and meditation from her friend Rupa ,played so well by Dele Williams, but she has an ulterior motive as well and, ummm, it involves the number 3."

Looks like Date Number One's got some fans in LA area now. Will write more about this review soon. In the meantime, check it out!"

- Sujewa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Promised Date Number One screener DVDs will be mailed out this week

Due to dayjob work & the 8/31 NYC screening of Date Number One promotions, I am running behind on getting the latest version of DNO screeners finished & mailed out. About half a dozen indie film people, mostly bloggers, to whom I promised the screeners should get them early next week. I expect to have the screeners in the mail by this Sat.

Sorry about the delay folks, but it will be worth the wait (let's hope :)

The retail DVD of DNO, v1, should be available for purchase in mid-late September. More on that soon.

- Sujewa

! 8 More Days !!! until DATE NUMBER ONE NYC Premiere Thu 8/31 Pioneer Theater :: TIX ON SALE NOW

See ya there. Say hello, I'll be there hanging out in the theater lobby before the show, & then doing an intro to the movie, & then doing a post-show Q & A session, & then hanging out for a bit at the theater lobby after the show. Maybe a party after that at some nearby cool place (more on that soon). Here's all the info for the show. Advance tix are on sale now, buy some. See ya at the show!

DATE NUMBER ONE
http://www.wilddiner.com/
a comedy about several first dates
a movie by sujewa ekanayake

Thursday, August 31, 9 PM
The Two Boots Pioneer Theater

http://www.twoboots.com/pioneer/monthly_programs/2006-08.htm#DateNumberOne
155 East 3rd Street
(between Avenues A and B, closer to A)
New York, New York
212-591-0434
ticket prices:
$9 adults, $6.50 members
Buy Tix Now: http://pioneertheater.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=65968

Film's Description:"Date Number One" is a comedy about several first dates. This 115 minute movie is made up of 5 different stories: Story 1: Just Another Ninja Searching For Love, about a ninja who goes on a blind date (ninja is played by John Stabb Schroeder from the DC punk band G.I.), Story 2: A Romantic Dinner For 3, about a woman attempting to add a third partner to a romantic relationship, Story 3: Washington "City Of Love" DC/Start Over, about a writer who tries to get back together with his ex-girlfriend, Story 4: Air Quotes Woman, about a woman who always uses air quotes, and her search for a new boyfriend, Story 5: The Superdelicious French Lesson, about a first date where a character learns a little bit of French in an unusual way.

Featuring Hot DC Indie Film Stars John Stabb Schroeder, Julia Stemper, Jennifer Blakemore, Shervin Boloorian, Dele Williams, Steve Lee, Kelly Ham, Christine D. Lee, Fritz Flad, Subodh Samudre, Jewel Greenberg

Not Rated * 115 Minutes * yummy

Director will attend the screening.

"The film is about as charming as they come...presents a world in which cultures don't clash, they mesh. It's refreshing to see characters who all appear to have a natural optimism, as opposed to the typical indie-film predilection for bitterness and cruelty. "
- Michael Tully, Rotterdam & SXSW film festivals selected filmmaker
http://blogs.indiewire.com/tully/archives/010529.html

"I found the characters and the premise sexy, sexy, sexy."
Jerry Brewington, Hollywood Is Talking blog, on Story 2 of Date Number One
http://hollywoodistalking.com/Blog/508/

"FIVE really entertaining, fully realized romantic interludes...a shamefully rare achievement"
- Tom Kipp, Seattle audience member, former film reviewer for Seattle alternative weekly
The Stranger
http://diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/2006/05/interview-with-seattle-audience-member.html

"Heartfelt...poignant...I loved it!"
- Jon Moritsugu, award winning filmmaker

"Date Number One is quite funny...twentysomethings and occasional thirtysomethings looking for romance recall Richard Linklater's philosopher slackers and Jim Jarmusch's minimalist attention to conversation...also a subtle, thoughtful film...might be understood as the anti-Crash depiction of life in the city...depicts a comfortably multi-ethnic community...I'd happily recommend it."
- Chuck Tryon, media professor & blogger, The Chutry Experiment blog
http://chutry.wordherders.net/archives/005873.html

BUY TICKETS NOW FOR THIS MOVIE:
http://pioneertheater.tix.com/Event.asp?Event=65968
(Pioneer is a small theater, buy tix as early as possible, thanks!)

website: http://www.wilddiner.com/
blog: http://www.diyfilmmaker.blogspot.com/
Copyright 2006 Sujewa Ekanayake/Wild Diner Films

Tips on getting your film out in over a dozen theaters DIY style from Lance "Head Trauma" Weiler

In a post today at Indie Features 06 Lance Weiler says:

" The Hard Costs

DIY on a large level can be a challenge and the biggest issue is finding a way to make money and then how to not spend money along the way.

To help offset travel expenses I booked about $1500 worth of speaking engagements at various schools and film societies. This not only helps with cash but in most cases will lead to free lodging and also free meals. It also helps drive people to the theater.

I made a run of really high quality 27 x 40 posters, which I can sell for $10 bucks each. In my experience I sell about 5 to 20 posters in a night. This money is great for food and miscellaneous expenses."

Read the rest of the post here. Take notes future DIY filmmaker/distributors, take notes.

- Sujewa

Monday, August 21, 2006

So, in '94 Hal Hartley says: "But think about filmmakers distributing their films themselves, directly from the computer", and then Jean-Luc Godard...

I am a big fan of early Hal Hartley features, looking forward to Fay Grim. And I've watched a few Godard movies since he is considered an important figure in film history. Hartley interviews Godard here, a good read, from 1994, a Filmmaker mag article:
http://www.geocities.com/glen_norton/Hartly.html

- Sujewa

Friday, August 18, 2006

Date Number One screening # 11: Thu, September 28, 7:30 PM Kensington Row Bookshop

Date Number One's screening #11 is set: back to Kensington, MD! yeah! The first time around, when the film screened here in June, a lot of the locals who wanted to see it missed it, so the Kensingtonians will get another chance to see my comedy about several first dates on Thu, 9/28 @ 7:30 PM. Here's the basic info:

Date Number One screening
Thu 9/28/06, 7:30 PM, $5,
Capital City Microcinema/Kensington Row Bookshop
3786 Howard Ave., Kensington, MD 20895
301.949.9416 MapQuest, Directions

see ya there kensingtonians & other washingtonians!

*

Of course screening #10 is happening in New York City on Thu, August 31 at 9 PM at Pioneer Theater. Find links to show details & advance ticket purchase through here. see ya there new yorkers!

- Sujewa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

New York City to see a lot of indie film DIY distribution action in the 2nd half of 2006


LOL, Date Number One, Head Trauma, Four Eyed Monsters, Mutual Appreciation, The Guatamalan Handshake, Jumping Off Bridges will all screen in New York City starting late August (LOL & Date Number One at Pioneer Theater in August), through September (4eyed, mutual, HT & more in September), and into late '06 (Bridges in Nov at Pioneer).
All of the films mentioned are being fully or partially self-distributed.

I am preparing a more detailed post re: this wonderful occurrence, will have all the info - dates, places, film summaries, soon (let's say by Tue, got a few Date Number One edit things to do this weekend).

Post comments here about other DIY distributed low budget indie/real indie flicks that I may have missed/not heard about yet. Will look into them to include in the upcoming more detailed post re: The Heavy DIY Season New York '06.

In the meantime, check out this awesome indieWIRE article about Head Trauma & Four Eyed Monsters & their DIY distribution adventures.

Also, if you live in NYC, & you want to check out Date Number One, meet the director, hang out, you can NOW BUY TICKETS for the 8/31 Thu 9 PM show! See ya there.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Date Number One hungry for more NYC screenings :: IFC blogstar AW conducted interview happening :: Sigiri :: Day 3 in NYC over, all went well


Stuff Done Today/Need To Do soon:

- Got about 300 fliers out in the East Village neighborhood promoting the 8/31 Date Number One screening at Pioneer theater

- Spoke w/ about a dozen enthusiastic NYC people about the film, they said they will spread the word about the 8/31 screening.

- Got the contact info for the IFC center programmer (one of many?) at the IFC Center itself (right by the West 4th subway station, where I got off last couple of days to go to East Village),
wll be attempting to get Date Number One screenings there.

- Lots of NYC theaters to contact re: DNO screenings, will be doing it this month.
* if you know ,or if you are, a NYC indie screening venue (indie theater, microcinema) programmer, let me know, will tell ya all about Date Number One so that we can look into doing some screenings. e-mail me at wilddiner AT aol.com.

- Date Number One Posters & post cards need to get done, DVDs need to get done - working on them this week

* had some yummy sri lankan food at Sigiri restaurant in East Village (91 1st avenue), met some very cool people there (the owners & workers), go check 'em out.

- Oh, Alison Wilmore of the The IFC blog sent me some Qs re: DIY distribution. Perhaps I will get some IFC press soon.

Off to DC, 4 hour drive, talk to you soon. Goodbye for now New York City, we will see each other again in a couple of weeks or soooner. oh yes we will

- Sujewa

The Philosophy of DIY+ (DIY plus) Distribution: An Introduction

The world is, compared to any one person, huge. Getting a movie out even nationwide is an enormous task, even if that task is to be accomplished over time - over several months. DIY distribution is a powerful & effective tool. Instead of waiting around for approval & acceptance from film festivals/theater programmers/critics & other media/other distributors, a filmmaker can interact directly with the audience and conduct business by offering his/her work for purchase at screenings or through DVD or VOD. In the final analysis, two groups of people matter above all others in the film creation & consumption area of activity: filmmakers & paying audience members. DIY distribution is the shortest route between those two groups. The down side of DIY distribution is its limited reach. Unless the filmmaker has access to a lot of money & can hire/create a distribution operation that can take the film out wide, the film will only be seen in a few places, and even that would have to be done over several months, most likely. Right now my new film Date Number One has screened 9 times in 4 US cities. I want to screen the film hundreds of times & at all major US cities w/ in the next two years - let's say by May 2008. In order to accomplish that goal I am embracing an approach that I call DIY+ (DIY plus or Do-It-Yourself plus). My DIY distribution of Date Number One will always continue but I am open to working with, and will actively be seeking collaboration opportunities with, other distributors (also theater programmers, fests, media) in order to get the film out wider AS LONG AS I retain ownership of the film & I have a strong vote in how the film will be distributed, how it will be presented to the audience & how it will be marketed. Even if I am doing a screening a week & selling DVDs from my website, another distributor can, during the same time period, show the film at theaters in places that I am not doing my screenings & hopefully make money. The work being done by two entities in a DIY+ situation can even complement & assist both entities (the press generated by one distributor may assist the other since both are showing or selling the same film).

Maybe the DIY+ arrangement can be a limited partners type biz situation, with the filmmaker/distributor as the main partner & other distributors as secondary partners (even if they do more work, spend more money & subsequently make more money).

One of the key benefits of a DIY+ distro situation is the consistent availability of the film to the audience. If any one distributor (lets say a secondary partner - theatrical distro in Texas, for example) does not or cannot provide the film to an audience member in the preferred format, space & time, then at least the film may be available through another distributor in the DIY+ arrangement (in this case the main member of the group - the filmmaker/distributor, can perhaps make the film available to the audience member through a sale of a DVD through the filmmaker/distributor's website).

DIY distribution is a different level & scale of work - not indiewood distro & not Hollywood distro, and a given film can be brought to the market from any one or through all three of those avenues. It is a good time to be an indie filmmaker, specially a DIY distribution inclined indie filmmaker who is open to working with others, because at the moment distribution options are many for such filmmakers. Indie filmmakers & distributors will & can be as creative as the best films in that field in order to accomplish the availability (to the audience) & profit (to the filmmakers & distributors) mission.

- Sujewa

Note 1: Concrete examples of DIY+ situations would be Date Number One screenings #8, 9 & 10. In all three of those instances I the filmmaker/distributor & the screening venue worked/work together for the benefit of both parties.

Note 2: On the DVD front, Lance Weiler's Head Trauma may be an example of a DIY+ type arrangement: Weiler is retaining ownership of the film while the DVD gets sold nationwide through another distributor. Head Trauma also seems to be an example of relatively wide DIY distribution (15+ cities theatrical!), read about Head Trauma at Indie Features 06.

NYC Trip Day 2

Hung out in East Village today. Met & talked w/ Pioneer programmer Ray for a bit, found an "authentic" Sri Lankan restaurant called Sigiri near Pioneer, must try their food to see if it is in fact authentic (seems like it, Sri Lankans were working there, went in & said hello, there was a 1 hour long wait for dinner, so we ate at an Indian restaurant called Gandhi nearby - good food), put some Date Number One 8/31 Pioneer screening flyers out in East Village w/ the help of Brian Geldin & Allie, watched "Satellite" at the Pioneer - well shot & well acted, nice theater (reminded me of Visions, former indie theater, in DC). Need to get an early start tomorrow - back in East Village to get more flyers out, & got plans to hang out in West Village & maybe Brooklyn too. Did not run into Jim Jarmusch today, but I DID see a Stranger Than Paradise poster that is signed by Jarmusch to Two Boots, at Pioneer Theater (must get a pic of it tomorrow, will put it up on the blog if that happens). Seeing that poster was the next best thing to running into Mr. Jarmusch. More NYC fun & DNO promo action tomorraw, talk 2 ya then!

- Sujewa

Monday, August 14, 2006

Quick notes from Date Number One 8/31 show promo trip to NYC: Day 1


Had some excellent brunch at a diner near Ho-Ho-Kus (in Paramus?). Man, NJ diners know how to make eggs & home fries, yums. Took a bus to NYC. Saw the cityscape gleaming in the sun for the first time on this trip around 7 PM before the bus disappeared into the Lincoln Tunnel. Entered the city on foot from Port Authority Terminal. Walked through Times Square, met up w/ Samantha E. at Grand Central Station. Samantha gave me an overview of the subway system, which trains I need to take to get to the places I need to get to tomorrow for the promo work (thanks samantha!). Samantha took me & Allie to East Village. Had dinner there, walked around, figured out how to get to Pioneer Theater. On the way back from dinner I walked past the IFC Center. Very cool to see a place that I had only seen up to that point through pics on indieWIRE. Direct contact with NYC is exciting. It's a real place. I was here briefly in '91. Other than that all of my contact with NYC has been second hand - through films, books, photos, anecdotes - up to now. Traveling & hanging out in new cities is very useful for an artist I think. Or for everyone maybe. This NYC trip feels a little like the Seattle trip in May: staying at a friends house, down the street from a diner, about half an hour to an hour away from the theater, an exciting new city, Allie along to help. Lots to do tomorrow, glad I got to come out here, thanks to Pioneer & the 8/31 show. Did not run into Jim Jarmusch today :( maybe tomorrow :)

- Sujewa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

blogging from the nyc trip: figured out how to get to grand central station from Ho-Ho-Kus

So me & housemate & valiant producer's assistant Allie are on a nyc trip to promote the 8/31 screening of Date Number One at Pioneer Theater. Made an awesome flier, several hundred copies of it last night in Silver Spring (will add it to the blog later), MD before heading out on the road trip. We drove for about 4 hours, 1 stop in Delaware, saw a sign on a plush toy game machine that said "The Game Is Not Over Until You Win". And as Allie pointed out, that was not some wisdom statement but literally how that machine is set up - your turn at it does not end until you get a toy. For $2 I think that's a pretty good deal for a kid. Anyway, that sign in that toy machine put a smile on my face. I will have to put that in a movie at some point maybe. Off to get some brunch at a NJ diner (Allie tells me that they've got some "real" diners here, not like the ones in DC), & then off to NYC - meeting up w/ Samantha E., who I've only hung out w/ on the phone & through e-mail, a fellow relatively young Sri Lankan-American media person - she'll be able to help me plan how to get to various places in the city quickly while I am here. Some pics & more travel bloggin' soon.

- Sujewa

Got to NJ

It's about 5 AM on Sun. The NYC trip is fully on, we just got to the "temp home base" aka Allie's mom's house in Ho-Ho-Kus (what a name :) New Jersey. Some sleep & we are off to Brooklyn in the morning. More later today.

- Sujewa

Friday, August 11, 2006

Today to 8/31 This blog's gonna turn into a little club for ppl who are gonna attend the 8/31 screening


Let's see, I've got my own website going (Date Number One/Wild Diner Films), and I've got MySpace & Friendster & iLOOP going (& a few other places that I have not done much w/ yet). But it would be cool to have one place on the web where I can promote the show & hang w/ people who are coming to the 8/31 screening of Date Number One at Pioneer Theater. Sooooo, if you are planning on coming, & you want to introduce yourself to the readers of this blog/other people who may be coming to the screening, post a comment or send me an e-mail/pic(s) at wilddiner AT aol.com, & I am going to start posting stuff, introducing DNO 8/31 NYC Show people to each other, & generally turning this blog into one long social/promo/party situation for the next couple of weeks. It's too hot to do too much real work man. Time to party, promote & hang out.

Alright, 1st 8/31 show VIP to introduce is Brian Geldin!

That's right, Brian THE FILM PANEL NOTETAKER Geldin will be at the 8/31 NYC Premiere. Go check out his MySpace page right here & get to know this swell publicist/indie film dude.

I think I am going to prepare some special gifts, prizes & maybe activities for people who are coming to the 8/31 show. Gotta turn it into a party type thing, on top of it being a screening of a fine flick. maybe i'll do the same w/ my myspace & iLOOP & other pages too

Alright, get some blog press, make some new friends, comment or get in touch if u r coming to the show on 8/31. do it baby do it

L O T S of fun pics from the NYC trip c o m i n g this w ee k end.

& will post pics from the 8/31 show here

- s u j e w a

9 screenings of Date Number One: $1690 (venue cost only), showing your film to customers on a big screen 9 times: you know, like they say, priceless

There are great advantages to showing your movie on a large screen. The larger than life image & the necessarily loud sound are overwhelming & it creates a unique, memorable & in my opinion more forgiving (of any technical flaws in the movie) experience. Re: that forgiving item, what I mean is that certain minor things (not huge visual problems of course) that need to be fixed in the movie may not be noticeable when viewed on a large screen because the brain is busy taking in the huge image & loud noise. Those same mistakes are more noticeable on a TV/computer screen, when watching the movie from a DVD. Anyway, I've learned a lot by watching Date Number One w/ 9 different audiences in 4 different cities over the last 3 or so months. Right now, using the acquired knowledge, I am making some changes to the movie, before it has its 10th screening in NYC on 8/31 @ Pioneer Theater (get your tix now). More on that later, this post is about the hard cost, the venue rental if it is a rental & not a booking, of producing screenings.

Aside from venue cost(if any), the other costs to worry about are: marketing/advertising, employees (if any), equipment rental (if any, like a projector, if the venue does not have one),
travel/lodging/food (for out of town screenings). But this post is about the venue costs, so this is how the venue costs of the 1st 9 screenings of Date Number One breaks down:

Screenings # 1 & 2, Washington, DC: Venue cost: $800
Screenings # 3 - 7, Seattle, WA: Venue cost: $850
Screening # 8, Kensington, MD: Venue cost: FREE
Screening # 9, Takoma Park, MD: Venue cost: $40

Total Venue costs for 9 screenings: $1690

$s were charged for entrance from most customers at each of those screenings. So revenue was generated. But when other expenses (marketing, projector rental for 2 of the screenings, etc.) are added in, most screenings did not produce a profit. BUT, as I figured at the beginning of the Date Number One self-distribution project, the first 12 or so screenings will be a learning experience & after that I would have a very good understanding of what needs to be done to make a screening profitable. So I am close to having a good handle on the doing-a-screening-well thing. Each screening becomes easier & easier to do (& less expensive, screenings #8 & 9, & the upcoming #10, were bookings, so no venue costs (#9 had a nominal fee of $40 to cover some staff pay, but that is not a real/high, in the $100s type, venue cost)). I am planning 10 more screenings in various cities right now, screening #s 11 - 20, and I am pretty sure that I can make those profitable (or at least not huge loses). We'll see how it goes, will blog about them when they are done.

Regardless of the profit or loss scenario, showing Date Number One to an audience on a large screen & watching people live through the movie for the 1st time is an awesome & exciting experience.

- Sujewa

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Thanks GreenCine Daily!

Super blogger David Hudson @ the mighty indie film blog GreenCine Daily mentioned the 8/31 NYC premiere of Date Number One today. Here's the link (go there & scroll down 'till you see a ninja). Thanks David!

- Sujewa

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New publicity tool found: PR Web :: "50 million page views each month" they say

Thanks to Brian "the hard working publicity dude" Geldin, I discovered a new site that other indie filmmaker/distributor/publicist types may want to check out (if ya didn't know about it already; i didn't know). It's called PR Web Press Release Newswire. At the moment I am not sure exactly what they do except that a whole lot of people are using it, press releases can be found there, & the press release (content below also) that Brian posted on PR Web re: the 8/31 screening of my movie Date Number One (buy advance tix here) in NYC seems to be directing more traffic to my flick's website. Here's the rest of that 50 mil page views quote from the PR Web site:

"50 Million Page Views Each Month – Each month PRWeb delivers over 50 million page views of press release content from its sites, PRWeb and eMediaWire. This is separate from the traffic that we don’t measure from our distribution network. This is the highest online visibility of any commercial or non-commercial newswire according to third party metrics."
- PR Web

And while I explore PR Web more, here is the press release re: the 8/31 screening that Brian posted (!thanks Brian!) on PR Web:

DATE NUMBER ONE To Make New York City Premiere at Two Boots Pioneer Theater on Aug. 31

DATE NUMBER ONE, the acclaimed feature-length indie comedy from Do-It-Yourself (DIY) filmmaker Sujewa Ekanayake, will make its NYC premiere: Thursday, August 31st, 2006 9 p.m. Two Boots Pioneer Theater 155 East 3rd Street (between Avenues A and B, closer to A)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (PRWEB)
August 8, 2006 -- DATE NUMBER ONE,
the acclaimed feature-length indie comedy from Do-It-Yourself (DIY) filmmaker Sujewa Ekanayake, will make its NYC premiere:

Thursday, August 31st, 2006
9 p.m.
Two Boots Pioneer Theater
155 East 3rd Street (between Avenues A and B, closer to A)

DATE NUMBER ONE made its world premiere at the Goethe-Institut in Washington, DC, in May. It has since then made its Northwest U.S. premiere at Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, WA, and its Maryland premiere at Capital City Microcinema in Kensington, MD, Sujewa’s hometown, in June.

"The film is about as charming as they come...presents a world in which cultures don't clash, they mesh. It's refreshing to see characters who all appear to have a natural optimism, as opposed to the typical indie-film predilection for bitterness and cruelty."
- Michael Tully, Director, “Cocaine Angel” – Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film

“Ekanayake has made a very good film, the standouts being the writing, the casting, and the direction of the actors.”
-Hollywoodistalking.com

“DATE NUMBER ONE’s strength is its attention to the local lingo of Washington, DC, not the lingo of the Hill, but the locals who live and work around the city…a subtle, thoughtful film.”
-The Chutry Experiment

ABOUT THE FILM:DATE NUMBER ONE is a comedy about several first dates, made up of 5 different stories:
1. Just Another Ninja Searching For Love about a ninja who goes on a blind date.
2. A Romantic Dinner For 3 about a woman attempting to add a third partner to a romantic relationship.
3. Washington ”City Of Love" DC/Start Over about a writer who tries to get back together with his ex-girlfriend.
4. Air Quotes Woman about a woman who always uses air quotes, and her search for a new boyfriend.
5. The Superdelicious French Lesson about a first date where a character learns a little bit of French in an unusual way.

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Sujewa Ekanayake is a Washington, DC-area-based Sri Lankan-American independent filmmaker & distributor. He wrote, produced, directed, photographed, edited and self-distributed DATE NUMBER ONE under his production company Wild Diner Films. His popular blog “DIY Filmmaker Sujewa” is listed as one of Indiewire.com’s “Blogs We Love.” Previous films include the 16MM comedy “Wild Diner” and the documentary “Capital Heartbreak & Sweetness: 17 DC Poets.”

Hot South Asian woman invited me to a party in NYC :: Several hot South Asian women to attend Date Number One NYC premiere on 8/31

Yeah, there are plenty of wars & unrest & under-development in South Asia/the Indian subcontinent BUT also some of the hottest women in the world live there & come from there or have roots there. Prompted by my recent blogging about Date Number One's NYC premiere on 8/31, 9 PM at Pioneer Theater, several South Asians e-mailed me & said they will be coming to the event & one, a very attractive young lady w/ obviously great taste in new films, just invited me to a party in NYC this weekend (I will be in NYC this weekend to promote the 8/31 screening). So there you go, one of the fringe benefits of making & showing indie movies: partying with hot South Asian women. Several hot South Asian women will be attending the 8/31 screening, so, you know, get ready.

Misunderstanding over. 3rd I NY no longer taking credit for the 8/31 Pioneer screening

I received this comment today (also a shorter version of this was e-mailed to me):

" Dear Sujewa,

We have taken off your program from our email list. The only reason we advertised it was because Ray from the Pioneer called us and asked to do so. We had no financial gain from the screening. This is commonly known as "Co-Presenting" or "Outreach" for Film Festival Marketing. A non-profit group with a target audience is asked to invite their audience to a specific program. We do provide free marketing to a core audience for South Asian independent films for the Pioneer Theater when they ask us to do so. Apologies for any misunderstandings. Good luck with your release.

Best wishes,
3rd I NY "

Sounds good to me. The whole argument could have been avoided had 3rd I NY contacted me prior to claiming that they are showing the movie. Co-presenters are fine, but taking all the credit for an event, after the event was arranged & promoted by others, is not fine.

Now let me get back to more important things.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

3rd I NY confusion

The happy ending of the story is that the South Asian media organization 3rd I NY will tell the 3000 or so people on their mailing list about the NYC Premiere screening of Date Number One at Pioneer theater on 8/31. Which is very cool, thanks 3rd I NY! But before we got to that point today, there were a couple of hours of confusion, mild panic, early preparations to stop a possibly unauthorized screening, e-mails & phone calls. Here's what happened:

I check my e-mail early afternoon today to find an e-mail from an organization that I've heard about (3rd I NY) but never dealt w/, & from a person named Shilpa Mankikar, a person that I do not know, and the relevant part of the e-mail read:
"we are screening your film for 3rd i in new york this month. can you come up for a q&a?"

I was like: interesting, that's news to me. I did not agree to or authorize a screening of Date Number One for 3rd I NY. In fact I had never dealt w/ them re: Date Number One (or re: anything else for that matter, as far as I recall) before. And if I, the director & distributor of the film, do not know about such an event, then there is something very wrong. So I e-mailed Ray Privett, the programmer at the Pioneer theater & e-mailed & phoned Shilpa to get an explanation. Since I had not requested or authorized a screening from 3rd I NY, I wanted to get to the bottom of the story quickly. Also, I made an agreement with Pioneer, when the 8/31 booking was made, to not do any other NYC screenings until after the Pioneer engagement - I wanted to make sure that agreement was being fulfilled.

About an hour to two hours later I get an e-mail back from Shilpa saying that they are showing Date Number One & asking me again if I will be attending the event. So I sent a clearly worded e-mail to Shilpa saying that 3rd I NY is NOT showing Date Number One & that the 8/31 screening was organized by the Pioneer theater & myself w/ out any involvement of 3rd I NY.

Ray from Pioneer e-mails me back saying that Shilpa is probably confused, thinking that the 8/31 Date Number One screening is an official 3rd I NY booking, since 3rd I NY does a screening every other month at Pioneer. He said he will speak to the main organizer of 3rd I NY later today to straighten things out.

And while I was composing a second e-mail to Shilpa, reiterating the fact that the 8/31 screening of Date Number One is not a 3rd I NY event, Shilpa calls me back. She said that 3rd I NY promotes South Asian films that play at Pioneer (I guess mine qualifies since I was born in Sri Lanka, even though the flick itself has very little directly to do with South Asia, but it does have an Indian-American actor in a lead role, & Sri Lanka is talked about in the movie), and that the whole thing is free publicity for my event & that they are not making any money from the event or anything like that. Sounds good I said, & I had a pleasant & brief conversation w/ Shilpa.

Very glad to have the promotional support of 3rd I NY & everyone else who is spreading the word about the 8/31, 9 PM screening of Date Number One.

However, just to make it clear for everyone: the 8/31 screening at Pioneer is not an official 3rd I NY booking. That screening is the result of an arrangement made between myself & Pioneer theater.

And I am open to working with 3rd I NY in the future, or with any other non-profit cultural organization for that matter. I just need to be consulted way in advance before hearing that a group that I had not dealt with is going to show my movie.

That's the latest from the Date Number One distribution adventures.

Here is the website for 3rd I NY, aside from the misunderstanding today, they sound like a swell organization.

- Sujewa

Ad for Date Number One in NYC on 8/31 is up on Anthony Kaufman's indieWIRE blog

So I bought a blog ad. Definitely to promote the Date Number One screening on 8/31 @ Pioneer Theater in NYC & also to show some appreciation to Anthony Kaufman's blog - which is one of my favorite daily reads. Anthony regularly grapples with difficult, important, not-too-sexy but very relevant indie & foreign film matters.

Check out the ad here (look to the right, below the ad about filmmaking in NY):
http://blogs.indiewire.com/anthony/

An apostrophe (sp?) has appeared as a question mark in the ad. Will see if I can get that fixed. If not, no biggie.

I like the ad. Go BlogAds & iW & AK's blog!

- Sujewa

Greg Araki Blog-A-Thon Going Down This Week

Yup, that's right, blogging about Araki films are happenin'. Go here to get all the details. Being Boring blog is the home of this event.

While I have not fully enjoyed any Greg Araki movies I've seen so far (The Living End, The Doom Generation, the one w/ the alien - Nowhere?) I do enjoy & appreciate the existence of Araki & he is an inspiring indie filmmaker w/ DIY roots. & he is an Asian-American filmmaker w/ DIY indie/punk roots, there aren't too many of us around, so I always check to see what Araki is up to when his name surfaces in the media.

Since I am not in love with any of his movies that I've seen, I will contribute to the blog a thon by writing about his career. Expect the post at some point this week.

& maybe I'll check out Mysterious Skin also. & maybe I'll blog about that flick. But I'll definitely blog about Araki's career.

- Sujewa

Monday, August 07, 2006

Page with info. on submitting your film to Netflix

I will be very happy for a while with just GreenCine carrying the Date Number One DVD, if it happens, when we get to that point - will be submitting the flick to them - BUT there are people, including many indie filmmaker people, who are crazy about Netflix & would probably love to have the DVDs of their films be carried by Netflix. If you are one of those filmmakers, here is the link to the page where Netflix offers info. on submitting your film to them. Good luck.

- Sujewa

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My new blog: POSITIVE HUMANS

I started a new blog called Positive Humans. PH will feature info. on inspirational people & groups & events. Will be writing in it at least once a day. The first post points to the peace activist group Nonviolent Peaceforce. Check out the blog here. Thanks.

- Sujewa

Matt Zoller Seitz's debut feature HOME is now available through Netflix

It is also available through several other retailers, but we'll focus on Netflix first.

Here's the link to the Netflix page for HOME.

Here's a brief description of HOME (from the Netflix page), in case you missed all the blog entries re: it when it played in NYC a few months back, at the Pioneer Theater:

" In this existential indie film helmed by movie critic Matt Zoller Seitz, a few dozen partygoers converge on a Brooklyn brownstone for an all-night bash. Among the revelers are a dream interpreter, a blathering salesman and uninvited guest Bobby (Jason Liebrecht), an aspiring playwright who's hoping to run into his ex (Minerva Scelza). While the evening wears on, a series of minidramas unfolds as the alcohol flows freely and inhibitions disappear. "

Here is the website for HOME, for all the info. you will ever need on the project, most likely.

Will have more HOME DVD links in the coming days.

- Sujewa

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Background info & analysis of current water access triggered fighting in Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government troops have re-taken control of a disputed town (killing 152 rebels, according to SL gov) & the rebels (LTTE) have pulled back to their former positions in territory that has been controlled by them for several years. This BBC article gives some useful background info. & analysis regarding the last few days of fighting, triggered by the rebels denying water to thousands of farmers.

- Sujewa

NYC trip Sat 8/12 - Mon 8/14 :: Am now open to considering all collaborative production & distribution options (film fests,indiewood,hollywood, etc.)

NYC Trip

Hey everyone, I am coming to NYC for a visit! Time to go put out some flyers & other promo material for the Date Number One 8/31 NYC premiere @ Pioneer Theater, help make some tix sales happen. Also looking forward to checking out the city, hanging out w/ some friends, making some new friends. I'll be in NYC from Sat 8/12 until Mon 8/14 (leaving on Mon PM or Tue 8/15 AM), if ya wanna hang, let me know (wilddiner AT aol.com).

New Direction

Through my own work & through the work of a few other DIY filmmakers/projects (The Last Broadcast & Head Trauma/Lance Weiler, Greg Pak's Robot Stories, Gene Cajone's The Debut, etc.) it is fully clear to me that an interesting & excellent feature length film can be made for a very low budget, can be self-distributed, and can be profitable. So I know I will always have a way to make movies & get them out. I am currently planning two films to be shot back to back next year.

So far my films have been mostly self-financed - w/ some money from friends & small investors - and have been self-distributed. I have largely avoided festivals and submitting the film to other distributors for possible distribution collaboration considerations. The DIY path yields results - of a relatively small scale, but I am now interested in much wider distribution of my films and working with higher budgets (allowing for greater & perhaps more interesting collaborations w/ certain actors & crew). So, instead of working with a $10K budget on a film that has no "stars" & will be self-distributed, I am now open for all manner of collaborations - playing festivals, working w/ "stars", working with more investors, working with other distribution companies, etc. Because by doing so I may be able to get more people to see my movies & a lot more stranger & unpredictable films may result :) & I may be able to make more money (a lot of milk cows can be bought for a $100,000 :).

Re: festivals: I've always been ambivalent about festivals since they do not pay filmmakers - for the most part. I'll continue to push fests to consider sharing some of the $s generated by a film with its makers, and I will organize such a fest in the near future, and I will give preference to such festivals (if choosing between the two kinds ever comes up) AND now I will also submit to a few festivals, even though they don't pay - 'cause it may be a fun networking opportunity if I get in, a good opportunity to get more press, a chance to check out some interesting new films, a chance to gain some new customers - at least make some new people aware of the existence of my films, & maybe I'll sell a few more DVDs at least because of playing a fest.

I don't expect to see too many huge changes happening to the current Date Number One distribution plan - a very DIY thing. My goal, pretty much since the movie got completed in May, for DNO distro has been: 100s of screenings, 1000s of DVD sales. The DIY path can definitely produce that w/ in a couple of years. The New Direction will most likely affect my '07 films.

Of course working w/ festivals, indiewood, hollywood is not a sure thing like DIY, the New Direction may or may not happen. But trying to make it happen will be more interesting, also the rewards may be greater. The ideal work situation to create is something similar to what Jim Jarmusch has done for a while - working with low millions, investors, studios, foreign financing, some "stars", getting wide distribution of his films, but retaining the ownership of the films. Also, Lance Weiler's DVD distro collaboration approach is a model - working out agreements for nationwide DVD distribution while retaining key rights to the film.

The New Direction may or may not materialize, but having traveled the DIY path I know I can make a movie & make it available for the audience. And I plan on keep on doing that, hopefully at a rate of at least 1-3 movies a year. If the movies can be made for more money, w/ some widely known talent & if the movies can get wider distribution - excellent. If not, if the movies have to be made for an ultra-low budget w/ no "stars" & have to be self-distributed - excellent :)

- Sujewa
hmmm, i guess if the New Direction does take hold, i will have to drop the DIY from the name of this blog, it'll just become Filmmaker Sujewa, oh well, we'll see what happens :)

Chuck Tryon's review of Date Number One

Blogger & media professor Chuck Tryon caught the World Premiere of Date Number One on May 13. Here are a couple of paragraphs from his review of the movie, which was the very first review of DNO:

" Like the characters in Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes who reflect on concepts of celebrity and fame, Date Number One's twentysomethings find themselves returning to certain questions, in Date's case the potential relationship between quantum mechanics and Buddhism, with varying degrees of seriousness and authority. The conversations provide some degree of unity between the various episodes, but more importantly, the conversations seem to suggest the way in which ideas or concepts can weave their way through a community of artists and readers who spend a lot of time in bookstores and coffeehouses. An overheard snippet of conversation might be picked up by someone else, and the questions about Buddhism and quantum mechanics take an unexpected direction.

Finally, I think Sujewa Ekanayake's Date Number One offers an image of urban culture that might be understood as the anti-Crash depiction of life in the city. Instead of a city or community marked by distrust and hostility between racial and ethnic groups, Sujewa's film depicts a comfortably multi-ethnic community, recalling for me the "sidewalk ballet" described by Jane Jacobs in her wonderful book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, rather than the sidewalk mosh pit imagined by Haggis. I don't mean to suggest that there aren't hostile encounters like the ones imagined in Crash, but Date Number One offers a notion of "contact" that is far more subtle, at least in my experience on the sidewalks and in the bookshops and coffeehouses of the cities where I've lived.

If I have made Ekanayake's film sound overly serious, it's unintentional. In fact, Date Number One is quite funny..."

Read the rest of the review here.

The next screening of Date Number One, screening # 10, will happen on Thursday, August 31, 9 PM at the Pioneer Theater in New York City. That screening will be the New York Premiere of the movie. Here's Pioneer's page for the movie & here's the link for buying tickets. See you there if you can make it. it will be a fun event.

- Sujewa

Friday, August 04, 2006

Alex Cox's Searchers 2.0 film project

Found Alex "Repo Man, Sid & Nancy" Cox's website last night. Here's what he has to say about a new film project called Searchers 2.0:

" The virtue of the microfeature is that it costs very little and is intended to be viewed primarily on TV and on DVD. If it plays in the cinema, that's cool too. But films don't make money in the cinema: they lose money there, thanks to the print, publicity and marketing costs, and the producer ends up in debt to the theatrical distributor.

SEARCHERS 2.0 is at the point that REPO MAN was in 1983 - just before we made the deal with Universal. It could be made as a low budget feature by a studio (or by one of the studios' London subsidiaries). Or it can be made as a free-standing, independent feature, by a limited company set up for that purpose. "

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

From Nonviolent Peaceforce: EMERGENCY ACTION REQUEST: Immediate Ceasefire and Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Sri Lanka

I received this request from Mel Duncan, Executive Director of the international peace activist organization Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) today. Heavy fighting broke out in Sri Lanka earlier this week and NP workers & other civilians are caught between the LTTE & Sri Lankan Government's fighting. Here's the NP request:

EMERGENCY ACTION REQUEST: Immediate Ceasefire and Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Sri Lanka

3 August 2006

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I write to you about an emergency.

Almost unnoticed by the international community, heavy fighting has broken out in Eastern Sri Lanka this week. Since Tuesday, LTTE (Tamil Tigers) and government forces have been battling in the Muthur, Sampur and Mavil Aaru areas of Trincomalee District, where our teams have been active for almost three years.

In Mutur town the entire civil infrastructure has collapsed and the civilian population – Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese alike- is seeking refuge in mosques, churches and schools. Both the hospital and one of the schools where people sought shelter have been hit by shells, with ten persons killed and many wounded. An ambulance driving through Mutur town has also been attacked.

People have been more than 48 hours without water and food supplies, and the hospital does not or barely functions for lack of medicine and staff. The sick and wounded are going without medical treatment. Among the civilians trapped in Mutur are five Nonviolent Peaceforce staff people with their families. Nonviolent Peaceforce’s international staff members in Trincomalee town are in contact with people in Mutur and have been told that 25,000 people in Mutur wish to leave the town but cannot do so because the fighting parties prevent them.

In the face of this situation, and out of concern for the fate of the civilian population in Mutur and other areas,

We appeal urgently to the Sri Lankan government and LTTE to implement an immediate ceasefire, at least for 24 to 48 hours in order to allow the sick and wounded to be transported to Trincomalee hospital and those who wish to leave the battleground to do so.

We remind all sides in the conflict about the standards of International Humanitarian Law which prescribes the protection of civilian population in war. Attacks on civilian areas, ambulances and shelters are intolerable and have to stop immediately.

Please support this appeal by faxing or e-mailing the letter suggested below to the Sri Lankan President Mr. M. Rajapakse and the LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran, copying to the Peace Secretariats of both government and LTTE.

If you received this appeal through the general NP database, please send a copy of your letter or information that you faxed it to: CSchweitzer@nonviolentpeaceforce.org.
If you received the appeal through the NP Emergency Network, please send to ern@nonviolentpeaceforce.org.

With hope and resolve,
Mel Duncan
Executive Director

DRAFT LETTER

Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse
President Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka
C/O Office of the President
Temple Trees150,
Galle Road
Colombo 3
SRI LANKA
Fax: +94 11 2472100 / +94 11 2446657
Email: secretary@presidentsoffice.lk
cc: Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP)
Fax: +94 11 5554473 info@scopp.gov.lk

Your Excellency,

With deep concern I have learned of the humanitarian crisis in the Muthur, Sampur and Mavil Aaru areas of Trincomalee District. Fighting between the Army and the the LTTE has now gone on for more than 48 hours, and many civilians have been wounded and killed in the attacks.

In the face of this situation, and in concern for the fate of the civilian population in Mutur and other areas,

We appeal urgently to you to implement an immediate cease-fire, at least for 24 to 48 hours in order to allow the sick and wounded to be transported to Trincomalee hospital and those who wish to leave the battle grounds to do so.

We remind all sides in the conflict about the standards of International Humanitarian Law which prescribes the protection of civilian population in war. Attacks on civilian areas, ambulances and shelters are intolerable and have to stop immediately.

I have received this information through the network of the international NGO Nonviolent Peaceforce. Nonviolent Peaceforce has always maintained an impartial position and is solely motivated by assisting civilians through nonviolent means. It has been in Sri Lanka since 2003 and works at the invitation of civilians to support nonviolent conflict resolution and the protection of Sri Lankans working for their communities. At the moment, five of NP’s local staff are trapped in Mutur together with the other civilians.

Yours sincerely,

-----------------

DRAFT LETTER

Mr. Veluppillai Prabhakaran
c/o LTTE Peace Secretariat
Fax +94- 21 222 3959

Dear Sir,

With deep concern I have learned of the humanitarian crisis in the Muthur, Sampur and Mavil Aaru areas of Trincomalee District. Fighting between the Army and the the LTTE has now gone on for more than 48 hours, and many civilians have been wounded and killed in the attacks.

In the face of this situation, and in concern for the fate of the civilian population in Mutur and other areas,

We appeal urgently to you to implement an immediate cease-fire, at least for 24 to 48 hours in order to allow the sick and wounded to be transported to Trincomalee hospital and those who wish to leave the battle grounds to do so.

We remind all sides in the conflict about the standards of International Humanitarian Law which prescribes the protection of civilian population in war. Attacks on civilian areas, ambulances and shelters are intolerable and have to stop immediately.

I have received this information through the network of the international NGO Nonviolent Peaceforce. Nonviolent Peaceforce has always maintained an impartial position and is solely motivated by assisting civilians through nonviolent means. It has been in Sri Lanka since 2003 and works at the invitation of civilians to support nonviolent conflict resolution and the protection of Sri Lankans working for their communities. At the moment, five of NP’s local staff are trapped in Mutur together with the other civilians.

Yours sincerely,

--------------------

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Jeff Krulik, Amir Motlagh, Brian "The Publicist" Geldin, Variety article, iW blog ad, DNO 8/31 - 9 PM Pioneer

Just spent a few minutes chatting with DC based filmmaker Jeff Krulik. Jeff was at the Kensington Row Bookshop to videotape a friend talking about his book about Jim Morrison of The Doors & the time Morrison spent living in Alexandria, VA. I am going to try to do an interview with Jeff re: his films & upcoming projects. He is famous for making Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

AMIR MOTLAGH DIGS DATE NUMBER ONE!
Amir makes good movies (he is working on a feature called Whale right now), so when he called me around 2 AM this morning & told me that he just saw Date Number One & congratulated me on it, told me that he likes the movie a lot, it was a very nice moment. Amir said he will write & publish on the web a review of the flick very soon. Will post the link as soon as I see it. Thanks for checking out the movie Mr. Amir.

Brian "The Film Panel Notetaker" Geldin (website, MySpace) is the publicist I hired to help get the word out re: the 8/31 screening of Date Number One in NYC. Judging by his daily updates, looks like he is hard at work on spreading the word re: the NYC premiere of DNO. Will have more notes on working w/ a publicist soon, & perhaps an interview w/ Brian re: his "mysterious" & "powerful" craft. Thanks for all your hard work (& the excellent rate) Mr. Brian.

The interview for the Variety article has not happened yet. Should happen relatively soon.

Last night I bought (after much tedious work on the computer: setting up a PayPal account, formatting an image, etc., etc.,) an ad at an indieWIRE blog. It was affordable & I am a big fan of the said blog & blogger (will be named once the ad comes out). I am waiting for the ad to be approved by the "editor" (of iW? from the blog ad co?). We'll see if it goes through & will let ya know once the ad is up. The ad will be promoting the 8/31 Pioneer Theater screening of Date Number One.

I am making plans for several NYC trips. I'll definitely be there at Pioneer on 8/31 for the NYC premiere festivities. If you want to attend & see Date Number One, meet the director & perhaps some of the stars, you can buy tickets now.

That is the latest from the Capital City.

- Sujewa

a whole lot of JUMPING OFF BRIDGES screenings coming up

20 cities! Kat Candler's SXSW 06 selected film JUMPING OFF BRIDGES is about to embark on a screening tour. Here are the dates so far:

8/9, Dallas, TX, Dallas Video Festival, Angelika Film Center, 7pm
8/11, Lubbock TX, Flatland Film Festival
9/13, Seattle, WA, Broadway Performance Hall
9/15, Albuquerque, NM
9/15 - 9/21, Overland Park, KS, Kansas City International Film Festival
9/30, San Antonio, TX, Historic Guadalupe Theater at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, 7pm
October, Baltimore, MD, TBA
October, Washington DC, TBA
October, Chicago, IL, TBA
October or November (week run), Jacksonville, FL, San Marco Theater, TBA
10/3, Austin, TX, Alamo Drafthouse South, 7pm
10/3 - 10/8, New Haven, CT, Connecticut Film Festival
10/6 - 10/7 (weekend run), Tallahassee, FL, All Saints Cinema
10/7, Boston, MA, Capital Theater, 6:30pm
10/14, Nashville, TN, Belcourt Theater, 2pm
10/14, Houston, TX, Rice University Media Lab, 7pm
10/26, Portland, OR, The Hollywood Theater
November, Los Angeles, CA, TBA
11/2, Montclair, NJ, Montclair State University
11/3 and 11/4, New York City, NY, Pioneer Theater, 7pm

Check here for updates.

Congrats & good luck on the road Team Bridges!

- Sujewa

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's creating visual promo material time. Item 1: small ninja image for web














I drew this on a post-it note a couple of days ago. Jerry "Hollywood Is Talking" Brewington & friend Bill Coy helped me turn it into the appropriate size for web purposes. Thanks a lot Jerry & Bill. I am now working on pulling stills & coming up w/ posters, post cards, flyers, etc. Also need to learn some graphic design programs quick. Lots of fun ahead.

- Sujewa

Date Number One NYC premiere 8/31, 9 PM, Pioneer Theater

Buy Tickets Now! t h n x!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hired a publicist (!???) to help promote the 8/31 Date Number One screening in NYC

I am still getting used to the idea of giving some of the Date Number One distro work load to someone else, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. The whole situation is not as indiewood as it sounds, I already knew the publicist & he gave me an excellent deal on the work - to promote the Thu 8/31, 9 PM screening of Date Number One at Pioneer Theater, NYC. Once I get more comfortable w/ the idea of employing a publicist (for the 9 screenings of DNO so far, only I did the publicity work, now this 10th screening will have 2 peeps doing publicity - self & the publicist, pretty strange & new to me, but NYC is huuuge & the Pioneer screening is important, so I am very grateful for the help) & some publicity work has been done, I will introduce the publicist to the readers of this blog & will talk about some of the useful work that a publicist may be able to do for your film. Even an ultra-low budget publicist may be very useful in getting the word out about your screenings, as long as he or she is good at what they do.

- Sujewa

I definitely want to see Angel-A

A flick that so many critics are having a problem with, according to the IFC blog, may be worth checking out, specially since it was directed by Luc Besson. The new movie Angel-A features a dude from Amelie in the lead male role, & is a black & white flick that sounds inspired by It's A Wonderful Life. There may be some good ideas & moments in there somewhere, even if the whole thing may not have come together too well. Looking forward to seeing it.

- Sujewa

Duuudddde, 2/3 of The Maryland New Wave is in the Filmmaker 25 New Faces of Independent Film 2006 list!

The list is of course relatively meaningless because there are 100s of new filmmakers worth watching right now (about 15 of them at Indie Features 06) and it is indie film (meaning anyone who makes a good film is worth watching, it is a wide open field, open to all, which is very, very cool) but it put a smile on my face to see Mike Tully on the list (#18!) and also Todd Rohal (somehow not as much a surprise). Congrats Todd & Mike! We will have to celebrate at the next secret meeting of the MD New Wave (so secret, even the members do not know when it is & do not know about the exact activities of the movement. secret but powerful. the veritable nexus of the DIY, Indiewood, Hollywood film worlds). One more time, go Mike & Todd!!!

- Sujewa
note to self: see The Guatemalan Handshake, Todd's flick.

ps: here's para 1 from Mike Tully's section:

"Filmmaker, musician, blogger and housepainter Michael Tully has been keeping himself busy the past year. It was only about 13 months ago that he and writer-star Damian Lahey finished tearing a festering little hole into the drug-addiction film subgenre with Cocaine Angel, a dime-bag-budgeted, grime-covered crawl through a Florida cokehead's sunshineless state. With its claustrophobic apartments, torn carpets, drawn shades and teetering, visibly scarred supporting characters, the film looks like it wasn't so much filmed in the Jacksonville drug culture as actually discovered there, stained into the floors, reeking like a week-old bender and oozing something nasty, so real was its grasp of place and aura."

Find the rest here (mike's #18) & keep going through the pages to find the entry on Todd (#24).

BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer

DATE NUMBER ONE on Vimeo VOD

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

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