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Showing posts from April, 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

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 Ra…

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. Ear…

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

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

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.

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

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:

CHARACTERISTICS/MISSION:

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.

Related:

Official web page (needs to be updated)
http://www.wilddiner.com/diy2005.htm

Entry 29, April 25, 2005 @ Indie Film, The World, Our Lives blog re: the weekend in which DIY05 was cooked up, at http://www.wilddiner.com/film_journal.htm

"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. http://www.angryfilmmaker.com/kickingbird.htm

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

Kelley Baker is …

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!

Sujewa

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

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
Where:
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, wilddiner@aol.com, 240-354-3394
Contact (instructor): Kelley Baker, Angryfilminfo@aol.com, 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 ap…

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

4/11/06 Village Voice article by Anthony Kaufman

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0615,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 grassroo…

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

http://indiefeatures06.blogspot.com/2006/04/september-12th-wins-best-feature-at.html

" 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

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

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 …

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,…

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, perhap…

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…

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!

Sujewa
*******

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!

s*u*j*e*w*a

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

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

UPDATE 11:59PM

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

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 mas…

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!