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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"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

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Gots to try to get AFI Silver & or Avalon to do an open ended booking of Date Number One

If you are a filmmaker/distributor in Washington, DC area & if you want to have your film play in DC & or Silver Spring, MD for a long period of time (& if you are not too fond of the Landmark theater corporation) then you have two options: The Avalon theater in DC & AFI Silver
theater in Silver Spring, MD. Just as certain people are more appreciated abroad, local filmmakers are more in demand & better appreciated elsewhere than in the DC area (this is probably a universal phenomenon, I heard the same thing from some filmmakers in Seattle). So, getting The Avalon & or AFI Silver to book Date Number One for an open ended run is going to be a difficult task. Nevertheless, this coming week I am going to start my campaign for a booking in those theaters (actually, the campaign has already started). If you want to help & specially if you are in touch w/ the programmers at those theaters, please encourage them to check out Date Number One for an open ended booking. The two programmers will get screener DVDs & press material this coming week. Thanks!

- Sujewa

Friday, May 26, 2006

Date Number One screening # 8 coming up on June 24 Sat 7 PM in Kensington, MD

We did Date Number One screenings # 1 & 2 in DC on 5/13 Sat, & then we did screenings # 3 - # 7 in Seattle 5/19 Fri - 21 Sun. Now screening #8 has been set up for Sat June 24 7 PM at the Kensington Row Bookshop, a Capital City Microcinema event. I expect to have retail DVDs ready for sale by that date. Lots of web pages to update, lots of e-mail to return, some packaging design stuff to do, some quote pulling to do, some phone calls to make, and lots of screeners need to be sent out to various venues & festivals. Rocking & rolling w/ Date Number One self-distro adventures over here. It is a most awesome (sometimes tiring, but awesome) experience. Making it happen is fun & satisfying.

Review number 2 should be coming up this weekend or so from Jerry in LA, of Hollywood Is Talking blog fame. So far reviews/audience feedback have been generally excellent. Very happy about that. Will post the link to Jerry's review here as soon as I see it up on the web.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hollywood Is Talking Interview w/ "Date Number One" director/distributor

Hollywood Is Talking blog interviewed me about Date Number One & other Sujewa things. Read it in all its glory right here.

Here's one Q & A exchange:

H.I.T: What led you into filmmaking? Say, as opposed to painting or punk rock?

Sujewa: Awareness of mortality: yes, it's true, I may die one day. So, "what awesome challenging (& legal) thing can I do (holding up liquor stores is out, not legal) during my time on earth?" was the Q I asked myself. I had always been creative & a thinker, and had a good sales skillz & entrepreneurial bent (this was when I was taking a look at myself at 18), and Spike Lee was getting well known for his indie filmmaking activities, & I liked the movies in general, and I wanted to have a positive impact on the world, so I decided to become a filmmaker. Indie filmmaking was the most accessible path to that goal. And now DIY filmmaking is the most accessible path, as far as I am concerned, for that goal. So I do that. I also draw, maybe I'll paint one day. I am pretty sure I'll start a indie/punk band one day. Got an accordion that I am itchin' to play.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Thanks Hollywood Is Talking blog!

- Sujewa

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"Date Number One" Review Number One! (it rocks)

Chuck Tryon, blogger & media professor, is the first person to publish a review of my brand spankin' new film Date Number One. Chuck caught the movie last night at its World Premiere in DC.

Here's a paragraph from the long review:

" 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. "

And later Chuck goes on to say:

" Date Number One is quite funny and treats the dating life of DC twentysomethings with a light touch,..."

Check out the entire review here.

Thanks Chuck for taking the time out from your busy day to check out my
"no"*-budget/no-Hollywood stars/no-Indiewood stars/self-distributed (on a very low budget)/superdelicious film & then writing about it.

A big thank you also goes out to everyone who helped in getting the film made, & the people who are helping out w/ screenings & other juicy distribution tasks. You rock! Can't do it w/ out ya.

- Sujewa

* the total budget - cash spent on the making of Date Number One (from script to screen) was roughly under $10K (that includes buying a mac & all necessary gear for editing), i'll total up the receipts soon

Screenings went well, "Date Number One" plays well even w/ out music, Chuck T. should have review on Mon, Ian MacKaye came to a show!

DC World Premiere screenings of Date Number One are over, looking forward to Seattle next weekend: Fri 5/19 - Sat 5/21@ Northwest Film Forum, 6 shows.

Blogger/film reviewer & media professor Chuck Tryon was at the show, said he enjoyed the movie, & said he will write a review soon. Looking forward to it. Thanks for coming Chuck.

Ian MacKaye, one of my favorite musicians (The Evens, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Dischord Records) came to the 7 PM show. I think he enjoyed the movie (I was doing post-show Q & A when he left, did not get to talk to him at length). Thanks for coming Ian.

Got to hang out w/ a lot of the lead actors from the movie, had not seen some of them in months, it was an awesomely good experience, looks like they enjoyed the movie.

I was in a rush, did not take my still camera (took a couple of cell phone pics though), but I may still have some pics from the shows - from friend's cameras. Will post 'em up when I get 'em.

About 80- 100 people total came to the shows tonight (1st show about 50 - 70 people, 2nd show about 30 people, did not keep an exact count, will do for Seattle).

And here are some of the other highlights & lessons learned from tonight's event:

1. The film is funny, people were laughing pretty much (80% of the time let's say) where I expected them to laugh.
2. The film plays well even w/out music (did not have time to finish the music work before the screenings, also the sound in general was only about 60% fine cut, still needs a fair amount of work) and w/an OK image (the projected image was close to DVD quality, not MiniDV tape quality - which is the best way to show this movie - will be projecting from a MiniDV tape in Seattle).
3. Must, must, must have the fine cut of the movie in hand at least 3 days before a screening gig. Will follow that rule for Seattle.

Other Notes:
- some money was raised for We Are Family, more $s will be coming their way this month due to the screening event
- feels awesome when strangers, dozens of them, show up to see your movie, people you would never meet otherwise, & pay to watch your movie
- show # 1 (7 PM) started late & since I did not have music in the movie & the sound was rough, I decided to make that a free show (people at that show donated $s to We Are Family), but then, after seeing the movie play well to the 7 PM audience, charged the 9 PM audience a reduced rate of $5 per person (due to rough cut status of film, next time, in Seattle & when I return to a DC screen- regular price since I will definitely have a fine cut of the film by then/in a day or so), made some money (less than what was spent for the screenings, but the event was a success in other areas and I believe that future DC screenings will go very well ticket sales wise)
- the City Paper ad was a good investment
- must do tons more publicity & must get reviews in the local papers (meaning, get screener DVDs to reviewers in time!)

Special thanks to everyone who made the screenings happen today, & for everyone who came (!audiences rock!), and specially for Mark Andersen for coming by & talking about We Are Family.

Off to prep for the Seattle trip, will post a link to Chuck's review when I see it. Also, early next week, Hollywood Is Talking's review link should be available.

Very happy w/ the audience reaction to the movie. Several areas of the Wild Diner Films distribution machine needs fine tunining, I am sure that will happen as I get a dozen or so screenings done. All in all, awesomely happy right now, the film is done & it makes people laugh.

- Sujewa

Saturday, May 13, 2006

City Paper's brief description

Read it here, straight out of the press material. But the next time the flick plays in DC there will be screener DVDs available & thus there should be a longer review in City Paper & other local papers.

Here's what it said:

" DATE NUMBER ONE

A 110-minute film with unusual stories about five first dates--including a ninja looking for love and "air quotes" woman's search for a new boyfriend. (MM)

Goethe-Institut—Sat., 5/13 "

All in all the City Paper mentioned the flick @ 3 places - showtimes & the above brief description & the ad, not bad at all. Let's see what the attendance is like tonight & how many people found out about the screenings from the CP.

- Sujewa

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Washington City Paper's "Date Number One" ad art link # 1 (thanks Hollywood Is Talking blog!)

My scanner is having some trouble & I have not figured out how to get an image from a PDF file on to my blog. So, Jerry @ the excellent Hollywood Is Talking blog just posted up the ad art from the Washington City Paper ad for this weekend's Date Number One premiere (I'll post it up here too, as soon as I get the scanner thingy workin').

Here's the link, check it out!

Thanks Hollywood Is Talking blog!

- Sujewa

Thanks Chutry Experiment

Chuck T. at the Chutry Experiment blog most recently mentioned the upcoming Date Number One premiere in DC here.

Thanks Churty Experiment!

If you mention Date Number One & any of its related missions (screenings, DVD, benefits) in your blog, let me know directly (the all seeing web eye of the sujewa is busy these days w/ the rough cut-fine cut of the film & screening producin' details, don't have as much time to comb the web), send me an e-mail: wilddiner at aol.com. I'll do some mutual appreciation by mentioning & linking to your mention of my movie here.

Hollywood Is Talking should have the first web review of the film (done from the rough cut) tomorrow Fri 5/12 or Sat 5/13 (or as soon as JB can get to it, I think it'll be this weekend).

Lookin' forward to the premiere on Sat night. I need to get a hair cut & lace up my nice shoes. Need to get a leash for my pet comodo dragon, taking it to the show.

See ya at the show Chuck!

- Sujewa

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Thanks Filmmaker Magazine blog

When I get a minute to do some blogging while engaged in the distribution of the juicy new film Date Number One, I will point out blog mentions of the film, reviews, etc.

Here's one: Filmmaker Magazine's blog mentioned the upcoming World Premiere screenings at Goethe in DC this Sat, 7 PM & 9 PM.

Thanks Filmmaker Magazine blog!

- Sujewa
ps: GreenCine Daily mention of premiere & Hollywood Is Talking mention links coming very soon, the next time I take a bloggin' break.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mom is coming to the premiere, so is (maybe) one of my favorite rock stars

And when I say rock star I mean a real rock star, known to many world wide, secretly & openly worshipped by fans on all 5 continents, a dude who makes a living from music (not essential for being a rock star of course) and more importantly, one of my favorite artists. Very inspirational dude. He will try to make it he said (he's known for keeping his word, so it is a more firm statement than most peoples' "will try to make it"). If nothing else at least I got to talk to him on the phone (on my brand spankin' new "DC red" cell phone w/free incoming calls!) two days ago re: the Date Number One premiere on 5/13 Sat @ Goethe in DC. Dude is not a big fan of name dropping & over-commerciality & hype, as far as I can tell, so I won't mention his name here. But if he does show up, I'll mention it in the show report. Maybe I'll even be able to get a pic w/ him. Either way, it is all good, very happy about the premiere happening in DC, regardless of who shows up & regardless of the crazy amount of work that needs to get done now until 7 PM on Sat 5/13.

Also, The Mom is coming to the premiere. Have not hung out w/her since she returned from her once-every-two-years-or-so trip to Sri Lanka a couple of weeks ago (besides briefly hanging out w/her at the airport when she arrived). I don't think she's been to one of my premieres since "Fresh Coffee" in '92. Should be interesting :) Will write about mom's reaction to the movie here.

And of course two weeks from now I will be rockin' in Seattle w/ the flick's premiere in that storied city. Looking forward to that.

Will have pics from all screenings here.

Special thanks to Craig @ Goethe & Sheila @ City Paper & Stephen Jenner & Don Ramsey @ All Books Considered & Allison Curran for helping to get the DC premiere off the ground. And there will be lots more people to thank soon, in DC & Seattle.

Oh, the flick will play in Kensington, MD on Thu June 22 @ 7 PM. At my screening event Capital City Microcinema. Thanks Elie @ Kensington Row Bookshop for that opportunity.

First review of the flick should be on-line early next week, from Jerry B. of the Hollywood Is Talking blog fame. Looking forward to it.

- Sujewa

Friday, May 05, 2006

"Date Number One" World Premiere & We Are Family benefit event, DC, Sat 5/13/06

Event:
World Premiere of film "Date Number One"
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When:
Saturday May 13, 2006
7 PM & 9 PM
7 PM show is a partial benefit event (50% of tix sales $s) for local social service organization We Are Family (see info on We Are Family at end of this announcement)
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Where:
812 Seventh Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
venue info (location, directions, etc.): 202-289-1200
event info: wilddiner@aol.com, 202-491-5536
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How Much?
$8
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Film Description:
"Date Number One" is a comedy about several first dates. This 90 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 Schroder 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.

"Date Number One" is written, produced, directed, photographed, edited and distributed by Sujewa Ekanayake. Following the World Premiere in DC, "Date Number One" will play in Seattle May 19 - 21 and will continue on to play other US cities until Spring '08.
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DVD available in late May from http://www.wilddiner.com/
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"Date Number One" Stars:
John Stabb Schroeder, Jennifer Blakemore, Shervin Boloorian, Dele Williams, Steve Lee, Kelly Ham, Christine D. Lee, Fritz Flad, Subodh Samudre, Jewel Greenberg
Crew:
Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Sujewa Ekanayake, Sound Recordists: Fritz Flad, Alex Ramsey, Production Assistants: Paula Rylands, Tim Nelson, Matt Wilmott, Frank Miller, Distribution Assistant: Allison Curran
Producers: Sujewa Ekanayake, Stephen Jenner, Tim Nelson

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For More Info:
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7 PM show is a partial benefit event for local social service organization We Are Family :

Give the gift of your presence to an isolated senior -- and get to know the history of your community at the same time!

Small interfaith nonprofit We Are Family reaches out to the seniors of the North Capitol Street and Shaw neighborhoods. We bring advocacy, services, and companionship into the homes of the elderly, while helping to build friendships across boundaries like race, class, religion, age, culture, and sexual orientation. Most of our work is done by volunteers, coordinated by staff person Mark Andersen who has nearly two decades of serving seniors in the North Capitol and Shaw neighborhoods. While many of those who help do the work of We Are Family are seniors themselves -- who, after all, have built this community -- we need you as well. The possibilities are truly endless. Mark is able to tailor a volunteer task to whatever time or gift you might have, from helping out once a year on holidays, to calling lonely seniors once a week, to making home visits or delivering groceries on Saturday mornings once or twice a month, to pairing up individual volunteers with nearby seniors, and beyond. More than simply a social service agency, We Are Family is an experiment in building empowered, just, caring, and inclusive community -- help us to realize that dream!

For more information on We Are Family, please feel free to contact Mark at 202-638-0072o, 202-487-8698c, or wearefamilydc@aol.com.

We Are Family is a project of Northwest Settlement House and the "Faith in Action" program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Thanks!

- Sujewa

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"People who finance films, distribute films, promote films and exhibit films are not filmmakers."

That line is from rule #2 of Jim Jarmusch's Golden Rules, a Moviemaker magazine article. Thanks GreenCine Daily for the link.

Here's the entire rule #2:
" Rule #2: Don’t let the fuckers get ya. They can either help you, or not help you, but they can’t stop you. People who finance films, distribute films, promote films and exhibit films are not filmmakers. They are not interested in letting filmmakers define and dictate the way they do their business, so filmmakers should have no interest in allowing them to dictate the way a film is made. Carry a gun if necessary."

Read all the rules here.

Jarmusch, as always, rocks. He pretty much invented indie film as most of us know it with 1984's Stranger Than Paradise.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

LA Times article offers possible major/mainstream venue alternatives to indie chains, theaters

Anthony Kaufman points to this LA Times article about AMC's plan to devote 72 of their theaters (some screens? all the screens?) to indie films (most likely indiewood films). Could be a good thing (it's a small walk from the DIY world to indiewood). The article also provides names of other indie-friendly major/mainstream theater chains.

From me, the ideal venue would be an independent, small theater w/a decent size screen, good sound, good seating (100+ seats) & responsive/non-crazy management. Most cities have a couple of such venues. But if those venues are too busy to show my film then I need some alternatives. The major exhibitors' interest in some indie programming could be useful to filmmakers like myself. Specially when I live in a time & place where the biggest indie chain pulls a movie 5 days before its premiere (Landmark, "I Am A Sex Addict") and there are some small indie theaters that I do not want to deal with due to various questionable practices of theirs or their owners.

I still need to finish my list of cool (as far as I can tell), real indie theaters & post it up here. As soon as I get all the work for the 5/13 Goethe, DC & 5/19-21 NWFF, Seattle screenings done, I'll finish that list. I think now I'll also add a smaller list of mainstream alternatives to the real indie theaters too. Options are good. However, no matter what the mainstream theaters do from time to time, real indie theaters are necessary for the existence of real indie film/foreign film culture & should be overwhelmingly supported, as long as they do not do jerky things.

- Sujewa

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

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