Sunday, August 26, 2012

Distribution and beyond...

This production blog has gone kind of quiet since we made the transition into distribution. Most of the action is happening on our Facebook and Twitter accounts these days - plus regular updates to the screenings page of the official Now, Forager website. Those are the best sources to follow the latest news.

Since the film's World Premier in Rotterdam, we had a fantastic North American premiere at New Directors/New Films back in March with well-attended screenings at both MoMA and Lincoln Center in New York.

Our worldwide sales agent New Europe Film Sales has sold the film for distribution in several territories, with releases happening this fall and winter. We'll announce these very soon.

In the US, we've partnered with Argot Pictures for a limited theatrical distribution run starting at IFC Center in New York from October 3-9. After that, we have both  Chicago's Gene Siskel Film Center and Los Angeles' Downtown Independent from October 12-18. We're confirming dates in several other cities nationwide. And we'll have filmmakers present for Q&A at openings whenever possible. It's a win-win situation - support your local independent art house theater by seeing the mushroom movie on the big screen.

We have upcoming dates with several other festivals in the US and Europe, including a competition slot at New Orleans Film Festival. We also have a homecoming of sorts with Poland's American Film Festival in November, where we won a special jury prize last year as a work in progress at US-In-Progress.

All good stuff to report. I hope you'll pop over to Facebook and give us Like and that we'll see y'all on the road this fall and winter.

Cheers from Team Fungi!

Friday, December 30, 2011

World Premiere: Rotterdam

That's right. We have a world premiere. Now, Forager has been invited to screen at International Film Festival Rotterdam. They're saying the official lineup won't be released until January 19th (about a week before the festival starts). In the meantime, though, they sent me this snazzy little piece of artwork to share:
Tigers are very cool animals. And speaking of artwork, we're working finalizing on our official poster design (courtesy of Yen Tan and  OTTO IS THE ONE), revamping our website, and ramping up the publicity machine (including a nice shout-out in the Austin Chronicle's Film Flam column by Kimberley Jones).

Ah, yes. And we're also busily working to finish the film. Sound editor/designer Jeremy Fleishman is in town from Pittsburgh and crashing at Team Fungi HQ, getting us ready for our mix at Soundcrafter.

And producer/co-director Julia Halperin is headed back to Poland next week. Why you ask? Because we've joined forces with who have come on-board as a co-producer to help us finish the film. They saw our cut at Gotham-In-Progress last month and wanted to work with us on color correction and mastering at their facilities in Warsaw. The little mushroom movie is now officially an international co-production.

Lots more news to come. Lots more work left to do.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Poland and Post-Poland...

Obviously, I didn't post anything during our trip to Wroclaw. Our accommodations were absolutely top-notch--including wireless access in our hotel room, so that's not an excuse. We were just kept really busy the whole time we were there for the "Gotham in Progress" European sales and distribution market.

This was the first iteration of GiP, which was a sidebar event at The American Film Festival, which is itself a subsidiary festival of New Horizons. And it's a truly impressive organization. Incredibly well-organized by some genuinely lovely people. They're developing an amazing infrastructure and audience for independent films in Poland.

We arrived a couple days early to get over jetlag and see a bit of the city (and also to celebrate my birthday). It was too late in the year for mushrooms, but we did walk through a lovely botanical garden that was just settling in for a long winter.

Our first day we did this print interview (our responses were translated to Polish by the interviewer) with a local film news website, and then this video interview with the largest newspaper in Poland. 

The market itself was two full days of screenings--seven full-length features and four 30-minute excerpts. The audience was comprised of an assortment of European producers, sales agent reps (including Goldcrest and Wild Bunch), regional distributors, and festival programmers (including Berlinale and Cannes Critic's Week). 

There were some really great films shown in the market. Julia and I were particularly taken with Stones in the Sun directed by Patricia Benoit and produced by Karin Chien and Ben Howe.

Our film was the last feature of the first day--we were nervous that the audience might be exhausted after already watching three previous features and an excerpt. But Now, Forager played very well and people seemed to enjoy it. We had lots of great chats with our fellow filmmakers and different industry reps afterwards--some really smart, passionate, and friendly people. It was a huge relief.

We also met Todd Solondz and had some interesting talks with him. He was there for a retrospective of his work at the American Film Festival. Really engaging guy--and he even told us that he'd heard good things about our film. Who knew that the mushroom buzz would reach that far?

So, to make a long story short--we were awarded a prize (Special Jury Recognition) and with that comes $20K in titling and credits from Alvernia Studios in Warsaw. Pretty sweet.

We also took meetings with several sales reps, distributors, and producers who liked the film and want to work with us (possibly on our next film, Lumberjunkies). Plus the reps from Cannes and Berlin both liked the movie and want to present it to their programming committees. 

Since getting back to Austin, it's been non-stop action. Sending out screeners, answering emails, and trying to understand the nuances of international film business. It's complicated--and very different than how things are done in the US. We're having to learn a whole lot really fast. But these are problems for which we're extremely thankful. 

And we're especially thankful to Adeline, Ula, and Jan for inviting Now, Forager to "Gotham in Progress" (which will be getting a new name next year) and for being such gracious hosts. We appreciate all your support and kindness and we look forward to coming back to Poland soon.

And yesterday we received some more very good news, but we have to hold off a bit longer before we can share it. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Five days left to donate at United States Artists! We reset our minimum goal to qualify for additional matching funds from Artists 2 Artists. We need to raise at least another $800 to secure funding by November 15th.

And we're just a few days away from our trip to Poland for Gotham in Progress. We still have a lot to do before we get on that plane, but we're excited to visit Wroclaw and meet the other filmmakers who are coming for both the market and the American Film Festival. Todd Solondz and Joe Swanberg are both supposed to be in attendance for career retrospective screenings. 

And I just did another interview--this time with The Dark Side of the Shroom blog. I was happy to include my recipe for Black & Blue Risotto, made with blewits (Clitocybe nuda) and black trumpets (Craterellus cornucopioides) which figures into one of the scenes in the film.

I'll try to post some update from Poland, before and after our screening. Djiekuje!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Video Alert!

We've got a brand spanking new video up on our project page at United States Artists. And we pulled out all the stops--time lapse, dioramas, new footage, and...well, just take a look.

We're under 20 days remaining in our post-production campaign. Every dollar helps. And we've got some cool thank you gifts--t-shirts and bags featuring our popular woodcut morel logo, DVDs of the finished film, the Audubon mushroom guide for iPhones and iPads, and more.

Please donate if you can or help us spread the word. And thanks for your support!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Substantial news items abound!

Lots happening with Team Fungi these days. For every item we tick off the to-do list, we have to add three more. But lately it's the result of good things happening for Now, Forager

We've had a growing number of unsolicited requests for screeners from major festivals distribution/sales companies. We appreciate the interest and we're happy to know that we're starting to generate a little buzz. 

But the first substantial news item is that we're going to Poland! Now, Forager was one of seven features selected for the inaugural Gotham in Progress European sales market in Wroclaw, Poland next month. We are honored to be included. You you can read a little more about it from one of the jury members here

The second substantial news item is that I, your humble blogger and writer/co-director, have been named a finalist for a San Francisco Film Society Hearst Screenwriting Award for my script Lumberjunkies, which Julia and I are developing as our next project. 

The third substantial news item is that we have far surpassed our minimum fundraising goal at United States Artists. Thanks to a generous donation from an anonymous donor, our funding is now guaranteed. We're continuing to raise money for post-production through November 15th and we'll have a brand new video up on the site very soon. I'll post the link as soon as it goes live. Thanks so much again to all our donors.

And as an added bonus, another great press write-up, this one courtesy of MycoRant.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview with writer/co-director Jason Cortlund just posted the interview I did with "Mr. Fun Guy"

Many thanks to Toon and all your readers at Mushroom Palace for the support. 

Be sure to explore the whole website--it's really a cool and comprehensive look at all the different cultural intersections of fungi. From recipes, to foraging, to cultivation, to psychoactive properties. Good stuff!