Profiles of three women filmmakers filmgoers should keep their eyes on.
Darwin introduced the world to the concept of ‘survival of the fittest.’ Most independent theatrical distributors who bootstrap themselves with their own money don’t make it to ten let alone fifteen years without selling out to Hollywood (Miramax, October) or outside investment sources (Fox/Lorber). Panorama, headed by Stuart Strutin, a veteran of Troma and Vestron’s Lightning Video division, and Steve Florin have beat the odds and have come out on top in 2001 with not one but two critically acclaimed features.
Open City Communications is highly regarded for its imaginative, innovative and properly aggressive public relations support for independent film and video releases, festivals, venues and events.
Considered to have the longest press reach of a publicist in the industry, Marilyn Stewart is one of the rare individuals in the entertainment business who is not interested in promoting her own interests, but rather immerses herself in a client’s project and thoroughly enjoys each that she accepts. Starting her career at the tender age of 17 with MGM, she was trained by the showmen of Hollywood’s Golden Age. In her 20s she was named Worldwide Head of Publicity & Promotion (today’s equivalent of Sr. Vice President) for Paramount Pictures. As with her many other firsts, she was the first woman to hold such a position in the motion picture industry.
10 years ago Bruce Pavlow had a vision to bring to the general public films of political and social importance, as well as innovative films that challenge the complacency of Hollywood. A decade later Leisure Time Features is still providing for our enjoyment, provocative and illuminating films as well as reintroducing some classic films from the past.
Despite the recently depressed market for internet IPOs and concomitant drop in share value of .com enterprises on the NASDAQ extant, there remains a climate of qualified optimism in that segment of the creative community who operate outside the umbrella of corporate patronage regarding the ability of the web as a means to bypass the pitfalls normally associated with traditional means of distributing their work. For independent filmmakers in particular it would seem that anything producing anxiety in Hollywood on the scale that the rise of the internet has can only be a positive development in the quest for a more democratic process facilitating audience access.