Saturday, July 4

Want a film distributed in regional Australia? Do it yourself!

Film-maker Warren Ryan has just emailed me, pointing to a feature in the online industry magazine Inside Film about his aims and methods in making Shadows of the Past, in which rodeo bull-riding is the backdrop for a simple but powerful story

Shadows, you may recall, won my praise in a post on May 28 (“An excellent film stuck in the bush”).

It seems Grumpy Old Journo may be a bushie at heart, because my response to the film has been matched by enthusiastic audiences in those Australian regional centres where it's been seen.

Interviewed by Simon de Bruyn, Warren says:

I strongly believe the regional Australia is largely ignored when it comes to entertainment they can relate to. Distributors cater solely for the city market and yet a huge slice of the box office comes
from regional cinemas. When I got into film making it, I spoke to a lot of people from all over regional Australia about what they would like to see in an Aussie film. I took a lot of their feedback on board when I was writing this script.

We made sure the film was authentic, grounded and believable.

The reaction so far has been phenomenal . . .

On distribution, Warren told Inside Film:

We’ve been very happy with the cinema release we’ve put together ourselves and we have an extensive plan for the DVD release in October. Counting this week's release in Tamworth, Orange and Wagga, we’ll have been through around 20 cinemas and we are approached each week by more . . .

We have also received several US distribution offers which is great. I hope to finalize the North American deal this week. The distributor we are leaning towards has a proven background in westerns and I believe will be a great fit for Shadows of the Past.

We have another US company that wants the remaining world wide rights, so we’re currently negotiating that as well.

We don’t look like we’ll get an official Australian distributor which is surprising, but it doesn’t overly concern me.

Much of the rest of the Inside Film interview covers technical information mainly of value to other film-makers, but the feature also raises matters which should be of general concern.

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