Amber McGinnis on INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Obstacles and Opportunities (Guest Post)

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Self-producing your first feature film takes a Herculean effort. I mean, just getting the darn thing financed and FILMED feels like a major accomplishment. But then getting it FINISHED, getting it OUT into the world is a whole other thing… that’s where I thought you left the art behind and just started to focus on the business: Sales. Distribution. Marketing. PR. All the things I’ve forced myself to learn through this process. And somehow, through this unstoppable effort you lock in distribution, and not only that, but distribution with a theatrical release! My film has a life on the big screen beyond the festival circuit! People will buy tickets and POPCORN and watch the film we made! We will do a premiere and roll out the red carpet in LA! This, THIS! This is what the child inside every filmmaker dreams of happening!

Then a pandemic hits. The world in crisis. Suddenly there are much more important things to think about. And slowly you see things slipping away. Movie theaters close, premiere canceled, the red carpet rolls up, and you find yourself locked in your house alone facing so much uncertainty.

This is how we got through the loss of our premiere. This is how we got through last week. I’m not sure exactly how we get through the next one, but I feel like I’ve learned an important lesson: the real art behind the art we create is the human connection it makes. Whether that happens in a theater or online, it’s valuing and connecting to one another that’s most important. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Read Leslie Combemale‘s review of International Falls.

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Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin

Jennifer Merin is the Film Critic for Womens eNews and contributes the CINEMA CITIZEN blog for and is managing editor for Women on Film, the online magazine of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, of which she is President. She has served as a regular critic and film-related interviewer for The New York Press and About.com. She has written about entertainment for USA Today, The L.A. Times, US Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Endless Vacation Magazine, Daily News, New York Post, SoHo News and other publications. After receiving her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts (Grad Acting), Jennifer performed at the O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Conference, Long Wharf Theater, American Place Theatre and LaMamma, where she worked with renown Japanese director, Shuji Terayama. She subsequently joined Terayama's theater company in Tokyo, where she also acted in films. Her journalism career began when she was asked to write about Terayama for The Drama Review. She became a regular contributor to the Christian Science Monitor after writing an article about Marketta Kimbrell's Theater For The Forgotten, with which she was performing at the time. She was an O'Neill Theater Center National Critics' Institute Fellow, and then became the institute's Coordinator. While teaching at the Universities of Wisconsin and Rhode Island, she wrote "A Directory of Festivals of Theater, Dance and Folklore Around the World," published by the International Theater Institute. Denmark's Odin Teatret's director, Eugenio Barba, wrote his manifesto in the form of a letter to "Dear Jennifer Merin," which has been published around the world, in languages as diverse as Farsi and Romanian. Jennifer's culturally-oriented travel column began in the LA Times in 1984, then moved to The Associated Press, LA Times Syndicate, Tribune Media, Creators Syndicate and (currently) Arcamax Publishing. She's been news writer/editor for ABC Radio Networks, on-air reporter for NBC, CBS Radio and, currently, for Westwood One's America In the Morning. She is also a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. For her AWFJ archive, type "Jennifer Merin" in the Search Box (upper right corner of screen).