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Update: Distribution 18-April-2005

Some Great News!

This week Disarm was accepted into its first film festival: the Wine Country Film Festival scheduled for 28 July-28 August in Napa and Sonoma valleys, California. I entered Disarm into this festival because “Born into Brothels” won their documentary prize last year. The organizers told me they thought Disarm was “really incredible” and they were “thrilled” to be able to include it this year. I’m now seeing if it would be possible for Jody Williams, whose interview is a constant thread throughout the film, to come to the festival and accept their annual “humanitarian of the year” award, which has been awarded in the past to the Dalai Lama and other Nobel laureates.

Distribution


It is not certain if the world premiere will be Wine Country, but it is great to get accepted! We’re waiting to hear back on our entry into a number of festivals including Dubrovnik, Galway/Ireland, Los Angeles/IFP, Melbourne, Munich, New Zealand, Seattle, Silverdocs, St. Petersburg, and Zanzibar. Our applications to HotDocs/Toronto and Thessaloniki were rejected because we applied too late and we received rejections from Boston and Malibu. Our 16-page Distribution Plan prioritizes dissemination of the film according to festivals (apply throughout 2005), advocacy opportunities (starting second half 2005), DVD distribution and broadcast opportunities. We’ve also identified a number of goals as far as advocacy is concerned, starting with getting the film into festivals and on television in hold-out governments that continue to refuse to join the ban. Other priorities include mine-affected countries where we 0filmed as well as mine action donor governments.

Editing, Translations

Other recent activities include a weekend in March spent doing a “paper edit” of the film together with Brian Liu and Chris Collins to get the film’s length down from 67 minutes to 53 minutes or TV-length. My campaign colleagues have translated Disarm into Arabic and Spanish and we are checking these translations now, while translation into Burmese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Thai continues. We are working to get the final sound mix done prior to the first festival screening. Nearly all of the necessary music rights have been collected with the expert assistance of Foley Lardner, our pro-bono legal advisor.

Travel

I was in Bahrain last week for a media training of journalists from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. We screened the film for them on the last night and they were very keen. Hopefully these journalists will be able to help us to get Disarm on television in these countries, none of which have joined the Mine Ban Treaty. Brian is in Iceland at present helping Brendan Canty, who did Disarm’s score, to prepare another installment of his awesome Burn to Shine series.

Sad News

Finally, I got some bad news today about a 28 year old colleague killed in Iraq this weekend in a suicide bomb attack. Marla Ruzicka established the Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) to help civilians affected by the U.S. operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. She worked in the office next to me for the past two years, but we never had that many opportunities to speak with our travel and crazy schedules. I had been thinking of her work as a possibility for a follow-up film project, because what she has done is truly amazing. There were a number of articles about her passing in the today’s papers. Her death is a tremendous and untimely loss for a lot of people.