From the Director

N THIS BLOG -
-Upcoming ATB cities and theaters.

-A letter from ANAD.

-Washington, D.C. update!

-Napa Valley.

- UPCOMING CITIES

This weekend we’ll be in Portland, OR. By the way, I have a funny Portland story for you.
Last week while I was in Napa Valley, Pedro called me. Pedro is one of our editors and he lives in Portland. When he called, he said “D, let’s put together a grass roots campaign this weekend and sell out the theater here in Portland. Always up for a challenge, I said “sure. Let’s do it.” Pedro got two really big companies to send out rapid fire emails to hundreds of people. The first group was going to the Friday 7:30 show and having dinner afterwards to discuss the movie. Then there was a group on Saturday and one on Sunday.

Well Pedro calls me Friday night sounding sick. I said, “What’s wrong, nobody showed up?” He said, “Plenty of people showed up, but the theater told them that they gave your screen away. They said the Tyler Perry movie was doing so well they needed the extra screen, so they won’t be showing ATB.” I thought he was joking, so I laughed. I noticed that he didn’t laugh. Going into immediate mental overload, I did what any filmmaker would do that was told that kind of news while staying in Napa Valley.

You got it! I went to the local winery.

We’ll be at the following theaters until this Thursday:

LOS ANGELES:

Mann Beverly Center 13
8522 Beverly Boulevard
Suite 835
Los Angeles, CA, 90048

PORTLAND, OR (One more week):

Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10
846 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97205

DALLAS, TX:

Angelika Theater
5321 East Mockingbird Lane, Suite 230
Dallas, TX 75206

- NEW IDEA

I was at home the other day listening to Diana Ross and the Supremes and a light bulb went off. I thought, “We’ve had some good opening weekends during our theatrical run; Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and a couple of other markets, but nothing compares to the crowds that we have when an eating disorder clinic or a woman’s organization sponsors a theatrical showing.” Our Chicago run aside, it hasn’t even been close. I witnessed the eating disorder center in Minneapolis turn away people at the door.

This past Saturday, Tom and Doris, the couple that lost their daughter to Bulemia in my film, sponsored a screening at the Copia Wine Center in Napa Valley. When I found out that the tickets were $40, I thought I’d have to watch the film alone with Tom and Doris. Lo and behold, it was sold out. WOW!

The people of Napa!

This is Mary Ellen, the owner of Ophelia’s place, Tom and Doris.

Tom and Doris hosted the screening as a benefit to raise money for a new eating disorders clinic that they’re starting in Napa Valley. They’re doing great work around the country in the eating disorders community and they are awesome human beings as well. And I’m sure they could use a little extra cash to feed these two animals.

Tom and Doris has Llama’s. I would have gotten a tighter shot, but when I tried to get closer, one of them started making a snorkle sound. Not knowing much about Llama’s, I decided that this vantage point was plenty.

- OK, I’VE DIGRESSED. BACK TO THE NEW IDEA!

I’ve been releasing the film in the traditional Hollywood way. A distributor from California books the theaters, I go to the city and do TV, radio and newspaper interviews and we pray for what’s going to happen on Friday. That’s worked fairly well, but nothing like the crowds that show up when an eating disorder clinic/woman’s organization or university does the marketing.

So I’m going to take a 3 week break from our theatrical run to reorganize. Kind of like what a basketball player has to do when he faces Shaq. Total rethinking of the old gameplan.

In October, when we start back playing in different cities, I’m going to let various groups in different cities do the marketing for the film’s theatrical release. That’s the one thing that works big time.

So if you’re a part of a group and you think you can get 1500 people total spread out over several shows to come to a theater in your city, email me. We’ll work something out and schedule your town in our national tour.

ATB (Reorganized) Upcoming markets:

OCTOBER –

October 10th – Honolulu (I can smell the lobster now)
October 15th – Binghamtom University (Pending)
October 16th – Rochester, NY
October 17th – Syracuse, NY
October 18th – I’m taking the day off to attend a Tribute to Sidney Poitier in Chicago
October 22nd & 23rd – Atlanta (pending)
October 28th – Duke University
October 31st – Charlotte, NC

NOVEMBER -

November 5th & 6th – Nashville, TN (pending)
November 9th – Bainbridge Island (pending)
November 11th – Tonawanda, NY
November 12th & 13th – Miami (pending)
November 19th & 20th – Minneapolis
November 24th – Kennedy Center Screening in Washington, DC
November 26th – Vienna, Austria
November 28th – Honolulu again! (This time I’ll have crab)

DECEMBER –

December 6th – Screening at the Corning Glass Company – I know what you’re thinking! Trust me. It will be awesome.

In the last week, I’ve had 81 additional requests, so I’ll make sure to update you with new locations and dates.

March 31st will be the last day of our theatrical release. It will then be time for the long awaited DVD release. Will keep you posted on that also.

After our initial DVD release, as promised, we’re going to release a PG-13 educational version that will be made available to every high school in the country.

- A LETTER FROM ANAD

So the other day I was chasing a fly (you know how pesky they can be) and my computer beeped, alerting me that I had an email. I checked it.

The subject line said “MTV and 12 year old wannabees”

This was the letter:

Darryl,

MTV is in the process of introducing a reality program titled Model Makers. Twelve year old girls are among the program’s demographics. The plot line is this. Find 17-24 year olds and among other things help them “no matter what their size” to lose weight to win the
prize.

ANAD would like to interview you (edited interview maximum of five minutes) regarding your reaction to this. Of course we will provide you more details and research on this topic. The reason for the interview is to bring pressure against Viacom and the sponsors to not air Model Makers.
The video interview would be placed on the ANAD site, and 60 second outtakes would be placed on you tube, my space, face book, etc.

Would you be willing to do the interview? Please get back to me as soon as possible.

I spoke with them briefly and suggested that they call Columbo. But I knew in my heart that I needed to do whatever I could to help ANAD. Last weekend in Napa Valley, I met 3 mother’s that lost their teenage
girls to anorexia or bulimia. I’m as sure as sure gets that some impressionable teenage girl is going to watch MTV’s new show and start dieting to see if she can lose weight (like the models on Tv) – See the connection.

She’s then going to get an eating disorder and some of them are going to die. What was MTV thinking to come up with such an ill-conceived idea. Geeez.

Well I told ANAD that I’m on board.

ANAD reaches millions of people through their website and they have a great publicity team with one relentless person in particular on their staff that just won’t give up. Ever.

So in addition to releasing the film in 50 more cities over the next 6 months, I’m going to do whatever I can to help save a few girls lives.

- WASHINGTON, DC UPDATE

I made my rounds on Capital Hill last week with the Eating Disorders Coalition.

This is Jenni Schaefer, the author of “Life without ED,” Jeanine Cogan, of the Eating Disorders Coalition, myself and Kitty Westin, of the EDC in front of the State Capitol Building.

We met with representatives of several Senators and Congressmen to discuss why they should pass the Mental Health Parity Bill. This is the bill that would be the start to forcing insurance companies to cover eating disorders on parity with other mental illnesses.

I went in there expecting a fight, but to my surprise, they all agreed with our position and stated on the record that they supported the bill and would do whatever they could to get it passed before the session breaks in 3 weeks.

The gentleman from Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr’s office was REALLY behind the bill. He started lecturing us as to why it was so important.

I’m explaining why the madness has to stop.

They did however warn us that there was someone in Oregon that could prevent the bill from passing unanimously.

Say a prayer that the Mental Health Parity Bill gets passed, because if we can’t stop MTV from airing their new ill-conceived show, a lot of girls are going to need the insurance.

I’m off to see if I can find a Llama here in Chicago!

Until next time,

Darry Roberts

1 Comment(s)

  1. Darryl,BR/BR/Thanks for being a tireless advocate for women. If you get a chance, stop over to http://www.alivemagazine.org and take a look at what some radical young women are doing in Minneapolis to reclaim the media#39;s portrayal of women in the magazine industry. Contact me if you#39;d be up for putting our heads together on anything – it would be a pleasure!BR/BR/Jennifer DotsonBR/Co-Founder amp; Executive Director

    Jen | Mar 27, 2009 | Reply

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