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indieWIRE's Undistributed Gems Launches Tonight with "Chain" -- Will anyone be there?

by Anthony Kaufman
April 25, 2006 8:14 AM
4 Comments
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Woefully under-publicized, the indieWIRE/Emerging Pictures Undiscovered Gems Series begins tonight in New York (and other cities) with screenings of Jen Cohen's "Chain" (with Cohen in attendance in Manhattan). While I feel somewhat responsible for the series, because I helped craft indieWIRE's list of 15 best undistributed films from which the series takes its slate, I have nothing to do with the show -- so I can speak candidly. I feel sorry for the filmmakers, at least at this early stage. I have seen no coverage in the New York press of Chain's showing this week (at 9:30pm tonight and tomorrow night at the Cinema Village.)

I wouldn't have even known of the showing myself had I not received an email directly from the director. Emerging Pictures' web address http://www.emergingpictures.com/undiscovered_gems.htm doesn't even work; indieWIRE has no mention of the showing on its website, and the Sundance Channel, another sponsor, gives it no props. Maybe it's just the crowded New York market. Maybe it's just bad timing: how could indieWIRE's little series go up against the press-devouring monster, Tribeca, which also opens tonight?

Perhaps in other cities these movies will get some traction where they're more of a rarity, but from a New York stand-point, it seems like they don't have a chance. Anyway, since no one I know has a ticket to Tribeca's opener, check out Chain, which London's Daily Telegraph called "vital, boundary-pushing film making… An uncategorisable hybrid of social critique, poetic essay and haunted travelogue."

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4 Comments

  • matt carter | April 26, 2006 9:55 AMReply

    A little late, maybe, but here's the correct link:

    http://www.emergingpictures.com/gems_06.htm

  • Matt Riviera | April 25, 2006 12:17 PMReply

    I saw Chain at the Edinburgh Film Festival a year and a half ago and it is a work of uncompromising clarity and vision. Kudos to IndieWire/Emerging Pictures for including it in their line-up, and for this intelligent 'undistributed' initiative.

    It is bad timing, press-wise, to go against Tribeca. I can sympathise, putting on such events myself: it can be murder to get the attention you need with a tiny marketing budget. You may love or hate Cohen's Chain, but chances are it won't leave you indifferent. The same goes for many of the films in this exciting line-up. So everyone, please follow Mr Kaufman's example and spread the word!

  • Steve | April 25, 2006 11:04 AMReply

    Maybe CHAIN was a bad choice to kick off the series, since it's already had a New York run at the IFC Center. Also, I'm not sure that it was meant to be shown theatrically on video.

  • girish | April 25, 2006 9:32 AMReply

    I happened to see CHAIN recently and really loved it. How this film remains undistributed is a mystery to me. (Maybe I shouldn't be so surprised....)

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