Women to Watch: Mindy Affrime Talks About Golf in the Kingdom

by Sydney Levine
July 27, 2011 2:00 AM
2 Comments
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Golf In The Kingdom is opening July 29th at the AMC Empire Theatre NYC in Times Square and August 6th at the Bagdad Cinema, Portland Oregon. Times Square is the busiest, most trafficked AMC theatre in the country. For a self-distributed film, this is a phenomenal coup. AMC is giving the Kingdom team one week guaranteed, extending will be based on how well they do. They are willing to take a risk and the exposure will be tremendous. The trailer should be ready in a few weeks and will start playing.

Interview with Michael Murphy: PGA Tour, Sirius Radio.


Mike Murphy and the gang will all be in NYC for a week; events, book signings, parties and some major press events. This is the time to get people into those seats. For example...George Stephanopoulos will be inviting the entire Greek population in NY (they are all relatives).

Monday's Times article is another step in the right direction: New York Times (Monday, July 25, 2011) / “A Mystical Novel of Golf Makes It to the Movies.” By Charles McGrath.

How did this happen? Certainly not overnight. This interview with producer Mindy Affrime will shed some light on what looks like a very special film...and it hasn't even shown in any festivals!


An Interview with Mindy Affrime

I first met Mindy in 1980 when I moved from L.A. to New York to be Director of Educational Film Sales for ABC Video Enterprises. At some social film event, I was lucky enough to meet Mindy whose film Tell Me a Riddle had just been released. I loved the film and felt so thrilled to meet its producer and to be able to tell her so. She was very receptive and I felt a great bond between us as a result.
Mindy Affrime affirmed my long held belief that films could change the world because that film changed me.

Mindy:
Please help and make Golf In The Kingdom a success!
We are open to all ideas for pr, articles, outreach in NY and beyond!!
It is an exciting time for us and truly a tribute to all of you! Our baby is going to the Big Apple.

What is your strategy for U.S. theatrical distribution of Golf In The Kingdom?

There is a great line in the movie, when Michael Murphy (‘the student’ played by Mason Gamble) gets in trouble on the links and Shivas Irons (‘the teacher’ played by David O’Hara) says to him, “play it as it lies. Always play it as it lies.” This became my mantra. In other words, we start with what we have.

The book Golf in the Kingdom is a best-selling/cult classic, written by Michael Murphy, published 40 years ago, with a current readership of 1.5 million worldwide. It was optioned and in development over a 30 year span by Hollywood moguls, golf pros and Indie producers. After Michael Murphy and I got the rights back from Warner Bros, it took 8 years of development, 2 years of production fundraising from individuals, 20 days of shooting and 1 1/2 years of post to complete the film.

When it was ready 7 months ago, I screened the film for every U.S. distributor. We did get some interest. But since we had no big stars, no violence, or sex, most of the distributors in the end of the day just didn’t know how to distribute it. A film that needs out of the box outreach and marketing is a tough sell in the marketplace today. So it was left to us to self-distribute!

So to the strategy-

We are a hybrid we’re calling ‘guerrilla/ultra-low budget,’ it is events-driven with a potent outreach strategy. In other words, we are doing every thing possible to market and distribute the film without a ‘real’ distributor and without ‘real’ marketing money.

First, I garnered advice from experts to help guide the way; Seth Willenson, Film Service Station, Marian Koltai-Levine and Candace Carlo were indispensable.

Why did you choose New York and Portland to begin your run?

In terms of its readership, Golf in the Kingdom has two very distinct markets: the MBS (Mind/ Body/ Spirit) audience and golf lovers. So how do we out-reach both these markets?

We all agreed we needed to launch the film where Michael Murphy had strong presence, where we could do book signings and events and where we would have access to mailing lists and different venues. New York was perfect…it is also the largest golf market. Portland was next because we have a big supporter who offered to help promote the film there and we had made the film in Oregon.

So we were set on the cities to begin our run.

Now the issue is how to book the cinemas, get the word out.

More to come… by Mindy Affrime. Producer, Golf In The Kingdom


MINDY AFFRIME (Producer)

Since 1980, Mindy has been in the film business as an independent producer. It all started when she fell in love with Tillie Olsen’s book, Tell Me a Riddle, while at Washington University. Tell Me A Riddle was her first production. It was on this film that she honed her entrepreneurial skills. The film received high praise and was distributed around the world.

Her desire to make independent provocative films led her to running Thom Mount and Roland Joffe Company’s in Hollywood and eventually to producing Susan Streitfeld’s Female Perversions, starring Tilda Swinton in 1995.

Mindy then took a detour from producing for a few years and worked with Portman Film in London as a foreign sales agent, selling films, like Saving Grace.

Mindy joined Michael Murphy in 2002 and created a partnership to produce an adaptation of his best selling book, Golf in the Kingdom.

Mindy spent more than 6 years managing the film’s development and production. She raised 100% of the money from individual investors and in 2009 the film was shot at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

Now that the film is finished and being well received, it is her job as manager of Golf in the Kingdom LLC, the owner of the film to sell the film worldwide.

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2 Comments

  • Randi Feiner | August 2, 2011 5:24 AMReply

    Mindy-

    Are you a Greylocker? I read the article about Golf in the Kingdom in nyt (well trained to read nyt by Naomi) and remembered a much younger Mindy and Robin Affrime from camp. If this is you, congrats on your amazing achievement. Always fun to read about people from camp. (Once saw Greylocker Peggy Klaus, motivational speaker, on 60 Minutes.) Sorry that you missed the reunion in April. It was amazing!!

    Looking forward to seeing your movie. Good luck!

    Randi Ivker Feiner

  • Dale Shuger | July 27, 2011 12:09 PMReply

    Sydney--I was in Female Perversions and would love to get in touch with Mindy and Susan. Do you have an email for one or both that you could give me? Thanks. (I have landed far far from the world of Hollywood and film and don't have any idea how to reach them).

    Dale -- Mindy was very happy to get your email and said "fantastic.. she was the young star of Female Perversions.. went off to Yale Drama School and we never heard from her again...she's probably a heart surgeon now..Mindy"

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