Last summer, filmmakers David Lowery, Destin Cretton, Adam Wingard and Joe Swanberg discovered that all of their movies were hitting theaters and VOD on or around the same date. In this competitive indie marketplace, the expected response might have been some variation of "every man for himself." But instead, an idea arose. Why not carry the collaborative spirit that goes into making these films into the world of distribution? With that, the Quadruple Feature Giveaway was born. The notion: encourage audiences to see all four features, then reward them for doing so.
Inspired by this idea and spurred on by the fact that their own movies are being released a week apart, Kat Candler and Michael Tully rallied the troops for the 2014 version: the Summer Indie Movie Challenge. It kicks off this weekend with the release of my film Lucky Them (5/30 in NYC & VOD, select cities to follow), followed the week after by Gillian Robespierre's Obvious Child (6/6 in NYC and select cities) and Michael Tully's Ping Pong Summer (6/6 in NYC & VOD, select cities to follow), and finally Kat Candler's Hellion (6/13 in NYC & VOD, select cities to follow).
The concept is straightforward: go see these four films in a theater or rent them on VOD, tweet or Facebook pictures of your ticket stub or receipt with #summerindiemoviechallenge to help spread the word, email all four pics our way by July 31st, and await your amazing prizes. Seems simple, but it represents something pretty rad: independent filmmakers embracing the changes in the marketplace and banding together to create a community of mutual support that gives us a louder, more powerful collective voice. And the movies are really freaking good, too.
But wait, there's more! Something we all noticed somewhat after the fact is that three out of the four features in our little block are helmed by female filmmakers. It had nothing to do with the selection process, and in fact was not in any way intentional. We just happen to have a lot of stellar films from individuals with two X chromosomes coming out in the next couple weeks. Statistics be damned, ladies are part of the conversation at this summer's box office.
So whether you do it to support the collaborative spirit of independent film, or to represent for the ladies, or just to watch a bunch of movies that happen to be pretty kickass, there's really no downside to taking on this challenge and showing the studios that people want more than robots and men in tights in their summer movie selections. They want movies that are hilarious, powerful, nostalgic, authentic and unique. They want something real.
Release dates, trailers, and more information can be found here.
Megan Griffiths' Lucky Them, starring Toni Collette as a rock journalist searching for a long-lost musician boyfriend, opens May 30 in theaters and on VOD.