October 24 * Fri * 1:30pm
Time Out NY's review
(written by the Chair of the
New York Film Critics' Circle)
now with full-sized photo!
Click HERE to view scanned article.
|Burning Annie enjoyed a pseudo-East Coast "test" premiere on October 24 and 25, 2003, at the 11th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF). It was the first public showing of the film, as the previous screenings were either private parties or cast-n-crew only (yes, even the festivals). And we sold out all our screenings well in advance!|
The Burning Annie:
1) make a B+B
The HIFF proved to be a watershed experience. Everybody worked their butts off and made Burning Annie the single most sought-after film in the festival. Our flyers, posters, signs, matchbooks, hats, shirts, and postcards were ubiquitous, making us the most visible and most talked-about film of the fest. Amazingly, thanks to much hard work and resourceful-ness, all our promotions cost less than $500, although most were convinced we spent thousands. (A special shout-out goes to Dave Bernstein and his family, who helped make it all possible. MVF of the festival! And also to Chad, Eric, Calvin, & Tom, the Wormtown Street Team who did such an amazing job.)
It was the first time the film was shown before members of the independent film community, too, and we are relieved to report that, despite the worst technical exhibition in the film's history, the reception was incredible, surpassing anything we've ever experienced. All the reviews have been great (as our Reviews page attests), and the buzz on the street was fabulous as well. Everybody in our party was accosted on a daily basis about their Burning Annie hat, shirt, bag, or whatever piece of BA merch they were wearing. We were in demand, baby! Woo-hoo!
Zack "Max" Ordynans,
Tom "Tommy" Roy,
and Dave "Sam" Bernstein
support indie film
|It was also a time of reunions. It was the first chance since principal photography (in February 2002) for the writer, director, producer, and star to be in the same place at the same time. It was also a reunion on a personal level, too, as four of the five "203 boys" (the college suitemates who inspired the screenplay-- you know them as Max, Sam, Charles, Tommy, and Scott ;-) flew in from as many states to celebrate. And because the film's writers and producers all grew up in the northeast, many families were on hand to celebrate. A good time was had by all!|
[ Click here to read the East Hampton Independent's review! ]
Saturday, October 25, 2003
My wife Linda and I hit the road at about 9:45am and set sail on the New Jersey Turnpike for midtown Manhattan and the 11am Jitney to the Hamptons.
The Jitney dropped us off right by the festival theatres at 1:30pm, and we called Randy on his cell phone and arranged to meet in front of the theatre.
We found a clever little bistro down the street called 29 where we stopped in for glasses of Merlot and some excellent spring rolls. Then it was off to the show.
After the screening, there was a very interesting Q&A as producer Randy Mack, screenwriter Zack Ordynans, director Van Flesher, and actor Gary Lundy, the star of the film, took center stage and fielded questions from the audience. It was obvious during the Q&A that the movie had really struck a chord with the audience as there were several rounds of applause. One viewer wanted to know who wrote the words and music for the films scintillating soundtrack. No one was more surprised than I to learn that Mr. Mack is not only a producer, hes a very talented songwriter as well.
Linda and I also got to meet Tony Machin and Rock Savage, two long-time American Zoetrope alums. Tony, a huge baseball fan, made the trip all the way from Chicago for the festival, and we all hoped the wonderful movie we had just seen had helped him put the recent debacle suffered by his beloved Cubs behind him.
We had to leave on the 7pm Jitney back to Manhattan. Too bad. We could have stayed and chatted all night with this interesting, talented group of filmmakers.
Randy and his team deserve all the credit they will surely receive for making this original, intelligent film. Lord knows our dumbed-down cineplexes could use Burning Annie, and many more films like it.
-- Jim Barrett
The Journal of
I first met Randy Mack (producer & co-writer) through a film website. I made a post stating that I would design anyone's movie poster. Randy responded and so began the creation of what came to be know as the 'autumnal' poster design (check it out). That was in July. Nearly 100 emails and four months later, the project was completed, although we had never met. I then I decided to make the trip to the Hamptons to see the film that my poster was promoting.
I called Randy to let him know that I had arrived and he gave me directions to the coffee house where many of the BA supporters where having breakfast. There I met Cathy and Tom who were friends of Randy's and Zack's while in college.
Around 2 pm, we all entered the theatre, allowing me to meet more of the "family" of filmmakers and to see the poster large and in charge.
Burning Annie totally impressed me. The characters were as if they were lifted right out of everyday life. The dialogue was top notch and made me feel as though I was back in college. I was able to relate to many of the characters, which is a testament to the quality of writing. Where many Hollywood productions fail, Burning Annie succeed effortlessly.
After a brief question-and-answer session in the sold-out theatre, we all retreated to a restaurent called The Laundry for post-showing food and drinks.
Other individuals made my trip even more enjoyable. I got to meet Alison Pedraza, a fashion designer in NY and her sister Isabelle, who is a doctor in Los Angeles, as well as a large number of friends of Randy and Zack.
After meeting all these dynamic and creative individuals, I really felt torn and didn't want to leave. Of course, I also wanted to make sure that I didn't miss my flight back to Chicago! So I had to rush off to make my 8 pm train back to the city.
On the 3-hour train ride, I couldn't help but feel good about this project and the artists and technicians who helped assemble Burning Annie. To see so many people excited about the film restored my faith in the movie industry.
-- Tony Machin
* the HIFF Burning Annie page
* IndieWire officially announces HIFF selections
Elvis Mitchell's report on the 2003 HIFF
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