"Indie films are our best ambassadors to the world. They show the diversity of who we are and they travel without passports. If people were only forced to observe commercial cinema, they would think we all wore superhero costumes and carried assault rifles. These movies speak to our more expansive nature." So ends the article The Wrap released on Wednesday regarding the wonderful news that The San Francisco Film Society's funding from the Kenneth Rainin Foundation for artist grants shall go on indefinitely. And yes that's my quote -- but I am sort of paraphrasing my wife's grandfather, the producer Walter Wanger.
Read the whole article here. It's pretty great news: "This funding will allow filmmakers to afford to take creative risk away from day to day commercial concerns". But is that initial quote that keeps coming back to me.
Yesterday, drafting a new post, I penned: "all art crosses boundaries in a way that even a passport can not provide." If we want people to know us better, we have to get the great diversity of our work seen and heard.
I have been doing a lot of public speaking lately. I have started to often state: "Film builds bridges of empathy across vast divides of difference.". It is so true. Films are our paths to others' hearts and minds. Film is a community organizing tool. It is profoundly social and the cinema equation is not complete until their are audiences in the discussion.
It's not distribution we need, it is more diplomatic missions to send our ambassadors into far off lands.