IDC East Event

The Unstreamables: A Panel Discussion on the Life (and Afterlife) of Indie Films

November 7, 2020 An Independent Directors Committee-East Virtual Event

On November 7, the Independent Directors Committee-East hosted the invitation-only online event, The Unstreamables: A Panel Discussion on the Life (and Afterlife) of Indie Films. The event was designed to educate DGA members about the sometimes arduous detective work involved in the process of seeking out an afterlife for their work, and served as an opportunity for them to share their own experiences with this process.

Following an introduction from IDC-East member Nancy Savoca (Union Square), Director/IDC-East Co-Chair Mary Harron (Charlie Says) moderated a discussion with Director/IDC-East member Mira Nair (Queen of Katwe), Director Ayoka Chenzira (Trinkets), Producer Maggie Renzi (Amigo), Film Distributor and Producer Ira Deutchman (Searching for Mr. Rugoff), Entertainment Attorney Sue Bodine and Milestone Films co-founder Amy Heller. The discussion focused on the impact to Directors when the ownership of their film, and a path toward restoration and/or distribution on a streaming service, is not so clear.

Following the moderated discussion, the panel also took questions submitted by the online audience.

About the Panelists
Mary Harron Director Mary Harron (moderator)
A DGA member since 1997, Harron also currently serves as a member of the Eastern Directors Council in addition to her service as a co-chair of the IDC-East. Her directing credits include the feature films Charlie SaysThe Moth DiariesThe Notorious Bettie PageAmerican Psycho and I Shot Andy Warhol; the movie for television Anna Nicole; the mini-series Alias Grace; and episodes of The ExpectingGracelandThe FollowingConstantineBig LoveSix Feet Under and Homicide: Life on the Street.
Mira NairDirector Mira Nair
Nair’s directing credits include the feature films Queen of KatweThe Reluctant FundamentalistMonsoon WeddingKama Sutra: A Tale of LoveThe Perez Family, and Mississippi Masala; the documentaries The Laughing Club of IndiaChildren of Desired Sex and Jama Masjid Street Journal. Her first feature, Salaam Bombay!, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. Nair has been a member of the Guild since 2001 and currently serves as a member of the IDC-East. 
Ayoka ChenziraDirector Ayoka Chenzira
Chenzira’s directing credits include the feature film Alma's Rainbow; episodes of TrinketsGreenleaf and Queen Sugar; and the short films Zajota and the Boogie SpiritThe Lure and the LoreHair Piece: A Film for Nappyheaded People and Syvilla: They Dance to Her Drum. Chenzira has been a member of the Guild since 2018. 
Sue BodineEntertainment Attorney Sue Bodine
Bodine is a partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard who represents a diverse clientele in the motion picture, television, and digital media industries. Her clients include major and specialty motion picture studios, cable television networks, media lenders, private equity financiers, as well as production and distribution companies, and individual directors, writers, and producers. Bodine provides clients with counsel in all phases of development, finance, production, distribution, and rights administration regarding motion pictures, television programming and new media properties. She also handles domestic and international clients’ issues with rights acquisitions, production legal work and film and television sales and licensing. 
Ira DeutchmanFilm Distributor and Producer Ira Deutchman
Deutchmann has worked on over 150 films. He was one of the founders of Cinecom and later created Fine Line Features-two companies that helped define the independent film business. His numerous screen credits include Associate Producer of John Sayles' Matewan, Executive Producer of Jonathan Demme's Swimming to Cambodia (1987), Gary Sinise's Miles From Home (1988), Paul Bartel's Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989) and Matty Rich's Straight Out of Brooklyn (1991). In 2017, Deutchman was awarded the Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sundance Art House Convergence for his service to independent film marketing and distribution. 
Amy HellerMilestone Films Co-Founder Amy Heller
Heller started Milestone Entertainment in 1990 with partner Dennis Doros. The company has since gained an international reputation for releasing classic cinema masterpieces, groundbreaking documentaries, and American independent features. Since 2007, Milestone has concentrated on the restoration and worldwide distribution of films outside the Hollywood mainstream featuring “lost” films by and about African Americans, Native Americans, LGBTQ and women including important films such as Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, Lionel Rogosin’s On the Bowery, Marcel Ophuls’s The Sorrow and the Pity, Lois Weber's Shoes and Shirley Clarke's Portrait of Jason

Maggie RenziProducer Maggie Renzi
Renzi is a producer and actress who has been the longtime creative partner of filmmaker John Sayles, who starred in their first film, Return of The Seacaucus Seven, and also served as Unit Manager and Assistant Editor. Since then she has produced and starred in Sayles’s films such as Lianna (1983), Matewan (1987), Passion Fish (1992), The Secret of Roan Inish (1994), and Sunshine State (2002). In 2000, Renzi was one of the producers of Karyn Kusama’s award-winning first feature Girlfight. In her capacity as Producer, Renzi has been nominated for five Film Independent Spirit Awards.

You can watch video highlights from the discussion in the gallery below.
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About the Committee:

The Independent Directors Committees seek to help the Guild develop policies, programs and activities that better serve the needs of DGA Members who work in the independent and low budget film arenas, reach out to independent film directors who are not yet members of the Guild to raise their awareness of the benefits of DGA membership, and educate independent film producers about the DGA’s low budget agreements and encourage them to make use of those agreements. The IDC was established in 1998 in Los Angeles. The IDC, East was created in 2002 in New York. In addition to IDC, East Co-Chairs Dan Algrant and Mary Harron, the members are: Darren Aronofsky, Anna Boden, Neil Burger, Raymond DeFelitta, Griffin Dunne, Ryan Fleck, Alex Gibney, Mary Lambert, Marc Levin, Alison MacLean, Joshua Marston, Jim McKay, Mira Nair, Dee Rees, Nancy Savoca and Rosemarie Troche.

 See video from this event in the gallery below.
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