Feb 29, 2024
Feb 26, 2024
A few visuals from the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Feb 20, 2024
On February 17, 2024, the 11th screening of "Your Cinema Needs You" took place at the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Amazingly, all 11 of the premiere screenings of this feature-length documentary were sold-out shows, meaning the entire premiere run of "Your Cinema Needs You" became a sold-out event that welcomed just shy of 4400 people back through the doors of the cinema at the centre of this story.
The big question now is what's next? I have still been receiving messages asking if the documentary will return to the Monarch Theatre at some point, and the short answer is, yes, we will likely try to have this run in the Monarch Theatre again later this year. It's difficult to make any firm predictions right now as the next step of this release is a spring film festival run. The submission process has been an ongoing effort since the beginning of the month, and hopefully there will be some updates to share in the weeks ahead.
As for the promised wide-release or the potential for a streaming option, this has been further delayed by the festival run. The strategy for where something plays, the rules of eligibility, etc. vary dramatically between film festivals, but the main criteria is that (generally speaking) a film can not have been released publicly elsewhere before certain dates or in certain regions to be eligible for official selection.
Is the film festival run necessary? Not exactly, it is a bit of a "prestige tour", however it does provide additional press and further promotional opportunities to showcase the work. Because this production lasted several years there is a concerted effort now to feel like the film is given its due. The success and record attendance of the premiere run at the Monarch Theatre has also suggested this is an avenue worth exploring.
So much time and energy went into finally making the premiere screenings happen that these next steps are really just the beginning of a new chapter. It's the reason why I'm not immediately stepping into another project or treating the end of the premiere run as the conclusion of this experience. There's still several stages of the release ahead, and not only does that take time, but with this project in particular, it feels like there are more opportunities to consider.
Naturally, there will continue to be a lot of questions about what's next for the Monarch Theatre, how the documentary could play into that, and where else the documentary ends up now that the main goal of having it reopen the Monarch Theatre has actually been realized. I don't have easy answers for any of this yet, but I am excited to see this play out and want to savour this experience now that it feels the public response has been so overwhelmingly positive.
In short, thank you to everyone who has already been a part of this and who made the premiere run of "Your Cinema Needs You" such an incredible success. There is still more of this story ahead, still lots of unknows, but I can't wait to share what happens next.