Jun 18, 2024

Best Documentary Winner: Your Cinema Needs You

After the official selection and subsequent nomination last month, I received some amazing news this week. Your Cinema Needs You has gone on to win Best Documentary at the 2024 Hong Kong Indie Film Festival in the feature-length category. 

Naturally, I'm so proud of what we've all been able to achieve with this movie, but it's also all icing on the cake at this point. A year ago I wasn't even sure if my premiere in the Monarch was going to be feasible. So, to now have all of these festival stories from the last 4 months, it's broadened the scope of this entire experience.

I've been very hesitant about recapping the film festival experience for Your Cinema Needs You so far, mostly because I'm still very much in the middle of it. But yes, aside from trying to not be too overbearing about it, it's been amazing to see this movie go to so many incredible places.

Most commonly, I've been asked why I think this film has been picked up at so many international festivals and resonated with so many 'seemingly' different audiences over these months. I think it's actually really simple. It's like if I had made a movie about video stores and released it in 2005. People are aware change is on the horizon, but it's not gone yet. There's this communal desire to save something, and everyone's wondering what this experience that the documentary is about might look like in just the next 10 years. 

The Monarch is currently a rare success story in a sea of downsizing, closures, and adaptation. That uncertainty has played into the emotional component of all of this and it's actually a feel good story. I think that positive twist has made all the difference.

Jun 12, 2024

Your Cinema Needs You in Scotland

This month, Your Cinema Needs You is in Edinburgh, Scotland for the Edinburgh Film Awards where it's been nominated in the Best Documentary category. It's been incredible to see this film travel around the world and pick up so many official selections on this ambitious tour. Obviously, I was optimistic when casting such a wide net with my festival submissions for this documentary, but it's truly exceeded all expectations at this point. June will see the continuation of this festival run as details for the Canadian release are still being finalized.  

Jun 9, 2024

Pantheon in Rome, Italy

Founded between 113-125 AD, the Pantheon in Rome, Italy was originally a Roman temple and later a Catholic church. It remains notable for its large dome, still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. The Pantheon is also one of the best preserved buildings from Ancient Rome, due largely to the fact that it's remained in regular use throughout its entire lifespan. 

Pantheon Rome Italy

Pantheon Rome Italy

Pantheon Rome Italy

Pantheon Rome Italy


Jun 7, 2024

World's Tallest Thermometer in Baker, California

In a long list of world's tallest and world's biggest roadside attractions, I'm always keen for a kitschy attraction stop-off on any lengthy road trip. The World's Tallest Thermometer in Baker, California provides just that, and at 134 ft. tall it commemorates the record setting 134 degrees Fahrenheit that was reached in nearby Death Valley in 1913. 

Worlds Tallest Thermometer Baker California

Worlds Tallest Thermometer Baker California

Worlds Tallest Thermometer Baker California

Worlds Tallest Thermometer Baker California

Worlds Tallest Thermometer Baker California


Jun 5, 2024

Gone Hollywood: Monarch Documentary

Straight from the final screening at the Monarch Theatre on Sunday, Your Cinema Needs You is back in Los Angeles this week at the 2024 Hollywood International Golden Age Film Festival where it's currently a semi-finalist in the Best Documentary category. 

Leave it to an L.A. film festival jury to appreciate a story about saving old cinemas. This international film festival tour for the Monarch documentary still has a handful of undecided submissions due to be reviewed this month, but the tour is set to continue all summer long.

Jun 2, 2024

Our Last Picture Show at the Monarch

That's it! That's all! That's a wrap! No really, the screenings of Your Cinema Needs You at the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta have officially come to an end! 

Yesterday's matinee marked the 16th screening of the documentary at the historic Monarch Theatre, and frankly, after spacing out these shows over 5 months and with more than 5,100 tickets sold - I'm confident that we reached 99% of the local audience who was interested in seeing this in the movie theatre. 

I think it's easy to gloss over just what a big turnout this actually was because we're so rarely in packed movie theatres these days. But, the attendance for these 16 shows at the Monarch Theatre was the equivalent of selling out every seat in all 10 theatres of Medicine Hat's Cineplex Galaxy 3 times over, and then still having 700 people waiting outside to get in.

And let me say it again, this was for an indie documentary! Not exactly the genre known for blockbuster turnouts. You absolutely exceeded all expectations, Medicine Hat!

Thank you to everyone who came out to one of the shows. Thank you to the incredible cast and crew who made this movie possible. And to the staff and volunteers at the Monarch 1911 Society who could not have been more enthusiastic collaborators in running these screenings.

The last thing I did before leaving the theatre yesterday was I had everyone hold up all of the random ticket variations that I handed out at the door before each of the 16 shows. My only hope is that someone finds one of these tucked away in an album 50 years from now and goes on a hunt to figure out what it was. What an incredible ride this turned out to be - thank you all!