Showing posts with label Documentary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Documentary. Show all posts

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 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!

May 29, 2024

One Last Run At The Monarch Theatre

As this multi-year production is finally beginning to wind down, it only felt right to cap off this experience in the place where it all started. My thanks to the Medicine Hat News for this latest article about the last chance to see the documentary at the Monarch Theatre. 

Your Cinema Needs You Documentary

Your Cinema Needs You, the story of the Monarch Theatre's journey to becoming Canada's oldest, surviving, purpose-built movie theatre, is returning for its final run of local shows in Medicine Hat this Thursday to Sunday (May 30 to June 2). 

You can buy advance tickets online or purchase tickets at the door for $15 (cash only) at any of the 5 screenings. After this many shows there are plenty of seats available so you don't have to worry about getting stuck in the front row anymore. We are only about 50 tickets away from hitting a new attendance milestone though, so think about it lol.

Your Cinema Needs You Documentary

Your Cinema Needs You Documentary

Your Cinema Needs You Documentary

May 19, 2024

New York Film & Cinematography Nomination

In what can only be described as exceeding expectations at this point, Your Cinema Needs You picked up another official selection and film festival nomination last week. This nod comes from the New York Film & Cinematography Awards and feels particularly special after I made a point of searching out the oldest cinema in NYC while on a new series of travel shoots last month.

This is just one more piece of good news as promotions are ramping up again in anticipation of the finale screenings of the documentary back in Medicine Hat's historic Monarch Theatre. As we reach the tail end of this incredible ride, I'm already blown away by how many updates and achievements I'll have to look back on from this single project and this ambitious film festival tour that took the documentary around the world.  


May 17, 2024

Experience Medicine Hat: Monarch Documentary

Hey girl, I'm not just a good time, I'm a full page in this year's "experience Medicine Hat" travel guide lol (see the original post on @editingluke). My thanks to the team at Tourism Medicine Hat for the feature and interview about my documentary, Your Cinema Needs You in the 2024 issue of the new Medicine Hat guide out this long weekend. 

I know what you're thinking, "Luke, you've barely talked about this documentary - it's about time!" I couldn't agree more lol. Seriously though, it was fun to share a small part of this story and to help further promote the Monarch Theatre. The next time you're in Medicine Hat, Alberta come and see Canada's oldest, surviving, purpose-built movie theatre for yourself.


May 14, 2024

Front Page News: Your Cinema Needs You

Yesterday I got a text from my mom, and she goes, "I saw you on the front page of today's paper. You really are a big deal." Just totally glossing over the fact that I've been telling her what a big deal I am since at least 2002. 

Your Cinema Needs You Documentary

In all seriousness, I did a quick interview over the phone earlier this week about the final shows of "Your Cinema Needs You" and had no idea it would be front page news. It's as good a time as any to say thank you again to all of the local journalists who have covered the progress of this documentary from the first days of the production to the premiere shows to this festival run. Not only is it fun to share the excitement, but it's played a huge roll in getting this story to spread outside of Medicine Hat, which was always the intended goal. 

Luke Fandrich Filmmaker Documentary

Your Cinema Needs You Documentary

We've been fortunate to see a few of these stories about the doc get picked up nationally over the last 3 years, but to be honest, having the movie make the front page locally just seems so undeniably wholesome. You can read the full story here.

If I haven't said it enough, thank you for all of the support! 

You can grab movie tickets for the finale screenings of Your Cinema Needs You at the Monarch Theatre from May 30 to June 2 here.

Your Cinema Needs You Documentary

May 12, 2024

International Film Festival Tour in Hong Kong

Your Cinema Needs You, my documentary about Medicine Hat's Monarch Theatre, has made it to the Hong Kong Indie Film Festival as part of its ongoing international festival tour. This marks the 15th official selection that the documentary has picked up to date, and the 9th country that the film has screened in since the premiere wrapped back in mid-February.

In addition to the selection, Your Cinema Needs You has progressed into awards contention with the news that it has been chosen as a semi-finalist. While much of this festival run has been surprising, this news from the Hong Kong Indie Film Festival was particularly unexpected. It's amazing how this story has continued to resonate with audiences overseas. 


May 8, 2024

Finale Screenings of the Monarch Documentary

CLICK HERE to purchase movie tickets for "Your Cinema Needs You" at the Monarch Theatre playing May 30th through June 2nd. Evening and matinee shows now available!

After more than 2 years in production, a sold out premiere run, and an ongoing international film festival tour through 2024, the feature-length documentary about one of Canada's most underrated cinematic landmarks is returning to the cinema at the heart of this story, the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta. 

The finale screenings will mark the conclusion of this multi-year project, and are an exclusive opportunity to return to the Monarch Theatre, experience the largely untold history of one of Canada's last surviving cinemas of the silent era from within its auditorium, and be among the first audiences to see "Your Cinema Needs You" while it's still only available in select theatres as part of its international film festival tour. 

Directed by Luke Fandrich, the 2 hour and 15 minute documentary traces the origins of the Monarch Theatre, the rise and fall of its direct competitors, and the cinema's evolution over 112+ years since it first opened its doors on December 21, 1911. "Your Cinema Needs You" features newly uncovered images, artifacts, and exclusive interviews from individuals spanning the Monarch's history, including former usherettes, managers, projectionists, moviegoers, and more! 

Book your tickets now to experience the start of the Monarch Theatre's next chapter.

May 6, 2024

Monarch Theatre: Taking Her Back to 1941

With the Monarch Theatre now wrapped in scaffolding and "Editing Luke was here" still up on the marquee from the premiere shows of "Your Cinema Needs You", I couldn't have come up with a better visual to demonstrate just how much has been willed into action over the last 3 years in a story about saving a movie theatre. 

With "Your Cinema Needs You" now returning to the Monarch Theatre for the final time on May 30 through June 2, people are understandably asking me, "do you really think you can sell more tickets after the 11 sold out shows of the premiere run?" 

Honest answer? I don't know lol. I have no idea how many people may still be interested, if we can get people to come see it again, or if any of the international film festival success will translate into views in the Hat ... but, I can tell you exactly why we're doing it. 

(1.) The success of the documentary is as good for the Monarch Theatre, as the Monarch Theatre's success is good for the documentary. If running a few more shows helps to further fund the ongoing restoration at the Monarch, the closer we get to regular screenings returning and the preservation of this heritage site and landmark in the long run. 

That was always the point of holding out to have this documentary premiere and reopen the Monarch to begin with - to emphasize the value in saving it. People who are now watching the movie at film festivals are just as curious to see how the cinema is succeeding after the fact and one final run of shows is ultimately the narrative bookend that ties all of this effort together. Put simply, it didn't feel right to have the film travel the world and then not bring it back to the cinema that it was about while it was now actively being saved.

(2.) As I'm looking to turn the page on this experience and move on to my next project, I have an idea for a brand new documentary that I'd like to try and develop. Instead of crowd-funding or asking for donations, I'll be using my portion of the revenue from these finale screenings of "Your Cinema Needs You" to directly fund a new proposal. So, if you'd like to see another story about an unexplored chapter of Alberta history in the future (which this new idea is), buying a ticket for this finale will go a long way in making that happen. 

So, think about it? 

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, May 8.

May 5, 2024

Is the Documentary Coming Back to the Monarch?

We're going to end this story where it all began.

Since the premiere screenings of Your Cinema Needs You ended at Medicine Hat's Monarch Theatre in mid-February, this feature-length documentary about Canada's oldest surviving cinema has been on a surprisingly successful international film festival tour. 

From Los Angeles to Tokyo to Stockholm, Your Cinema Needs You has picked up over a dozen official selections, nominations, and screenings across 8 countries (to date). With this tour only 50% complete and now expected to run into the summer we began to discuss what we could do back home to keep this momentum going? 

The Monarch 1911 Society is now deep in renovations and the documentary's screening schedule / release plans are only getting more complicated, but we found a window that will work. From May 30 to June 2, Your Cinema Needs You will return to the Monarch Theatre for its final local shows to celebrate this international run and to mark the end of this insane ride that began in June 2021. 

Tickets (which will include evening and matinee shows) will go on sale this Wednesday, May 8. 

Full details to release this week on this site.

Apr 22, 2024

Your Cinema Needs You In Tokyo, Japan

The latest official selection on the spring film festival run for my documentary, Your Cinema Needs You was received this past weekend. The feature documentary about the Monarch Theatre, Canada's oldest surviving cinema, is off to Tokyo, Japan where it has been accepted as part of the Lift-Off series - a collaborative, international festival that takes place in various cities around the world. This edition in Tokyo was my first submission to this film festival series, but I'm excited to see how the film performs with a new international audience. 

More updates to come as Your Cinema Needs You continues its festival tour.

Apr 17, 2024

Festival Nomination: Art Film Spirit Awards

I'm happy to share that while I've been away on my recent travel shoots, "Your Cinema Needs You" picked up another festival nomination on its ongoing film festival world tour. The feature was nominated for Best Documentary at the Art Film Spirit Awards in partnership with Toronto Film Magazine last week, and as you'd imagine, I'm thrilled that the movie has been gaining momentum since this festival run kicked off last month.

Knowing I have a lot of creatives and aspiring filmmakers in my audience, however, I'd also like to share that I received 3 new festival rejections last week too. This isn't unusual. This is what this process looks like. In the same week as you're being grouped in with the "best of" you can simultaneously find that you're "not the right fit" somewhere else. 

I mention this, not only because I think it's good advice, but because I'm still living by the same lessons that I picked up when I was a film student. Making movies is hard. Celebrate your successes. And at the end of the day, trying to achieve something is still more fulfilling than not doing something because you're afraid to fail. I've failed a lot on this documentary, and by all accounts, it's going pretty well!

Thank you all for the ongoing support as the ride continues!

Apr 15, 2024

Finding the Oldest Cinema in New York City

Your Cinema Needs You has made it to NYC where I've been in ongoing discussions about further festival placements and screenings for the documentary this year. Fingers crossed

A few meetings aren't much of a storyline though, so I made my way to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to search out what is believed to be the oldest, surviving, purpose-built cinema remaining in all 5 boroughs of New York City.

Alpine Cinema Brooklyn New York City Bay Ridge

Alpine Cinema Brooklyn New York City Bay Ridge

This is the Alpine Cinema, originally the Loew's Alpine built in 1921.

The Alpine is a rare holdout in a city that has demolished some incredible structures. And, despite numerous older live theatre venues which have survived, there are but a few relics from the silent era of movies still standing in New York City today. 

Alpine Cinema Brooklyn New York City Bay Ridge

It's one more thing that makes the documentary about the Monarch Theatre in Medicine Hat, Alberta special. The Monarch Theatre (built in 1911) has the oldest surviving New York City cinema beat by a full decade, and needless to say, New York had a bit of a leg up with hundreds and hundreds of cinemas built here over the last century.

It makes you realize that cinemas like the Alpine and the Monarch really are diamonds in the rough. Also, I've become a bit hooked on visiting them in person.

Alpine Cinema Brooklyn New York City Bay Ridge

Alpine Cinema Brooklyn New York City Bay Ridge

Alpine Cinema Brooklyn New York City Bay Ridge

Alpine Cinema Brooklyn New York City Bay Ridge

Mar 31, 2024

Official Selections & A Best Director Nomination

Today happens to be my birthday, and while this would be reason enough to celebrate on any other year, this birthday already feels different because some incredibly positive news about my documentary on the Monarch Theatre has started rolling in over the last few weeks. 

Luke Fandrich Filmmaker

With the spring film festival season only just beginning, notifications of the very first official selections for "Your Cinema Needs You" started showing up in my inbox a couple weeks ago. Previews of the documentary this month brought the story about Canada's oldest surviving cinema to Lisbon, Los Angeles, Dresden, Stockholm, Chicago, and Berlin. If that wasn't enough, I just found out this week that, "Your Cinema Needs You" was shortlisted for two Best Documentary awards, and received a festival nomination for Best Director in the feature documentary category. My chances of winning are slim, but still, a pleasure to be nominated and all that jazz.

On my birthday last year (and for much of 2023) I was deep in post-production and I posted frequently about if this movie was ever going to be finished, if I was going to get the ending I'd been holding out for, if the premiere would actually happen, and if the Monarch Theatre would finally reopen. Honestly, it would've saved me so much stress if I could've predicted that any of this would've worked out quite so well. 

I have a feeling that this is the beginning of a lot more exciting stories to share this year, so let me just say thank you again! Thank you to everyone who was involved in making this, who supported this multi-year project, who contributed to it, who attended the screenings, etc. etc. It's so awesome to see this through so many fresh eyes and to even have to opportunity to share this experience with you. 

What a great day to have cake in the house lol.

Mar 21, 2024

Monarch Documentary: Spring Film Festival Run

A month has passed since "Your Cinema Needs You", my feature-length documentary about Canada's oldest surviving movie theatre, ended its 11-screening sold-out premiere run at Medicine Hat's historic Monarch Theatre. 

Since then, I've been relatively quiet about what's been happening behind the scenes, but with submissions stretching back to January, I'm happy to report that the spring film festival run officially kicked off this week with the first international previews of the documentary taking place in Portugal and Sweden. It seems the feedback was accurate. You don't have to know anything about the Monarch Theatre to recognize countless other cinemas in it, even if they happen to be on the other side of an ocean. 

Monarch Theatre Documentary Film Festival

As an added knock-on effect I've already received several requests from other independent cinemas & film societies across Canada interested in screening the film. It's all promising. Word is spreading and much of it outside of my involvement. 

Because this has been popping up in my inbox a lot too, once we actually get some lasting spring weather in Medicine Hat I think we'll look at potentially running a few more shows at the Monarch Theatre again (if it works within the film festival schedules / rules). That just seems like the place to celebrate this and further support the cinema. Long story short, this is going pretty well so far.

Feb 20, 2024

Your Cinema Needs You: End of the Premiere Run

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.

Your Cinema Needs You Monarch Documentary

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.

Your Cinema Needs You Monarch Documentary

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. 

Monarch Theatre Documentary Medicine Hat

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.

Your Cinema Needs You Monarch Documentary

Feb 12, 2024

Monarch Theatre and the "Cinderella Bag"

In making the Monarch Theatre documentary, Your Cinema Needs You, there were obviously a lot of random things that I found that didn't make the final cut. There were also some entertaining cross promotions that unsurprisingly went out of fashion relatively quickly.

One such promotion that I found particularly funny was this one from 1957.

A local dry-cleaner was advertising the re-release of Disney's Cinderella and asked children to wear their "costume bags" to the cinema - essentially encouraging children to put dry-cleaner's bags over their heads to dress-up for the show. Shockingly, I couldn't find any examples of this "costume bag" promo ever running again, but just imagine how funny it would've been to see that theatre full of saran-wrapped children.