“Small Pond” partners with The Orchard for worldwide digital distribution!

For those of you who have been wondering and asking if our strange little movie was ever going to see the light of day … we can finally reveal what has been brewing behind the scenes for several weeks now.

At long last, we are happy to announce that we are partnering with The Orchard for worldwide distribution of “Small Pond” on digital platforms. The deal was reached last month during the Sundance Film Festival by producer Kim Sherman on behalf of Tenhoursaweek LLC and Danielle DiGiacomo on behalf of The Orchard. 

“Small Pond” made its world premiere at the 2011 Maryland Film Festival and went on to win the Programmers Award at the 2011 Sidewalk Film Festival before venturing out on a theatrical tour in 2012 that included a hometown premiere at Ragtag Cinema in Columbia, Missouri.

It’s amazing to consider that it’s been almost four years since we began pre-production on location in mid-Missouri and equally amazing to see what our talented cast and crew has been up to in the meantime. 

Our lead actress Hari Leigh has joined the cast of Nickelodeon’s “Sanjay & Craig” and will next be seen in Todd Sklar’s “Awful Nice,” which is premiering at SXSW in March; Susan Burke served as the co-writer of James Ponsoldt’s “Smashed,” winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; mega-multi-hyphenate Amy Seimetz wrote and directed the festival hit “Sun Don’t Shine” before becoming a series regular on both HBO’s “Family Tree” and AMC’s “The Killing”; Josh Fadem joined the cast of NBC’s dearly departed “30 Rock” as Liz Lemon’s hapless agent and will next be seen in Sony’s “The Kitchen Sink”; and living legend Ann Magnuson unveiled her music and dance revue “Ann Magnuson Does David Bowie” to sold out audiences in 2011.

For more news, including announcements of premiere dates, follow “Small Pond” (@smallpondfilm) and The Orchard (@orchtweets) on Twitter …

Spring 2012 theatrical playdates!

If you have yet to see “Small Pond” on the big screen, you will have a few more chances this spring at one of these upcoming theatrical screenings!

Friday, April 13, 2012
8:25 PM
Sunday, April 15, 2012
12:00 PM
AMC Mainstreet 6
1400 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64105

Sunday, April 15, 2012
5:00 PM
Ragtag Cinema
10 Hitt Street
Columbia, MO 65201

Tuesday, April 17, 2012
9:00 PM
289 Kent Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Friday, April 20, 2012
7:30 PM
200 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013

Friday, May 4, 2012
8:00 PM
Echo Park Film Center
1200 North Alvarado Street
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Monday, May 7, 2012
7:30 PM
Charles Theatre
1711 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival 2011

It’s hard to put into words what an entertaining and affirming experience it was to be a part of the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival this past August in Birmingham … and to receive the Programmer’s Award from Rachel Morgan and Kyle McKinnion in matching prom tuxedos a la “Carrie”!

Sidewalk afforded us our first opportunity to “take the show on the road” and present our movie to a completely unbiased audience, which was both thrilling and frightening. The festival’s best quality is, at first glance, its inclusiveness: homegrown Birmingham audiences who have an adventurous appetite for indie cinema and welcome zero-budget filmmakers to town with a “southern hospitality” that is expected but still surprising in its spirited realization. The festival kick-off party upon the roof of the Kress Building in downtown Birmingham was a wonderful gathering of familiar faces, product placement beer and new friends (and Adam Donaghey). I was informed that the opening night screening of Ti West’s “The Innkeepers” had sold out the 2,200-seat Alabama Theatre, a feat that many of us indie filmmakers on the fringes can appreciate as a bona fide fait accompli.

Another strength of the festival is its commitment to both locally-produced and LGBT fare, which plays a role in Sidewalk’s strong audience turnout. So many festivals struggle with the balancing act of showcasing locally-made fare in tandem with touring festival favorites, and also programming gay and lesbian content at the risk of alienating their less adventurous patrons. Sidewalk, on the other hand, has pretty much just dynamited that high-wire altogether by programming two screening sidebars, “Made in Alabama” and “SHOUT,” that are so thorough in their programming that they could serve as standalone festivals themselves. This keeps everything centralized in downtown Birmingham without alternative “sister” festivals competing for audiences at other venues, and it affirms the festival’s “something for everyone” selection of screening choices.

Fun fact: did you know that there is a secret TV built into the dais of the Alabama Metro Power Auditorium so that visiting filmmakers can watch college football while they field questions from the audience? Absolutely true!

(photo credit: Scott England)

Maryland Film Festival 2011

It has been an occasionally brutal year on the film festival circuit for our strange little movie, but that is not to say that there weren’t occasionally bright respites along the way: for every form rejection letter we received, there were five new lasting friendships made with folks we met at the Maryland Film Festival. So it’s important to stress how grateful we all are to everyone there at the festival, as they truly provided us with one of the best possible venues and audiences for the world premiere of “Small Pond.” It represented a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to share our movie with an incredibly warm and receptive audience comprised of both our own local Baltimore crew and many other stalwarts of the Maryland production community who have continually encouraged and inspired me to make the leap to long-form feature filmmaking. I also personally thought that the festival itself really reached a new level this year in terms of how many friendly and interesting filmmakers in attendance responded to its plucky vibe and how the festival is beginning to assert itself as a mandatory annual stop for a lot of them.

(photo credit: Alix Southwick)

a lesson in social media

“This is the kind of film that IFC should be snatching up for broadcast and VOD”

Sidewalk sings the praises of “Small Pond” …

Sidewalk is right around the corner (passes and tickets here) and programmer Rachel Morgan has written a write-up on “Small Pond” in the festival program that left us blushing from ear to ear …

Kirsten works the bare minimum hours possible at Shakespeare’s Pizza in college town Columbia, Missouri. Most of the rest of her time she spends dragging around the local bars or sleeping. Being lost between college days and the realities of making a living is funny when it’s someone else’s roommate.

Small Pond presents a hilarious and authentic portrait of a character we have all known and maybe some have even been. However, the film is more than just a montage of drunken antics. Josh Slates has directed an intensely entertaining, super funny and remarkably sincere homage to the exemplary indie films of the early 1990’s. The film features some brilliant surprising moments, at least one of which is sure to go down in indie cinema history. Not unlike its lead character, Small Pond somehow manages to be consistently surprising and wholly entertaining. A great film to watch with a beer or six.

– Rachel Morgan

Full 2011 Sidewalk screening schedule and line-up …

Sunday, August 28th at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham, AL!

Sunday, August 28th

Alabama Power Metro Auditorium
1313 6th Ave N
Birmingham, AL 35203

For the full line-up and on-line ticketing, visit the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival website!

The cat’s out of the bag …

We are coming to Birmingham in August for the 13th annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival!

Yes! Read all about it in the “Magic City Post.”

Maryland Film Fest 2011: “That’s a wrap!”

Many gracious thanks to everyone who came out to see “Small Pond” at its sold out (and past capacity) world premiere last weekend at the Maryland Film Festival. For those who missed it, both Richard Brody and Michael Tully have written wonderful essays recounting their own experiences and the non-competitive community of filmmakers who came together to make it an unforgettable weekend.

You can read Richard Brody’s “Cinemanifestival” by visiting his blog, and you can read Michael Tully’s “A Great Day in Baltimore” by clicking on his IndieWire blog here.