Inside Tribeca | Will’s Mustang film in NY

Will Parrinello is in NY this week, screening his new film, Mustang-Journey of Transformation, at the Tribeca Film Festival (story here). I asked him to share the experience, as I have gained new appreciation for the tremendous work a documentary filmmaker has post-production and post-premiere. It’s one thing to make the film, another to get folks to actually see it.


Steve, Will and Kate Littleboy (Will’s wife)

“My composer and cousin, Steve Messina, sat between Kate and I as we watched the premiere of the film at the Tribeca Film Festival. Mustang opened the excellent shorts program Time Will Tell. Tribeca Shorts Programmers Sharon Badal and Maggie
Kim did an excellent job programming the films thematically. This group of documentary shorts will leave a lasting impression on the heart and mind… A sacred Tibetan cultural site is restored in Mustang – Journey of Transformation. Flooded with memories, Home is where the heart is. Will you root for Team Taliban? In The Last Mermaids, a story swims beneath the surface about generations of women divers. A filmmaker chronicles his personal experience with multiple sclerosis in First Steps. Finally, in Skin, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

I loved all the films in our program but was particularly taken by the lyrical quality to Liz Chae’s Last Mermaids about the generations of the women of Jeju Island who have survived by becoming Haenyos (women sea divers).  For 2,000 years, the Haenyos of Jeju have fought men, governments, and armies to protect their right to make a living from the sea. It’s a sensitive look at little know and fast disappearing culture.

We had an appreciative full house and attending filmmakers Benjamin Kegan, Liz Chase, Jason DaSilva and I had a great time answering the audiences questions, led by Sharon Badal.

Today we attended a seminar titled, Tools of the Trade : Alternative Distribution, Marketing 2.0, and Beyond, that more or less told us how many more opportunities there are to distribute films, with outlets like YouTube and other internet services like video downloading, cable and satellite video on demand, as well as a variety of specialty outlets but that there’s really no more money unless you produce a commercial hit or a film with a built in audience and marketing potential. As a filmmaker who makes films on small budgets and often has to market and distribute them myself, I was disappointed that the seminar wasn’t more grassroots oriented. I was hoping to learn about strategies for viral marketing and other alternative solutions that would allow independents to sell their own product to specialty audiences found on the web.”

It looks like the magic really is in the film. No magic bullets, not even social networking.  It looks like the opportunity for support really does belong to the rest of us, the filmgoers.

So let’s do our job, so they can keep doing theirs.


1 Response to “Inside Tribeca | Will’s Mustang film in NY”

  1. 1 andrea April 29, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Thanks so much for this great update about Will’s Tribeca experience. This is marketing 2.0, no seminars needed! Please post where Mustang will screen next, I can’t wait to see it.

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