[Videolib] New Releases from...special offers to public libra

Tatar, Becky (bltata@aurora.lib.il.us)
Sat, 28 Aug 2004 14:03:16 -0500

Another aspect of ordering videos is that many public libraries are
restricted in the number of places they can order from. Some librarians
find it very difficult to send through an order to a direct producer or
distributor due to directives from their administration, or whatever
municiple governing body they are under. Ordering direct for them is not
an option. And for many of the documentaries that we are talking about
here, many are only available direct. I am very fortunate where I work that
I can justify ordering direct if necessary. On the other hand, I also work
very hard to find major distributors or vendors that carry the titles that I
want, so that I order from as few places as possible.


-----Original Message-----
From: www.richardcohenfilms.com [mailto:rbc24@earthlink.net]
Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2004 11:37 AM
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] New Releases from...special offers to public

It is great to see this dialogue taking place, and amazing to see an offer
like Jonathan's along with a response like Becky's. I've always thought
public libraries are one of the best places for social documentaries. You
provide free access to the communities for our work, and the money that the
libraries spend on independent documentaries, generally goes into the making
of more films. In the spirit of this exchange, and to increase my sales, I
too am going to make an offer to public libraries.

A few years ago I offered "Taylor's Campaign" (called "best film on
homelessness and poverty in this era" in Teaching Sociology, "excellent" in
the LA Times, and "highly recommended" in Library Journal) for $12 to public
libraries and received very few purchases at that price (more at the regular
price of $49). It was a discouraging experience reminding me of a story
that another independent filmmaker shared with me. After winning an academy
award he thought, This is it I can get my film into the public libraries.
He invested a lot of money in promotion and lost a lot of money. His advice
to me was to bypass the public libraries. Instead, I did a few mailings,
and tried unsuccessfully to get a grant to give that highly praised tape

Fortunately, my next film, "Going To School-Ir a la Escuela" on inclusion
and special education was selected by National Video Resources and 300
copies were recently offered to libraries for free as part of their human
rights video project.

The four feature documentaries that I made and distribute are: Going To
School-Ir a la Escuela, Hurry Tomorrow, Deadly Force and Taylor's Campaign.
You can check them out at my website: http//www.richardcohenfilms.com

As I said, In the spirit of this exchange and to increase my sales, I'm
offering the four tape set to public libraries for $109.(includes shipping).
Also, I will spread the word that the films are available at your libraries
so that people in your neighborhoods will know where to check them out. The
offer is good as long as it works.

Tatar, Becky wrote:

Hi, Jonathan!

Since I have stated the same thing as Fred, now is the time to put my money

where my mouth is, so to speak. I have sent your post to our AV ordering

person, and you should get it next week. Now, I don't anticipate a monster

circ for these titles, but I do think that given what's happening in the

world, we need to have films like this in the collection. But even though I

have a sizable film budget overall, my budget for World History is $1000.

And my budget for Social Issues is $600. Purchasing your 5 films at $350

each would put me over the top for those two areas!. Plus, and I know this

shouldn't be a factor, but I just can't face telling a patron that since

their tape player ate the tape, they have to pony up the $350 to replace it.

That's more than their player probably cost. I hope a lot of us public

librarians take you up on your offer!

Becky Tatar

Unit Head, Periodicals, Audiovisual

Aurora Public Library

1 E. Benton Street

Aurora, IL 60505

PHONE: 630-264-4100

FAX: 630-896-3209

www.aurora.lib.il.us <http://www.aurora.lib.il.us>

E-mail: bltata@aurora.lib.il.us <mailto:bltata@aurora.lib.il.us>

-----Original Message-----

From: Jonathan Miller [ mailto:jmiller@frif.com <mailto:jmiller@frif.com> ]

Sent: Friday, August 27, 2004 12:26 PM

To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu <mailto:videolib@library.berkeley.edu> ;
fsandner@rcls.org <mailto:fsandner@rcls.org>

Subject: Re: [Videolib] New Releases from the Cinema Guild -Middle

Eastern Studies

Dear Fred,

Maybe. Let's test your theory!

I am prepared to make a special offer to every public library on this list:

You can set your own price - but it should be the best price you would be

prepared to pay normally, and let's see what the price (and demand for

these films) is that you are talking about!

As a test. (Ok - it has to be at least $10 for the tape, and $10 to cover

shipping and handling),

And everyone can have ONE WEEK (till the close of business next Friday) to

come thru.

And you can choose from these, the most popular of our recent Middle East

related films:

AL JAZEERA: http://frif.com/new2003/jaz.html

THE BOMBING: http://frif.com/new2000/bomb.html

GENERATION X SADDAM: http://frif.com/new2003/genx.html

THE JUNCTION: http://frif.com/new2004/jun.html

TWENTY YEARS OLD IN THE MIDDLE EAST: http://frif.com/new2003/twen.html

If you order one or more of them online make a note about this special test

offer and what you are prepared to pay in the "Special

Instructions/Comments" section of the order form, and we will adjust the

price when invoicing / charging you, to what the best price is you say you

are willing to pay for the title.

I will report back on what the results are!


Jonathan Miller


First Run/Icarus Films

PS sorry, public libraries only!

Mr At 07:34 PM 8/26/2004 -0400, you wrote:

Great films! I would probably order "Different Drummer" for our

Jewish/Israel/Palestinian collection, but even though we're a medium-sized

public library, we just casn't afford $275 for one title. Public libraries

are not just interested in pop movie fare - they often have special

collections or concentrations - but the prices of documentaries are

prohibitive. My theory has been: cut the price significantly and the

difference will be made up in sales.

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------

From: "Handeh Kemmer" <mailto:hkemmer@cinemaguild.com>

Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu

Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:52:13 -0400

"Media collections seeking an unbiased and balanced portrayal of one of

our world's most fractious situations should consider purchasing this

well-crafted title."

School Library Journal



Examining the efforts of Israeli and Palestinian organizations and

individuals to overcome the legacy of bitterness between them and to find

ways to end the ongoing conflict. It features interviews with a variety

of Israeli human rights and peace activists who, out of political and

religious commitment, are confronting the controversial issues of the

Occupation, the Jewish settlements, the checkpoints, and the Palestinian

refugee problem.

Directed by John Michalczyk

2003, color, 50 mins, VHS


"...turns out to be rather prescient...offers viewers a lot of food for

thought, while also presenting a seldom-seen glimpse of everyday Iraqi

life...a valuable contemporary document. Sure to be a popular addition,

this is highly recommended for both public and academic library

collections."-Video Librarian


The filmaker joins a U.S. congressional delegation, led by Congressman

Nick Rahall (D-West Virginia) and former South Dakota Senator James

Abourezk, that traveled to Iraq in September 2002 to meet with Sa'doun

Hammadi, Speaker of the Iraqi National Assembly, and Tariq Aziz, Iraqi

Deputy Prime Minister, to discuss the readmission of UN arms inspectors

in the hope of averting war. The video also features numerous

'man-in-the-street' interviews with Iraqi citizens, commentary from

international politicians and peace activists, shocking views of the

impact of UN sanctions and U.S. bombing on the Iraqi economy and

population, and the restrictions of the 'oil for food' program. Whatever

one's attitude about the U.S. war with Iraq, this short video offers a

rare chance to hear the views of ordinary Iraqi citizens about the U.S.

Directed by Sonia Angulo and Saul Landau

2002, color, 22 mins., VHS


"Poignant, timely...important...a riveting documentary with the feel of

an undercover expose." - School Library Journal


Revealing the plight of young Palestinian children in the West Bank city

of Hebron who regularly risk being attacked by Israeli soldiers as they

try to go to school each morning. While the presence of international

observers sometimes helps the children get safely to school, Israeli

soldiers also regularly use percussion grenades, tear gas and rubber

bullets against them. Thus, in direct contravention of UN resolutions and

the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Israeli government continues to deny a

generation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Territories their

right to an education.

Directed by Donna Baillie

2003, color, 28 mins., VHS


"...Judgment Day is more interested in finding solutions than becoming

mired in recriminations...What gives the film poignancy is that the

filmmaker seems as genuinely interested in the long-term effects the

Occupation has on Israeli culture as in the physical damage it inflicts

on Palestinians."-Cineaste Magazine


By comparing the current Israeli/Palestinian conflict with the previous

struggle for liberation and democracy in South Africa, this film makes a

universal statement about war and the effects of war on young people on

both sides of the conflicts. Focusing on the experiences of two young

South Africans who discuss how they were brutalized in the South African

conflict and who explain their current search for healing. After tracing

the 1967 occupation by Israel of the Palestinian territories and

examining the viewpoint of the Israeli settler communities.

Directed by Kevin Harris

2001, color, 59 mins., VHS


"...captivating...this timely program presents the rich and diverse

society of Syria as one which could be emblematic of much of the Middle

East, and is certainly worthy of purchase consideration for media

collections needing well-timed and contemporary information in an

effective presentation."-School Library Journal


Imagine a nation located between Israel, with its ongoing Palestinian

tensions, and Iraq occupied by US forces. High U.S. officials threaten

Syria, accusing it of accumulating weapons of mass destruction and having

links to terrorists. Inside the country, we see a delicate balance of

modern-clad men and women maintaining centuries-old traditions amidst

satellite dishes on roofs and other symbols of globalization.

Directed by Saul Landau

2004, color, 30 mins., VHS


"This important film is a damning indictment of how the government

over-reacted after 9/11, singling out and targeting people who had

nothing to do with terrorism. It should have the widest possible

distribution and viewing by the American public." - Abdeen Jabara, Civil

Rights Attorney and Former President of the American-Arab

Anti-Discrimination Committee


In the aftermath of 9/11this documentary chronicles the racial

profiling, large scale round-ups, detentions and mass deportations of

Arab, Muslim and South Asian men as part of the government's "War on

Terrorism." Interviews with detainees who tell about their arrest and

detention, a mandatory special registration program that is imposed on

Muslims, flights across the Canadian Border, and mass deportations

overseas give a chilling view of their ordeal. The documentary frames the

plight of these immigrant communities within the context of the US

government's "other war" against civil liberties that is being waged via

the USA Patriot Act. Although the "point of attack" of such legislation

may be specific immigrant groups, the broader implications, detailing the

undermining of basic freedoms for everyone, are explored.

Directed by: Kathleen Foster

2004,color, 46 mins, VHS


"...effectively conveys reasons for Palestinian outrage, with stark

evidence of the destruction wrought by the Israeli armed forces...For

strong Middle East collections."-Library Journal


Documenting the activities of Women in Black, a multinational

organization that holds vigils for peace around the world, focusing on

their efforts to promote a peaceful resolution to the Israeli/Palestinian

conflict. The video also features interviews with members of the Israeli

Women in Black, Jewish Israeli women who in 1988 founded the organization

to protest their government's Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, as

well as Palestinians struggling to maintain normal family life while

surrounded by tanks and snipers, a Jewish settler woman who voices fears

for her family, and documents the impact of the recent siege on life in

Bethlehem, and the harsh realities of everyday life in the Jenin refugee


Directed by Donna Baillie

2002, color, 53 mins., VHS




In 1996, basketball star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson)

caused a national stir when the NBA suspended him for refusing to stand

during the national anthem because of his "Muslim conscience." The

documentary reexamines this controversy, the media misrepresentations and

the reactions of the Muslim immigrants who responded with an embarrassed

disavowal. Although Abdul Rauf's stance was consistent with the political

orientation of many African American Muslims, his dissent perplexed many

immigrant Muslims unfamiliar with the long history of American dissent.

The film documents multiple and competing perspectives creating a complex

montage of voices, including the analyses of four Muslim jurists,

addresses issues of Islam in the US which take on a special urgency after

9-11and yet the film remains a simple story of one man's spiritual


Directed by Zareena Grewal

2004, 52 mins, VHS

To request a preview tape, please call or email Handeh Kemmer

at (212) 685-6242 or hkemmer@cinemaguild.com

The Cinema Guild

130 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor

New York, NY 10016

Tel: (212) 685-6242

Fax: (212) 685-4717

Web: www.cinemaguild.com <http://www.cinemaguild.com>


Fred Sandner

Head, Circulation/Media Services

Finkelstein Memorial Library

You see, I don't believe that libraries should

be drab places where people sit in silence,

and that's been the main reason for our policy

of employing wild animals as librarians.

-Monty Python, "Gorilla Librarian" sketch



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Jonathan Miller, President

First Run/Icarus Films, Inc.

32 Court Street, 21st Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA

Tel. 1.718.488.8900

Fax. 1.718.488.8642

web: www.frif.com <http://www.frif.com>

email: jmiller@frif.com <mailto:jmiller@frif.com>


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