14 May 2008

Reactions from the Road

Since premiering at Tribeca, we’ve taken "A Powerful Noise" on the road. It’s our own mini-tour, so to speak. Our goal is to introduce the film to select audiences and build a base of supporters who can carry forth the message of this film and engage others to see it, embrace it and promote it.

On a rainy Monday night in Washington, DC, we held a small private screening at the Motion Picture Association of America. What better place to kick off our tour than at the headquarters of an organization that serves as the voice and advocate of American films? Among those in attendance at our MPAA screening were Ted Leonsis, producer of NANKING and KICKIN’ IT, Ambassador Diop of Mali, Ambassador Turkovic of Bosnia, Paul Dobrainsky, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Advisor for Women’s Empowerment for Secretary Rice, and Congressman Jim Moran. The film was really embraced by the audience and sparked discussion about the importance of screening "A Powerful Noise" at the State Department and for members “on the hill.” I agree, it’s vital that we make a powerful noise to the leaders in our nations capital who direct the funding and policies of U.S. foreign aid. We will certainly work to make that screening happen through the connections we made that evening.

Two nights later, we were in our nation’s entertainment capital, Los Angeles. How would some of Hollywood’s elite react to our film with no stars, no English and no script? I admit to having thought about this on more than one occasion. Creative Artists Agency screened the film in their Ray Kurtzman Theater for about 150 invited guests. The night was warmly kicked off with beautiful remarks from Meg Ryan, one of the co-hosts. We had prepared a welcoming statement for Meg to read, but she said that after watching the DVD, she was inspired to put her own feelings about the film into words. Never have I been happier to hear someone throw out the script and speak from the heart. I was truly touched by Meg’s description of the film and consider it a compliment that she took time to frame it her own way. The LA audience really connected with the film also and most of them stayed afterwards discussing the issues at a wonderful reception sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue.

Next stop on our tour is Chicago. Stay tuned!