Pete Hammond has the news that an underdog, self-distributed documentary is the first screener to be sent out to the almost 6,000 member Academy, adds Hammond:
Being the first screener sent out is a nice distinction, and¬†giving voters plenty of time to see it has resulted in good nomination luck for the likes of “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Junebug” and last year’s “Frozen River,” among others.
It’s an interesting, strategic move to have an interview with Hammond coincide with the mail-out – it gives Hammond a scoop, and it brings lots of publicity to the film. However, this is a long shot, knowing those pesky documentary voters. On the other hand, it can’t hurt, not with this team behind it. Nicely played.
VH1, which aired the film over the summer, paid for the manufacturing and shipping of the specially made screeners for the Academy and other key awards groups. The network could not send out the commercial DVD because Academy rules are very strict about packaging on screeners sent to their membership, and all contenders must produce special versions with no frills if they want to get them to the voters. The publicity firm 42West is working on the¬†awards campaign,¬†which is being shepherded in part by Cynthia Swartz, a veteran of the¬†golden years¬†at¬†Oscar-savvy¬†Miramax.