BY LINDA BAKER
Anne Lundgren, co-owner of Joma Films
// Photo by Jamie Lusch
It can happen here. That’s the mantra of Anne Lundgren, co-owner of Joma Films, a film production company launched three years ago in Ashland. Movie production has already migrated out of Hollywood to other urban areas such as Portland, says Lundgren, a veteran of the software and film business in California. The next step, she says, is to push the industry out to smaller regional centers — i.e., Ashland. Aiming to build a movie making cluster in Southern Oregon, Joma has so far produced two films, including Redwood Highway, a road-trip movie for the senior set starring Tom Skerritt and Shirley Knight. Internet technologies and entrepreneurial business models are helping decentralize and democratize film production, Lundgren says. “In the past, investors had to break into studios at the $50 million level. Now there is a whole new industry developing around film entrepreneurs instead of individual directors.” Riding that wave, Joma hopes to create a “mini-studio model” turning out one low-cost movie a year, says Lundgren, whose husband, Gary, Joma’s other owner, is the in-house director; he is currently at work on their latest film, the $100,000 sci-fi thriller Black Road. The company is also reaching out to economic development agencies and investor forums typically associated with the tech industry. Historically, independent filmmakers didn’t think of themselves as business people, Lundgren observes. “They would make their art and then offer to sell it to studios. Our goal is to have a sustainable, repeatable and profitable business model.”
COMPANY: Joma Films
CO-OWNER: Anne Lundgren
BACKSTORY: This past spring, Joma won the $11,000 concept grant at the Southern Oregon Angel Conference. Redwood Highway, to be released this fall, is a partnership with Senior Cinema Circle, a company targeting the baby-boomer market; the film has been booked into 5,000 retirement centers around the country.
THE PITCH: “At the heart of all our movies are the characters and the relationships between the characters. The movies are geared toward a smart, sophisticated audience but are still entertaining.”