Home Back Issues August 2010 Short films, long on potential

Short films, long on potential

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010

 

0810_ATS06
0810_ATS07
The films Animating Reality, After The War: Life Post-Yugoslavia and Radical Act are indie productions distributed by Portland’s A Million Movies a Minute. // PHOTOS COURTESY OF A MILLION MOVIES A MINUTE

Erin Donovan spends a lot of time visiting film festivals from Ashland to Toronto. She’s always been impressed with how good short documentary films can be, and how impossible they are to find once the festival has passed.

“The lifetime of a short film is pretty much the length of the festival and that’s it,” she says.

With that in mind, Donovan launched in 2008 an independent film distribution business in Portland called A Million Movies a Minute. Even though the economy was collapsing at the time, her first release, After the War: Life Post-Yugoslavia, a collection of nine films, sold well. She followed up recently with Animating Reality, 13 short works by filmmakers from Europe, Australia, Japan and North America. Both collections offer a “multi-lensed look at an issue,” as Donovan puts it, examining a war-torn region in one case and animation as an art form in the other.

The 30-year-old Donovan studied political economics at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., honed her business chops at Kill Rock Stars in Olympia and later got into raising private equity for independent films in San Francisco. Her experience working with skeptical musicians has helped her with the daunting task of negotiating licensing rights with dozens of filmmakers from around the world. “Filmmakers tend to be very leery of distributors,” she says. “But I’m very upfront with them, and I always set realistic expectations.”

Donovan creates the DVDs herself, then rents and sells them through Amazon and BuyOlympia.com, an online retailer that now operates out of Portland. Big customers include schools, universities and libraries. As for future releases, Donovan doesn’t anticipate running out of options anytime soon, as film festivals continue to pack theaters for screenings across Oregon and around the world. Her latest project, Radical Act, examines the role of female musicians in the indie music scene of the 1990s.

BEN JACKLET
 

More Articles

Video: Kickstarting Oregon business

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
02.04.14 Thumbnail VideoBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.


Read more...

Closing the gap: Community colleges and workforce training

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
03.27.14 thumb collegeBY MARY SPILDE | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Community college career, technical and workforce programs present an opportunity to bring business and education together as never before.


Read more...

Banishing oil burners reaps benefits for schools

News
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
04.02.14 thumb co2schoolsBY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.


Read more...

Are millennials reshaping politics in the Pacific Northwest?

News
Wednesday, April 02, 2014

MillennialsThumbA new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.


Read more...

Spreading the wealth

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
HiResBY PAIGE PARKER

A money management firm broadens its reach. 


Read more...

The more they change, the more they stay the same

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
100-best-collageBY BRANDON SAWYER

The 100 Best Companies get more creative with perks and more generous with benefits; employees seek empowering relations with management and coworkers.


Read more...

Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4255-2BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS