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

See How They Run

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.


Read more...

Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


Read more...

The short list: Holiday habits of six Oregon CEOs

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121214-xmaslist1BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

We ask business and nonprofit leaders how they survive the season.


Read more...

Corner Office: Pam Edstrom

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits of information from an agency partner and co-founder of Waggener Edstrom in Lake Oswego.


Read more...

Crowdfunding 2.0

News
Tuesday, December 02, 2014
120214-crowdfund-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with attorney Erich Merrill about the latest way to raise money from large groups of people.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation.


Read more...

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


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