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

Tech makes the world go round

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, March 20, 2014
03.20.14 thumb internetBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

I don’t think anyone can (or should) remember what it was like to get things done without the internet. This milestone in technology has certainly benefited brick-and-mortar companies and subsequently launched a new era of businesses.


Read more...

From the Editor: The human factor

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In this issue, we celebrate our 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project.


Read more...

Green eyeshades in the ivory tower

News
Friday, April 04, 2014
EducationCosts BlogBY ERIC FRUITS

The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?


Read more...

On fire

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

A self-proclaimed “chile head,” John Ford “grows, eats and does everything spicy.” 


Read more...

The 2014 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon

News
Friday, February 28, 2014

100best14logo ThumbnailThe 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.


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...

Why I became an educator

News
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
03.04.14 thumbnail teachBY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?


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