A unique opportunity presented itself in Sidney, BC Canada when the local cinema operator expressed an interest to screen Street Dreams while Mike was visiting his folks there on holidays. After a few weeks of promotion, preparation and coordination with the cinema, us in Australia, Mike’s mum and the local Vancouver Island media, the event finally took place this afternoon to great success. It would be our first North American screening…
The quaint local theatre, Star Cinema, is run by Sandy, a generous and kind woman who did all sorts of her own promotion of the film which put many of the cinemas we visited on our 2012 tour in Australia to shame. In addition to telling everyone she met, putting the info on her subscriber mailing list and front page of her website, she also made business card-sized promotion cards that she passed around to folks, put a poster on her shop window and added a newspaper clipping to it, plus had one of her staff create a video promo that played between her other movie trailers. This is outstanding service for an little indie film like ours, but also illustrates just how much work goes into a successful marketing campaign. The amount of equivalent work my mum did to rally local folks together to this event was equally impressive and appreciated.
In the end, it all paid off: we had over 100 people nearly fill an 125-seat cinema; there were a lot of people from all over that had heard about the film; there were many generous donations to help us out; an engaging Q&A session followed the show; Mike didn’t stuff up his words at all (whew!); and a lot of appreciative responses were expressed by folks. My mum has received a flood of emails this evening from friends whose eyes were opened and were congratulatory for us tackling this difficult subject. On top of that, cinema-owner Sandy donated most of her ticket sales to us. Overall, a smashing success for us and the good Sidney folk!
A big thanks goes out to Sandy, my mum (Anke), Michael at the Times-Colonist newspaper (article below), our own friend Robyn for PR help and the many Sidney and Victoria folk (& Nick V who travelled 2.5hrs) who attended the event.