Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sundance 2016: Behind the Scenes from the Premiere of the Movie Equity by Broad Street Pictures - A First Timer's View

Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas helm
Broad Street Pictures, LLC
                                                   By Suzanne Ordas Curry\
So somehow, after my 25 plus years doing PR for everything from elevator controls to pizza to bankruptcy lawyers, I ended up in entertainment PR.

Of course I live a stone’s throw from New York City, the greatest city in the world,  the entertainment mecca where the best and brightest and most creative people come to gather and grow.

And active, creative people have a way of finding each other. They build a momentum when they are together, and then anything can happen.

Anna Gunn plays investment banker Naomi Bishop
On a cold day in January 2 years ago I met a woman at an educational seminar that I connected with after it. Turns out we shared  not just a mutual interest in education but also in entertainment.

It’s just as cold now in January almost two years to the date and we are both on our way to Sundance as producers. (My friend Candy Straight is the Executive Producer and I am a co-producer). We have a unique movie premiering there, called  Equity. It's in the US Drama Competition and stars Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn.

Life brings you challenges and surprises. It did not surprise me that this movie made it into Sundance. Of course there are no guarantees in life, and there are over 12,000 submissions to Sundance, but @EquityTheFilm belongs there.

Equity is a Wall Street movie with a 21st century spin, it’s about a woman on Wall Street. How’s that for a twist?

And who best to create a movie about a woman on Wall Street, than real women from Wall Street.

Some of the women behind the making of Equity
Photo from Facebook
This movie is produced by some of the highest level women in investment banking and finance, at companies we have all heard of, like Barclays, Bloomberg, etc. who are banking on the two experienced producer/actresses Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas, to provide them a return on their investment.

Alysia Reiner is an actress best known for her role as “Fig” on the incredibly popular Orange is the New Black. She also had a recurring role on How to Get Away with Murder and currently is taking on roles on Fox’s Rosewood and NBC’s Mysteries of Laura.

Sarah Megan Thomas is the writer and producer of the indie film, Backwards. It’s a movie about the sport crew, suitable for family viewing. Her first movie, it’s available on DVD and on-demand in the US and coming to Europe.

watch this clip of sarah and alysia on Fox 5 New York's Good Day New York:

Any investment is a gamble, the irony is that many of the producers of this movie who are so used to proposing investments to others are finding themselves in the unsure waters of their clients, in an investment pretty much, based on the interest in what they actually do all day. But that’s the key, this fast-paced, high-risk industry is so filled with twists and turns dependent on the world and emerging technologies that it does provide fodder for some of the greatest storylines in Hollywood. In the world of superhero-inundated cinema, the close-to reality concept of this movie is sure to get attention and viewers looking for something else.

The pre-production and post-production gatherings meetings are filled with women.  The Executive Producer is female. The two producers are female. Of the remaining 15 producers, 10 of them are females.

The lead role is female. Other females are integral to the storyline, playing prominent, high level jobs in the story.

The director, Meera Meenon is a woman. This Nora-Ephron Prize-winning director was noted by Glamour Magazine as one of the 35 Women Under 35 Running Hollywood.

The screenwriter, Amy Fox is a woman whose first Sundance movie, a Merchant Ivory Production called Heights, starred Glenn Close.

Sarah Megan Thomas and members of the cast of Equity
at the Sundance Sendoff Party- from Facebook
Just getting my feet wet into the Hollywood scene, my guess is the atmosphere and energy at the production meetings I have attended (as well as on-set) is markedly different than at most other movies up until this point. Aside from the Oscar rumblings about race which need to be addressed and rectified, the hottest topic for 2016 is the gender inequality in front of and behind the scenes in Hollywood

Let Equity be one of the first films to showcase what women can do, and what good can come to the box office because of their efforts and expertise. Let the lack of testosterone be replaced by the presence of perspiration of the hard-working females sweating it out in yet another industry dominated by men.

Follow me as I report from Sundance. On this blog. On twitter @suzeecurrybts@suzeecurrybts
This is Part 1 of Suzee Goes to Sundance

On Twitter:@broadstreetpics

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