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Film Distribution and Representation: In Praise of Page Ostrow - Hollywood Progressive
Producer's Rep Page Ostrow is known for advocating only quality projects at all the major film festivals and markets, arranging and negotiating funding and distribution for filmmakers, and closing deals for them in an industry that is known for swallowing even Academy Award level artists for lunch.
Ostrow is also known for securing Theatrical Distribution for films in an age of limited distribution dollars, when even Jennifer Aniston’s big budget film “Management” couldn’t get released theatrically. A perfect example is the release Ostrow recently negotiated for Ernest Borgnine’s “Another Harvest Moon.” The film premieres theatrically next week with a huge red carpet event in Florida: http://anotherharvestmoon.com/.
Succinctly put by A-listers Mark Wahlberg and Leslie Neal regarding their film Ostrow sold to HBO, after they themselves couldn’t sell it, “We realize now that there are those who make films and those who sell them. It was worth every penny to retain experienced and professional producers representatives like the great team at Ostrow and Company.”
An artist herself (guitar, original chalk & water colors) Page Ostrow has the rare ability to bridge the gap as an interpreter between the right and left-brain hemispheres of Hollywood. There is an old saying: “never let the creative meet the money” and that is the reason we need Page Ostrow to broker the deal. She speaks the language of negotiating deals as well as five languages.
Ostrow is a natural interpreter between the two cultures of filmdom, their worlds and perspectives, closing deals with humor and aplomb. She’s a joy to watch whenever she’s in her element: working the film festivals, international markets and boardrooms for her clients, playing tennis with attorney to the stars Burt Fields in Zihuatanejo, Mexico or chumming it up with Steven Spielberg in the South of France during Cannes Film Festival
I’ve personally had the pleasure to witness Ostrow in action at three film markets, where her presence is tracked and highly sought after. It’s especially interesting to watch her from the upper balconies of the Loews’s Hotel when she enters the packed lobby for the American Film Market. The sound level of hundreds of dealmakers seems to literal lower, as many eyes track her as she works her way through the room.
The first time I engaged Ostrow and Company, it was because my Los Angeles agent and Entertainment attorney were unable to sell my projects. I was a screenplay writer living on the McKenzie River in Oregon, and in all fairness it made their jobs difficult. I had to travel over 2800 miles round trip to take a meeting. But this has never deterred Ostrow who has set up more meetings at one of these markets than I ever had over the years with my agent.
For example, during my first day at the AFM market she had set up meetings with major financers for not one, not two, but for all of my scripts. And they were all top-drawer Independent film financers such as Michael Mendelsohn from Patriot Pictures. I have also watched her negotiate a distribution deal for my fellow Oregonian filmmaker Chris Eyre, the director of the infamous “Smoke Signals.”
My favorite story about is when former Presidential candidate, Actor and Indian activist Russell Means had a script Marlon Brando was involved in shortly before he died. Russell wanted me to attend a meeting with a California CPA who claimed to have full financing for our films.
I suggested that Page Ostrow join us at our meeting. Operating under the banner that “time is money” Ms. Ostrow would only agree to the meeting if it was for dinner, between AFM meetings and events next door at the Mirabella, an exclusive eatery. Ostrow warned that she would not even let the Maitre’d give us menus until she “pre-qualified” this investor.
From hard won experience, Ostrow skillfully separates the real players from the game players. Russell Means and I watched as she undressed the CPA with questions about the 35 million dollar stand-by letter of credit from Switzerland, and told him why it wasn’t real money for film investment. I can’t tell you how many times I have been taken down this same rabbit hole.
So if you are serious about getting results as an Independent filmmaker, whether your project is in development and/or in need of finishing funds or distribution, Page Ostrow and the team at Ostrow and Company are the link between you and success.