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Industry Insider Page Ostrow, Makes it Happen! - Sundance Insider Magazine


Page Ostrow, of Ostrow & Co. a leading Beverly Hills based Producer's Rep is key to obtaining film finance & distribution.

"For years the buyers were focused on a genre-talent equation. Projects with stars attached seemed to be all it took to raise the total financing for pictures in years past. Nowadays the market wants a strong story line and talented filmmakers. It's a healthy trend."

Projects with stars attached seemed to be all it took to raise the total financing for pictures in years past. Nowadays the market wants a strong story line and talented filmmakers. It's a healthy trend."

It's every independent filmmaker's dilemma: Where am I going to get financing? Or, in the case of those lucky or industrious enough to have film in the can: How do I get completion funds and/or distribution?

The industry landscape can be mystifying, even for those who've been around for a while; and newbie's are lost in a treacherous sea. Should they seek an agent an executive producer/godfather, production company or an international sales company? What's the buzz surrounding Producers' Representatives? How are reps making it happen for producers, writers and filmmakers?

In recent years filmmakers have been presented with aninvaluable option-to hire a Producer's Rep, sometimes called a finance or distribution consultant. One such rep, Page Ostrow of Ostrow & Co., also credited as executive producer and co-producer on many motion pictures, has participated in the financing and distribution of over 80 feature films. Unlike the lawyers, agents and former production execs who dominate this emerging field, Ostrow gained her expertise while under contract for numerous distributors in the 1990's. After 10 years in international distribution and traveling to major markets and festivals-Cannes, MIFED, AFM, NATPE, Toronto Film Festival, MipTV, Mipcom, Sundance etc.-"it put me on a first-name basis with over 350 distributors". Graham King hired Ostrow on as a consultant for Initial Entertainment and has proved to be a great example of growth over a short time. He recently won the Golden Globe for "The Aviator" starring Leonardo Di'Caprio. "It was my job to arrange financing, to negotiate licensing rights to completed films and to arrange territory pre-sales for projects in development on behalf of distributors until a few years ago when I jumped fences to represent the filmmakers, writers and producers". Ostrow, whose gracious-but-direct manner sets her apart from many in this world, feels her familiarity with distributors, production companies, and the ways of international buyers allows her to engage in an educated dialogue for her producer/filmmaker clients. "In terms of completed films our success has been 100%-I have never taken on a film that I didn't secure a distribution deal for. I know when I watch a picture what the success will be."

What I love about my representing the creative-side, is the heart and diversity of people I get to deal with. All in one morning prior to my departure for Sundance and NATPE, I received a range of submissions from an intense drama with Meryl Streep attached to a completed film that's a comedy about a woman who hides her husband's body for two weeks while trying to collect on his trust fund. The most touching story I was pitched this week is a true story that came in from a small town in the U.S. called Shady Side where a woman took in a disheveled dieing old man and cared for him; Her and her family were there for him so he wouldn't have to die alone and much to their shock and surprise they received a call from an attorney after his passing stating that he was actually a multi-millionaire and had left them all his fortune. SWEAT is the project Ostrow is representing and executive producing that all the companies are tracking. It's a true story and feature documentary about the life of Jim Keady, an ex-pro soccer player whose coaching career came to a screeching halt after he refused to accept Nike's 3.5 million dollar endorsement fee because he couldn't in good conscience promote the use of sweatshops. In this film now in post-production thanks to Ostrow, we see first hand Keady and wife on location in Indonesia living in huts surrounded by open sewage and rats, trying to survive on Nike wages of $1.25 a day and exposing the nightmarish conditions that are the reality of mass's of people who work for Nike contrasted by opposing statements from Nike Exec's including Phil Knight.