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Meet Page Ostrow - moviesonmymind.com
Do you care deeply about righting the wrongs in the world and easing human suffering? Then you must catch one or more of the films brought to market by Page Ostrow, founder of Ostrow and Company (www.ostrowandcompany.com).
A Hollywood power player, Page helps filmmakers to get financing, distribution and licensing for their movies, many with socially conscious messages. She has done deals for about 125 feature films and documentaries, among them:
'Stolen Childhoods,' a documentary narrated by Meryl Streep about the estimated 246 million children forced into child labor, many in hazardous or horrific conditions
'Juvies,' a film narrated by actor Mark Wahlberg about the lives of kids in adult prisons
'Behind Forgotten Eyes,' a documentary about Korean women enslaved for sex by the Japanese military during World War II
Here Page talks with Ladies Who Launch about her business, passions and purpose.
An Independent Streak
"I always say that I'm self-employed because I'm unemployable. Was born that way. I'm an entrepreneur through and through. I've always had my own company. Even when I was working with distributors, I was independent. I've always had to work for myself."
Her Big 'Hollywood North' Break
"I was in Toronto and the movies started coming from Hollywood to shoot in Toronto. We became known as 'Hollywood North.' A friend of mine was a locations manager, and the phone rang when I was visiting him. It was the production manager of a film that was looking for a production assistant. I asked him to get me an interview. I got promoted on my first day to third AD (assistant director)."
Merging Money with Meaning
"Filmmakers and independent producers retain us like they would an attorney, only in addition to dealing with contracts, we arrange and negotiate financing and distribution for their films. I was fortunate in that I had arrived in a place in my career where I could choose to work on films that were important to me... and that would hopefully inspire the viewer toward a call for action, so I made the spiritually conscious decision to focus mainly on socially relevant films with compelling stories that need to be told, but that are also entertaining."
What Motivates Her
"I was a daughter of two Holocaust survivors. I feel it's important to leave a mark in the world on behalf of my family as evidence that the Nazis didn't succeed. The medium I'm involved in is eternal. This is part of my destiny, I suppose.
"If one person sees a film and it causes them to take some sort of action toward change, then we have done our job."
Secrets to Growing Her Business
"Marketing. We've doubled our business in the last five years. I do speaking engagements all around the world and I have other people in the company who do speaking engagements as well, and we have about 10 scouts who go out to film festivals looking for good films. We're Number One on the Internet search engines relating to the film industry.
" The secret to our success is not any one thing. Our marketing efforts are an important part... sticking it out and developing an excellent reputation. This isn't like the furniture market where you can be judged by the sheen on the varnish. We have to perform on a regular basis, and that's what we do. It's not any one thing - it's everything."
"It's all about perseverance. I think the biggest challenge is when you're in the valleys, not to give up, but to persevere until you reach your next peak. Sometimes business gets rough and the tough need to stick it out."
She Couldn't Have Built Her Business Without...
"One of my mentors was (prominent Hollywood agent) Mort Viner. He used to represent Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine. I used to talk to him every day until he died a few years ago."
Causes Close to Her Heart
"Some of the causes that are close to my heart are the Make-A-Wish Foundation (www.wish.org), the National Council for Jewish Women (www.ncjw.org), Free Arts for Abused Children (www.freearts.org), and anything to do with animals. I have a dog and a cat. I'm a big dog lover especially."
The Movie That Sparked Her Love Affair with Film
"The first film that transported me to another place and time was 'Cabaret.' At a very young age... I was I think I was 10 when I saw that. I was attracted by the escape that being in the theatre provides."
Other Favorite Escapes
"I wake up in the morning and like to go right to nature. I like to hike in the mountains before I go to work. I like to swim, I sail and I play tennis, when I have some time. I guess my favorite thing is a quiet meal with a special someone to go over what the day was about."
"My favorite quote is that 'If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Another favorite quote ... ' Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.'" (Winston Churchill)
"See the film, 'The Secret.'"
Words of Advice - On Making Money
"My father, Isreael Ostrow, was a coat manufacturer. He always taught me that you buy something for one dollar, sell it for two, put half of that in your pocket and the rest of it into your business.'
"Track your dollars every month of the year, and compare monthly sales to the previous year. If you're only even, not ahead... because of inflation, you're falling behind."
Words of Advice - On Making a Difference
"I think it's important to be of service (to others) in your work, and if you look at it that way, it's easy to keep showing up."