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Filmmakers vie for face time with Page Ostrow at Sundance 2011 - Hollywood Progressive
Sundance Film Festival 2011 and Indie Film Distribution can be demystified with the aid of a seasoned producer’s representative. Enter Page Ostrow president of Ostrow and Company a Division of Repflix. The company is gearing up for the Sundance Film Festival, America’s premiere showcase for indies and features, the type of productions Page Ostrow and her Beverly Hills firm specialize in representing. Producers are currently vying for face time with Page Ostrow, a seasoned producers’ representative with a proven track record of linking filmmakers up with distributors and investors. Page Ostrow and her team are in the best position to negotiate deals for films distribution and/or movie finishing funds.
Sundance and other filmmakers seeking representation should send rough cuts to Ostrow and Company, which also dispatches film scouts around the world to attend festivals, scouring cinema’s latest productions. Projects submitted for consideration reviewed by Ostrow and Company’s team of in-house experts, who decide which of the films are appropriate for the firm to represent. Page Ostrow’s personal preference is for socially relevant, well written, character driven independent features with good stories and documentaries – no gruesome slasher pix, please.
At January’s Sundance film fest in Park City A team from Ostrow will hit the ground running. Ostrow will be exchanging Utah’s ski slopes for tropical surf, as from December 1—5 she attended the 7th annual Bahamas International Film Festival. But it wasn’t all fun in the sun at Nassau, where Ostrow got down to biz as a selected speaker, appearing on a BIFF panel with her colleague Morris Ruskin, the CEO of Shoreline Entertainment, which produces and distributes films, such as the 2009 Chilean feature The Maid, a Sundance winner and Golden Globe nominee, as well as 1992’s classic adaptation of playwright David Mamet’s Glengarry, Glen Ross, with an all star cast including Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey and Alan Arkin.
On the BIFF panel called “Film Financing and Producing” Ostrow and Ruskin discussed funding, developing trends and the future of independent filmmaking followed by a Q&A with filmmakers and others attending the panel. “The audience of filmmakers felt very uplifted by the experience,” Ostrow stated. “I did my best to be as encouraging as possible. Morris and I made it quite entertaining, humorous and enjoyable.”
During BIFF Page was also invited to take part in a host of VIP events, including a dinner honoring Alan Arkin, recipient of the festival’s top prize, its Career Achievement Award, which was presented to the actor by his Little Miss Sunshine co-star Abigail Breslin. This ceremony was a personal highlight for Ostrow, who, early on in her career, had worked as an assistant director with Arkin in 1993 on the TV mini-series Taking the Heat, which co-starred George Segal, Peter Boyle, Will Patton and Lynn Whitfield.
“It was a great reunion for me,” said Ostrow, who reminisced. “Alan Arkin and I really got to know each other in 1993. We used to take off and go to the mall at the Eaton Centre. I’d have the walkie-talkie with me and they’d call him back to the set, and we’d have to run like hell to get back there. So it was neat spending time with him again so many years later.” After working together on the thriller, which was shot on location in Toronto, both Ostrow and Arkin went on to bigger and better things in the film/TV world, with Arkin winning the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award in 2007 for Little Miss Sunshine and Page becoming a noted producers’ rep on over two hundred films now in theaters and on Television in the US and around the world.
In addition to Ostrow’s panel, other BIFF highlights included screenings of: Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe (the opening night film); Bhutto, a hard hitting documentary about Pakistan’s assassinated prime minister, Benazir Bhutto; the comedy It’s Kind of a Funny Story starring Zach Galifianakis; the Polish feature Little Rose, about romance and the secret police; and the British historical drama The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, which was the Festival’s closing night film.
A fixture on the festival circuit, Ostrow described the Bahamas International Film Festival as “taking place in an intimate setting, a beautiful location that is conducive to connecting on a more casual, personal level with creative and executives.” However, the veteran producers’ representative has also been a guest speaker, networker and dealmaker with power players at more intense, heavy hitting industry venues, such as the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, South By Southwest and American Film Market. Filmmakers, distributors and execs alike can expect Page Ostrow to heat things up at Utah from January 20–30 during Sundance, just as the jet-setting producers’ rep kept things cool at Bahamas film festival in early December!