An update on Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse finished post-production at Mission Control on February 14 and premiered before a packed house at the Portland International Film Festival on February 15. It played at Cinema 21 Theater February 22 – March 7, and is currently showing at the Living Room Theater in downtown Portland.  It will start a one-week run at the Clinton Street Theater on April 1.

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The film has received critical acclaim, including the reviews excerpted here: http://www.mentalhealthportland.org/?p=18333

A primary goal of Alien Boy is to be seen by large audiences. There are many paths to achieve that goal.

To date no one has been able to introduce Alien Boy to a well-resourced distributor such as IFC, HBO, Sundance, Arthouse, Magnolia, or Oscilloscope. Note there are two types – cable and theater. Our strong preference is cable over theater.  More people watch documentary films at home than in theaters. Best is both, but to date we have neither.

We have sent letters and copies of the film to all reputable distributors in the US and UK.  Over the next weeks we will follow up with calls and more inquiries.

The primary way a film distinguishes itself as suitable for distribution is acceptance in film festivals. Besides being accepted at the Portland International Film Festival, Alien Boy has played at the prestigious Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (Montana), and has been accepted at the Cinema Pacific Festival (Eugene) and the Minneapolis International Film Festival.  It is in queue at 20 other festivals around the country.

As we learn of advances in the film’s progress at festivals we’ll let you know through our Facebook page and our Twitter account.

You can also learn more about the film at our website, www.alienboy.org

Another path for the film is to be independently booked at small theaters. We have sent inquiries to about 15 in the Northwest and received some mild interest. Distributors, not theaters, typically promote their films in a local community. Aside from social and free media, our zero budget doesn’t allow for much publicity. We can’t compete with advertising. In Concord, New Hampshire and in Spokane we’re working with local groups to screen the film. Those groups will shoulder much of the local promotion. We’re open to others showing the film. Interested? Send us a note.

Who should you contact about Alien Boy? To keep up with the myriad of promotional details we have been joined by Jen Winter – jwinter@alienboy.org. Questions about the film?  Venues or opportunities?  Please contact Jen.

Soon we’ll be contacting dozens of national and local mental health advocacy and support groups and churches to arrange screenings of Alien Boy during Mental Health Awareness Week in October. The film and materials will be provided these nonprofit groups at cost to screen Alien Boy for their supporters as a fundraiser and awareness-raiser.

For institutions (colleges, universities, hospitals) and governmental agencies (police departments, jails, prisons and state hospitals, addiction and mental health agencies), the film will be available with an exhibition license. Representatives can purchase the film on DVD or Blu-Ray now, for delivery on June 1.

Independent films have two “long tail” promotions: online and retail sales. Alien Boy will be available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and other online subscription sites in the summer or fall. If the film secures a theater or cable distribution deal, that timeline may change.  The film will also be available on DVD or Blu-Ray through Amazon, Powell’s, Greencine and others on the same timeline as online screenings.

How You Can Help

  1. If you can help the film find a distributor, contact us.
  2. If you want to promote the film and screen it in your community, contact us.
  3. If you’re associated with an institution or agency, purchase Alien Boy now for delivery June 1.
  4. See it now at local Portland theaters.
  5. Tell people about Alien Boy. With all this technology, word of mouth is still the most powerful communication tool.  Post on your Facebook and Twitter about the film.  Post on our Alien Boy Facebook and Twitter accounts. Have a blog? Write film reviews?  Write about it. Short reviews are very helpful on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and other online review sites.  By Friday, March 29, nominate Alien Boy for a SAMHSA Voice Award.

For all questions about Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse, contact Jen Winter – jwinter@alienboy.org.

Thanks!