In advance of our HBO premiere on Fathers Day (June 19), HBO is hosting a NYC invitation-only screening of The Kids Grow Up for bloggers and press, complete with wine reception and Dad 2.0 panel, on Tuesday, June 14, starting at 6pm. The panel features Roland Warren, President of the National Fatherhood Initiative, and acclaimed parent bloggers Doug French (Laid Off Dad) and Catherine Conners (Her Bad Mother). It will expand on the changing notions of fatherhood explored in the film, and explain more about the exciting Dad 2.0 movement.
If you and a guest are interested in attending, send us an email and we’ll follow up with an official invite and details: info (at) thekidsgrowup (dot) com. If you’re interested in writing about The Kids Grow Up and can’t make the screening, email us and HBO will get a dvd screener to you a week or two before the broadcast.
For those who don’t get HBO, the dvd, with 45-minutes of great bonus material, will be available from New Video starting July 19. You can pre-order it now.
Screenings galore from Honolulu to Helsinki.
Unexpectedly coming aboard a new doc as Executive Producer.
It wins the Best Director prize for U.S. documentaries at Sundance.
It’s enough to make a boy feel, well… resurrected!
Holy crap, the day of our theatrical premiere is here at last! I did a tech check at the Angelika this morning and came away happy with the projection, especially given that they’re not used to digital projection. The manager couldn’t have been nicer – treated me to a double cappucino and moved the blow-up of our humongous Sunday NY Times article outside right next to the box office window.
It’s not like I’m hardened to all this, but we have a group of eager young people in our office here, and they’re super excited about the upcoming weekend. And everyone’s thrilled with the incredible coverage and many great reviews we’ve gotten. A. O. Scott in the New York Times calls The Kids “remarkable” and gives it a Critics’ Pick, as does New York Magazine. Eric Hynes in the Village Voice calls it “nakedly personal” and “profoundly universal,” and Andrew O’Hehir in Salon.com says it’s a “powerful, wrenching movie” (not to worry, he also called it “funny” and “irresistible”).
In advance of our premiere at the Angelika Film Center this Friday, two great articles on The Kids in the papers today. The New York Times piece goes more in depth (and gives the film some serious real estate), The New York Daily News opts mainly for a director interview.
More press coverage coming in the days ahead, as well: The Village Voice, Wall Street Journal and indieWIRE, among others.
Thanks and kudos to our extraordinary publicist, Susan Norget, who’s believed in the film from the moment she saw it at our first industry screening last fall. Our entire print ad budget will pay for exactly two postage-stamp sized ads in the Times. And journalists, face it, generally aren’t interested in any film that isn’t celebrity driven, much less a personal documentary. So you can see what kind of job she’s done.
And now it all comes down to getting butts in the seats at the Angelika this coming weekend. If you’re in the NYC area, hope one of them will be yours.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is flat-out one of the best documentary festivals in the world. It’s relatively small, very intimate and draws a bevy of documentary enthusiasts that fill up virtually every screening, whether day or night, weekday or weekend.
So no surprise that our Saturday morning breakfast special screening (10:10am!) was packed. And happy to report it couldn’t possibly have gone better.
It’s still a relatively new experience to see The Kids Grow Up with an audience, so I was relieved and thrilled at how loud and frequent the laughs came during the first half hour, which is where most of the intended laughs happen to be. As for the last half hour, where we invite the audience to go weak-kneed, curl into fetal position and burst into tears, well, it looks like we succeeded on that account, as well.
It was hugely gratifying over the next two days to have people come up to me and Marjorie and tell us how much they loved the film. Many said it was their favorite film of the festival, which is nice even if they were stretching things a bit, or even flat-out lying. Feel free to continue to lie to me like that in the future, dear readers.
I return much more confident that the film touches audiences deeply. The notion has been reinforced by any number of Facebook and Twitter postings, and emails like the following from an audience member named Leah Janosko from Cary, North Carolina.
I just wanted to express my gratitude for your film “The Kids Grow Up.” I was one of the lucky (sniffling) people that had the fortune to attend your screening on Saturday morning in Durham. I was moved and touched. Your ability to put yourself and your family totally out there in such an honest, authentic and vulnerable way is such a gift to anyone who sees this film. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate it.
I am the mother of a 16 year old girl (my only daughter) and it was as if you made this film specifically for me. The insights of both you and your wife were comforting in the sense that I am not the only one with these feelings. I found it interesting that during one of your answers from the Q&A following the viewing, you explained that your daughter was concerned that people would see this film and think that they know her. I came away not with knowing her but better knowing myself. Lucy represented my daughter with her laughter, intelligence, eye rolls and need for independence. Seeing how you coped (and anguished) with Lucy, is helping me process the complexity of emotions that I am feeling during this similar period of my life.
My only suggestion would be to please include longer credits at the end as I needed more time to compose myself before the lights came up.
I will keep up with information on your website and look forward to recommending this film to friends who may have an opportunity to view it. I congratulate you on an amazing piece of work and look forward to your future projects.
Our web design worker bees are working hard to create a discussion forum on the website here, not just for wonderful reactions to the film (though don’t hesitate) but for wise and pithy discussion of parenting issues brought up by the film. Having had a ton of experience from The D-Word, I’ll be doing some of the moderating myself, and hope to bring in an experienced co-host, as well. It will hopefully be up and running sometime in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for that.
Tuesday, April 6
In a few days, the fun begins. The film gets out in front of audiences again.
It’s been a quite a while since IDFA, we’ve been laying low. But a lot is happening behind the scenes and hopefully we can share the news soon. All I can say at this point is The Kids Grow Up will almost certainly have a theatrical release, probably beginning in the early fall. So stay tuned.
But now it’s time to get out on the festival circuit at last. On Thursday, Lori and I head down to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC, and it’s going to be a great three days. Like at IDFA, we come not just to screen The Kids Grow Up but as producers of The Edge of Dreaming, which is part of the New Docs competition. And I’ll be on the Grand Jury, which means the festival flies me down and puts me up in the lap of luxury!
If you’ve seen the trailer for The Kids Grow Up you know that during the year the story primarily takes place my wife Marjorie came down with a serious episode of depression. It was horrendous to point a camera at her in that condition, and a very brief interview was all either of us could withstand. But destigmatizing depression is very important to her, and the footage wouldn’t be in the finished film had she not seen it early on in the editing and given her blessing.
With the Sat night world premiere screening of The Kids Grow Up looming, and the whole production team heading off for the airport in a few hours, we’re buzzing around doing all the usual things we’ve left for the very last minute. Updating the 3-minute trailer was the most important, since the previous version ended with temp music that wasn’t exactly the right tone (a bit too melodramatic). Not to mention, not exactly licensed. Now it’s entirely scored by our hugely talented composer, H. Scott Salinas, and has the right bittersweet feel.
Anyway, posters and postcards – check. International replacement cell phone – check. An email announcement to attending IDFA buyers and press – check. An itinerary to make sense of all the screenings and meetings and parties – check. Ambien for the red-eye flight over – check!!!
We had a private screening on Monday for a small group of distributors, industry folk and friends at Soho House and the audience reaction was all I could have possibly hoped for. It’s clear this is a film that works better on a big screen with an audience, so I’m a bit calmer heading into IDFA than I would have been. But we’ll see.
I have my Flip video camera with me, and I’ll try to post a couple of Flip Clips during the festival if I can find the time and wherewithal. And I’ll definitely post about how things are going. And now, fingers crossed…
THE KIDS GROW UP will have its’ world premiere next month at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam), the largest and most prestigious of all documentary festivals. It’s playing in the Reflecting Images: Masters section, along with new or recent docs by, well, there’s no other term, masters such as D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus, Frederick Wiseman, Michael Moore, Joe Berlinger, Susan Froemke, Julien Temple and Michael Winterbottom. So it’s quite an honor and my hat size has swelled accordingly.