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Jun 21, 2016 5:00 EST

Alina is the first fiction film by celebrated indie exhibitor, distributor producer and father of the Midnight Movie, Ben Barenholtz

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 21, 2016

Alina

by Ben Barenholtz

 

Alina project video thumbnail

 

Alina is the first fiction film by celebrated indie exhibitor, distributor producer and father of the Midnight Movie, Ben Barenholtz

 

About this project

Hi. My name is Ben Barenholtz. At the age of 80, after 50 years of experience in all areas of the film business I’ve decided to write and direct my first feature film. I want to invite you to be a part of it…

Darya Ekamasova as Alina (Nika Award winner [the 'Russian Oscars'] for "Once There Lived A Simple Woman")
Darya Ekamasova as Alina (Nika Award winner [the ‘Russian Oscars’] for “Once There Lived A Simple Woman”)

Alina is an independent, ultra low-budget film showing the odyssey of a young Russian woman, Alina, who arrives in the city to find her father with only a 25-year-old photo in her possession.

She befriends Maria, a part-time bartender and hostess with whom she forms a strong bond. Alina is welcomed by an old model friend and is invited to move in with her and her roommate. She finds a freedom she never experienced and becomes immersed in the party scene, trying everything from sex to drugs until things go sour.

With the help of Maria, Alina discovers a raucous, loving Italian family who eventually assists her in her search. Through the family’s help, she discovers her father’s true identity and the secret her mother has been keeping from her. Soon enough, she is able to reconnect her past and discover what real friendship and love is.

David (David Atrakchi) and Alina (Darya Ekamasova)
David (David Atrakchi) and Alina (Darya Ekamasova)

My attitude towards film and filmmaking was first influenced by the beats of the 1950’s, the abstract expressionist painters like Klein and DeKooning, and the humor of Tom Lehrer. The spirit of the renegade writers like Budd Schulberg. And of course, filmmakers like the Coen Brothers, David Lynch, Guy Maddin, and Darren Aronofsky. My attitude in dealing with actors was very much influenced by the time I spent with Arthur Penn.

Tom Lehrer folding napkins with Ben Barenholtz
Tom Lehrer folding napkins with Ben Barenholtz

From inventing the midnight movie with EL TOPO at the Elgin Theater, to changing the face of how independent films were distributed and marketed – and discovering so many respected first-time filmmakers like David Lynch and the Coen Brothers – I have often been told it couldn’t be done.

Now’s my chance to prove the naysayers wrong.

Principal photography has been completed with a fantastic cast and crew. I am now in the editing process and I think I have a good film but I won’t know how good it is until we finish post-production. And I need your help to do that.

Why Kickstarter?

Alina is an independent, ultra low-budget film – in bringing the project to Kickstarter, we’re able to reach out to a broader community we may not have seen otherwise.

With the small, self-financed budget of this film, we were able to complete principal photography. Every dollar raised by this campaign is going directly towards our post-production budget. We seek to raise $80,000 at the bare minimum which will cover remaining expenses for post-production.

Ben directing our leads, David Atrakchi as David, and Darya Ekamasova as Alina
Ben directing our leads, David Atrakchi as David, and Darya Ekamasova as Alina

After the wild success of the WAKALIWOOD Kickstarter campaign, we know it takes a village to get a project done – and we’re confident that Kickstarter is the right place to do it. Not only do we want to take you into this journey of the filmmaking process, but we have a great opportunity to share some insight and behind the scenes stories along the way!

The entire brilliant ALINA crew!
The entire brilliant ALINA crew!

Meet The Writer/Director

BEN BARENHOLTZ (WRITER/DIRECTOR) – Born in Eastern Poland in 1935, Ben became one of the most important figures in the American indie film scene. He immigrated to the US in 1947. From 1966 to 1968, he managed the Village Theater, which became an important venue for the counterculture and anti-Vietnam protests. It also featured many jazz giants of that period, such as Nina Simone and John Coltrane, as well as bands like The Who and Cream. In 1968, he opened the Elgin Cinema, which became a key venue for independent filmmakers and repertory cinema. It provided a home for the early film works by Jack Smith, Andy Warhol, Jonathan Demme, Martin Scorsese, and the revival of the Buster Keaton films. He invented the legendary “midnight movie” format, with the screenings of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s EL TOPO and John Waters’ PINK FLAMINGOS.

In 1972, Barenholtz founded the distribution company Libra Films, which released films such as Claude Chabrol’s JUST BEFORE NIGHTFALL, Jean-Charles Tachella’s COUSIN COUSINE and David Lynch’s ERASERHEAD. In 1984, he joined Circle Releasing, distributing such films as Guy Maddin’s TALES FROM GIMLI HOSPITAL, Alain Cavalier’s THÉRÈSE, andBLOOD SIMPLE, the Coen brothers’ first feature film. Barenholtz began his involvement in film production with the Coen brothers, serving as executive producer on RAISING ARIZONA,MILLER’S CROSSING, and BARTON FINK, which swept the three top prizes at the Cannes film festival. He went on to produce many successful films, such as Ulu Grosbard’s GEORGIAand Darren Aronofsky’s REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. He made his directorial debut in 2005 with MUSIC INN, about the famous music venue, which was followed in 2012 byWAKALIWOOD: THE DOCUMENTARY, shot entirely in the slums of Kampala, Uganda.

Ethan and Joel Coen with Ben Barenholtz after he received the 2015 Berlinale Camera Award
Ethan and Joel Coen with Ben Barenholtz after he received the 2015 Berlinale Camera Award

With the collective decades of experience behind the post-production team that’s now in place, as well as our fantastic editor, Michael Berenbaum (BASQUIATSEX AND THE CITY, THE AMERICANS) ably assisted by Mikhail Kozak, producer Michael Canzoniero, with post-production being done at ProMedia headed by Joe D’Imperio, we are on the road to completion. We are currently in the thick of editing and know we will have a wonderful finished film.

 

The Rewards

To thank you for your generosity, we have collected and curated some fantastic incentives to start – be the first to reserve and enjoy them!

  • The Digital Download of the film (naturally!)
  • Thank You Credits as well as various producer credits
  • DVD & Poster bundles
  • Screenings events with members of the cast and crew
  • and more!

We hope you are as passionate about this film as we are. Any kind of support will go a long way.

Risks and challenges

With principal photography done, as well as a stellar team in place for our post-production, we are well on our way to completing the film. We intend to get a distributor for the film as well as show it at major film festivals and make the film available for online streaming.

Contact Information:

Ben Barenholtz

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