David Mogdigliani's wonderful debut documentary, Crawford, is an award-winning film about a small town thrust into the spotlight when George W. Bush moved into the 'hood, several months after announcing his candidacy bid to run for president. (Pictured, GW clearing cedar at his ranch in August of '02, courtesy of the White House web site). The film chronicles the impact of Bush's political stagecraft in making Crawford his de facto hometown. The doc debuted on Hulu in October as its movie premiere and was the most watched film on the site for over two weeks.
Today, from Austin, Texas, B-Side Entertainment announced the launch of a nationwide screening for fans to host their own "Farewell to W" party from January 1st through the 19th. This nationwide Screening Party is modeled on the program B-Side developed for Netflix's Red Envelope Entertainment with the film Super High Me, where fans were invited to a "Roll Your Own" screening. In just a month's time, close to 1,100 venues in 850 markets across the country booked screenings for a nationwide event, marking the widest single-date release ever for a nonfiction film. B-Side, itself, booked close to 1,600 screenings in about a thousand markets garnering an audience of over 40,000 with a total marketing budget that cost less than what a two inch ad in the New York Times would run.
Similarly, this campaign for Crawford will allow fans, organizations, indie theaters and other groups to watch the film as a collective event (you know, the way movies are supposed to be watched), allowing viewers to fondly look back on the Bush era through the particular point of view of the citizens of Crawford, Texas who were lucky enough to call GW their neighbor.
B-Side is waiving their normal screening fee for exhibitors and asking screening hosts to pre-purchase five DVDs for $50. Those DVDs can be re-sold at their event for whatever they want to charge and they're also free to charge whatever admission fee they want, keeping all of the proceeds. The campaign will be driven from a community web site for the film built with B-Side technology which allows self-serve screenings, automatic event signups, event listings and an interactive screening map off the film's site www.crawfordmovie.com. See you at the movies, ya'll.