Micro-budget indie nabs N.Y. audiences

Even as helmer Azazel Jacobs finished his micro-budget indie “Momma’s Man,” he had his doubts.

“I remember talking with the producers and saying that if nothing happens we’ll get it out on DVD on our own.”

Now, less than a year after its Sundance preem, “Momma’s Man” is the little-film-that-could, winning critical plaudits and grossing an impressive $17,167 in its first week in New York. After its second week, the pic cumed $31,266.

Shot with a skeleton crew at the apartment of the director’s parents, the pic follows a troubled family man who visits his parents after a business trip and decides not to go home. What the Apatow factory might have made into a Will Ferrell laffer, Jacobs took in a completely different direction, casting his own parents in the key roles.

Those parents happen to be artists Flo and Ken Jacobs. Ken is well loved by East Coast cineastes and critics as a landmark experimental filmmaker. So when the film screened at Sundance, the theater was packed, and the buzz instantaneous. 

“It was incredible,” recalls Jacobs, “People were crying. (Critic) Amy Taubin, who hated my first film, came up to me afterward and said that I had something really special.”

ThinkFilm outbid Kino to nab the rights. But just ahead of the pic’s release the troubled distrib abruptly canceled all press screenings and redirected the pic to Kino. 

While the pic hasn’t performed well in L.A., it’s still hovering around a $2,000-per-screen average in New York, adding to its $61, 803 cume — not a huge number, but good enough considering Kino is spending near nothing on advertising.

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