Oz’s SBS picks up ‘Independent’

Film chronicles road trip of husband-and-wife journo duo

TORONTO — “Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop,” a Canadian-made film, has made its second international sale, to Australian broadcaster SBS.

The film chronicles the 60-day road trip of a husband-and-wife journalist team, Hanson Hosein and NBC and CNN alumna Heather Hughes, across the States in search of independent America. The pair didn’t drive on interstates and used only mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and hotels.

High-def shot pic was self-financed by the couple’s Kelowna, B.C.-based shingle HRH Media and Toronto producer Open Door Co.

Since its completion in October, “Independent America” has been the subject of a grassroots promotion and marketing campaign. The producers attend screenings and sell DVDs and have an aggressive online marketing campaign.

The film was sold to NHK in Japan in February and screened last week.

“My approach is not to wait for a broadcaster to come on board,” said producer Tom Powers. “The whole market is changing, and I don’t think the broadcasters necessarily care if you put out a DVD first. The days of sitting around and waiting for a broadcaster to bless a film are gone. There are so many ways to get your film out there.”

SBS Australia plans to broadcast the doc in primetime in the fall.

“Independent America” will screen at the Pioneer Theater in New York on April 27 and will open in Philadelphia in May.