The documentary “Danny Says” has been unveiled as the first offering of the inaugural Art House Theater Day on Sept. 24.
The Art House Convergence consortium, which is organizing the event with more than 160 participating theaters nationwide, made the announcement on Tuesday. A menu of exclusive programming options will be offered to participating theaters, including sneak peeks, major art house films, repertory re-releases, giveaways, filmmaker visits, live music and parties.
“Danny Says,” directed by Brendan Toller, centers on the life of Danny Fields, who managed the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones, and worked with the Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, Nico and Judy Collins. Magnolia Pictures will open the movie on Sept. 30.
“We’ve attended and supported the Art House Convergence for years, and offering these special screenings of ‘Danny Says’ for AHTD is a great way to step up our partnership with them,” said Neal Block, Magnolia’s head of distribution. “We’’e long valued our relationships with independent theaters — we wouldn’t be here without them — and I’m personally very pleased to be working on this program.”
“Danny Says” premiered at SXSW last year. Variety film critic Dennis Harvey called it “highly entertaining” in his review.
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“Art House Theater Day is a chance to show film-lovers that their local theaters are part of a larger cultural movement,” said Art House Theater Day co-founder Gabriel Chicoine. “These cinemas are not passive, insular venues — they are passion-driven institutions that collaborate with distributors, filmmakers, and each other to deepen film appreciation and to increase the diversity and artistic integrity of what you see on the big screen.”
Art House Theater Day has received backing from director Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”), Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers and Jacob Burns Film Center founder Stephen Apkon.
Co-founders Chicoine of Amherst Cinema and Lawren Desai of a/perture cinema in Winston-Salem, N.C., said they were inspired by the success of Record Store Day and its commitment to promoting independent record shops. They developed the event as a celebration of art house theaters, films, filmmakers, patrons, projectionists and staff dedicated to providing “extraordinary cinematic experiences.”
The Art House Convergence began in 2005 as the Sundance Institute Art House Project and held its first conference in 2008 to support independent film and the promotion of movie culture in local communities.