By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

New Jersey Filmmaker Offers Kevin Smith $10,000 to Review Film

Chatham, N.J. (October 19, 2011 — Jim Riffel, whose feature film “Black-Eyed Susan” won the Grand Prize at New Jersey’s “Garden State Film Festival,” is making a unique offer to New Jersey native and Hollywood filmmaker Kevin Smith: “If you review my feature film I’ll give you $10,000 to donate to the charity of your choice and I’ll also give you the worldwide rights to the film to sell to any company you want as long as you take the money from that sale and also donate that to the charity of your choice.”

“I think it’s a pretty good deal” said Riffel, “you get $10,000 right off the bat and then, if you sell the film, you’ll be able to get even more cash to a worthwhile charity.” The feature film Riffel is offering to Mr. Smith is a strange and entertaining “midnight movie” type flick called “Night of the Day of the Dawn of the Son of the Bride of the Return of the Revenge of the Terror of the Attack of the Evil, Mutant, Hellbound, Flesh-Eating, Crawling, Alien, Zombified, Subhumanoid, Living Dead – Part 5.” It’s the just finished sequel to the sequel to the sequel to the popular cult film, “Night of the Day of the Dawn…Part 2” and is a parody of the “golden age” of television. It takes a comedic look at what was considered appropriate and enjoyable TV family fare in the 1950s and 1960s and what’s considered appropriate and enjoyable television today. So why did Riffel choose Kevin Smith for this offer? “This film is a comedy and Kevin Smith’s made some great comedies so I’m hoping it might be a good match.”

And does Mr. Riffel think Kevin Smith will take him up on the offer? “You never know with something like this. I guess it’s a long shot, but it would be great if he seriously considered it. Maybe me being from New Jersey and the film being made in New Jersey help a little bit. And “Black-Eyed Susan,” the feature I made that won the Garden State Film Festival, was a low budget black and white film shot on 16mm, like “Clerks”, so, maybe all these things count. Who knows? I’ve seen him in dozens of interviews and he seems like a really down-to-Earth guy. The offer’s out there and I really hope he does it. We’ll see what happens.”

In addition to “Night Of The Day Of The Dawn…Part 5” Mr. Riffel is also donating the rights to four other feature films he directed and three non-fiction screenplays he wrote. You can find more information here.

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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas