The unofficial blog.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

AFTF Five (5) City Run to End Today

Cinema Libre should have an announcement about this fact - hopefully later today.

Here's was was sent out to the volunteers on August 1st - see below.

Dear AFTF Volunteers:

I am out of breath!! Could barely get to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs get wiped out by the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-15 (415) - what an interesting number.

Here's a report I sent to Cinema Libre that will begin to give you some idea of what went on this past weekend from my perspective - see below.

I heard earlier this evening that reported gross weekend sales of some $64K+ for AFTF through Sunday.

Aaron will be announcing the close out of this limited 5 city release later this week. Plans will then focus on a range of current other cities, but we need funding!

Peace and God Bless,

Fred Smart
AFTF National Volunteer Coordinator
312-602-2568 w
847-878-8090 c

PS. Katherine Albrecht, co-author of Spychips - - arrived in Chicago today and will be meeting with Aaron during the day prior to his departure for LA and then speaking at Transitions Bookplace - - tomorrow at 7 pm.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Fred Smart <>
Date: Jul 31, 2006 3:43 PM
Subject: Re: America Weekend Box Office
To: Khadijah Rashid <>
Cc: others


It's been very busy here in Chicago. This is the first time I've been online since 7/29 in the late afternoon.

Here's the rundown:

Kansas City turned away 30 for the opening on Friday and was packed Saturday. Peter McCandless said he will be getting together with the AMC contact for a complete count later today. I am sure Aaron is getting these numbers. He was talking about the Friday-Saturday returns yesterday around noontime.

Tampa theatres were "filled up" according to volunteers I have been in contact with.

Austin was a complete sellout for the peaktimes.

Chicago was 90% filled for the premier. They expanded the seating to 220 for Saturday's screenings. Aaron's 7:05 pm screening was a complete sellout. He received a standing ovation. I was able to finally track down Marcy Brooks, the juror, who suddenly was spotted by one of our volunteers on Friday afternoon attending the screening in Woodfield IL. I got in touch with her and she followed me downtown Chicago and hopped in my van and came with me/us to the south side of Chicago where we got on the school bus in the blazing hot Chicago heat during "Venitian Night" festivities all along the lakeshore in Chicago. Marcy introduced Aaron on Saturday which worked out perfectly since Cliff Kelly, the WVON black radio personality cancelled at the last minute - he came on Sunday instead. Mayoral candidate Bill "Doc" Walls came to all three openings - Friday, Saturday, Sunday - and spoke. Borders Books across the street from the Landmark in Chicago accomodated their entire second floor for some 100 individuals - standing room only - who came to a "follow-up Q & A" with Aaron, Doc - and Cliff for Sunday - on Saturday and Sunday. The level of passion and interest Aaron, his work, this movie and the obvious implications for the future of our country has been nothing less than amazing...... This thing seems to be, to use a cliche, "taking on life of it's own."

Note: The Esquire Theatre on Oak Street in Chicago was not well attended according to eyewitness reports which were confirmed by Aaron.

New York's premier with Aaron was a complete sellout. One of our leading volunteers, Ian Farrar, said to me earlier today that he brought 27 people himself. The 72nd street location, by contrast, was not well attended.

The celluloid prints finally arrived in the theatres for yesterday's screenings. The quality was "pretty bad" for those who have already seen the DVD version. However, this really didn't seem to bother the new attendees of the movie. I spoke with one gentleman in line at Borders Books who was buying a coffee in route to the follow-up Q & A session and he said he came across with the impression that the poor quality of the film was actually an intentional technique by Aaron which made the movie "seem only that much more Orwellian."

There are hundreds of these little vignettes and stories which I could go on and on about these past 2-3 days. In a nutshell I will say this: this weekend seemed to open up a vast transcendent ball of energy, excitement and interest in this film. A significant movement for
positive social, economic and political change seems to be rising above the darkness of our world. If you could have been on the yellow school bus with Marcy Brooks and 35+ other blacks from the south side of Chicago on that seamy, hot Saturday night - as the bright lights of ALL the big boats in Lake Michigan were floating offshore as we snaked our way to our destination at the Landmark Theatre on 2828 North would have felt something very BIG manifesting in the tenor, tone and spirit of the individuals on that bus. It was HOT!! It was HUMID!! And it was SLOW! But everyone was filled with this sense of positive energy and spirit that something very BIG was about to happen. Only 2-3 people on that bus had seen Aaron's movie and by the end of that night I can say that the black community in Chicago was fully planted with the seeds of light and truth in the wake of experiencing the movie and spirit and feedback from Marcy. Doc Walls and Aaron.

My voicemail boxes have been so flooded with messages that I can barely keep up. They want Aaron on two radio stations in Gary Indiana. New volunteers want to step in Gary, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Milwaukee and elsewhere, etc. This young lady from Chicago who claims to have the # 2 podcast rankings worldwide saw the movie last night and was so excited to interview Aaron that she sent for her producer who came to see Aaron as the follow-up Q & A. We're trying to arrange some time for Aaron to be interviewed by this woman sometime today-tomorrow.

As I said, there's a lot more I could write about. Aaron spoke and was very well received by a black church on the west side of Chicago yesterday and he will be interviewed live on a 2 hour radio show by the same black pastor on his weekly radio show tonight.

The follow-up possibilities are endless. But an explosion of white light energy has been received and is being celebrated to the best of my limited vision as a coordinator here in Chicago.

Peace and God Bless,

Fred Smart