#36 – Last Newsletter

Hi, this is Mark Kitchell checking in about Evolution of Organic. It has been a year since we wrapped up outreach; and this will be the last newsletter. 
 
I’m disappointed that the film did not do better. Reasons? The market has changed: now there are too many films chasing too few slots; the money has gone away; and it’s a struggle to get an audience. Still, I’m glad and proud that we made such a good film and organized over one hundred shows, including key conferences like Eco Farm, Organicology, MOSES and PASA. You can see the full screening schedule on our website:
 
Link:      http://evolutionoforganic.com/
 
Lorraine Hess came aboard as sales rep and worked hard on licensing to television and streaming channels. We also pursued online sales thru Amazon, Apple and Google; but the aggregator Distribber went belly up before we got anywhere. One of the reasons for delaying this newsletter was to be able to announce distribution and broadcast deals. However, we are still working on it. I’ll keep you posted.
 
Where can you find Evolution of Organic now?
 
·  Bullfrog Films continues educational distribution and community screenings. Here is a link to their catalog page: http://bullfrogfilms.com/catalog/evo.html. Email: stephanie@bullfrogfilms.com
 
·  the only place to purchase the film for personal use is the Evolution of Organic website and my new website: http://markkitchell.com/ Three of my films, including Berkeley in the Sixties and A Fierce Green Fire, are available there. Digital streams sell for $20 and DVD’s for $40 apiece. 
 
What does the future hold for Evolution of Organic
 
· Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube and Google Play are the next steps. We’ll have to mount a marketing and promotion campaign to build awareness, or the film will languish in obscurity. So, we are waiting for the right moment.
 
· broadcast possibilities include: local public television stations like KQED and KCET; putting the program on a satellite feed for PBS stations; new streaming platforms like A&E’s History Channel and Ovid for independent documentaries; and international sales. Louise Rosen, who licensed  Berkeley in the Sixties and A Fierce Green Fire to foreign markets, is now taking on all three films as sales rep. I’m excited – this may be a good time, there are programming pipelines to fill.
 
What about DVD’s and digital streams of EOO that were promised to donors and contributors?
 
· Apologies for not following through. I’ve been too broke and busy to get to the last few things. But I promise to take care of this in the next few months and will send a letter to you who have been so patient. Thanks!
 
There’s various news and updates: 
 
· There’s a new email address for me: markakitchell@gmail.com. Please get rid of the old Earthlink address; that will cease to work in a couple of months. 
 
· I’ve given up my longtime office in the Presidio, moved home to save money during the coronavirus crisis. It was a wonderful office and we did great work there; but I’m glad of the change.
 
· MarkKitchell.com is a new website that consolidates my three films: 
 
— Berkeley in the Sixties, Academy Award nominee and well-loved classic, one of the defining films about protest movements that shook America during the 1960s;
— A Fierce Green Fire, a big-picture exploration of the environmental movement, grassroots and global activism spanning five decades from conservation to climate change;
— Evolution of Organic, the story of organic told by those who built the movement.
 
The new website grew out of taking back two films from the distributor and starting sales of our own. As part of this process, I am restoring Berkeley in the Sixties. For thirty years, every copy of the film came from a video transfer that was standard definition. Finally, I couldn’t stand how bad my baby looked, and decided the film had to be preserved for posterity. Jennifer and Buck Bito at Movette Transfer Center made a new digital master from a film release print. Now it is being color corrected and soon it will be ready. The website will be a unified place to find all three films. The store will offer digital streams at $20 each, and DVD’s at $40 each. Yay! 
 
· My new project is Cannabis Chronicles, which tells the story of the world’s most popular illegal drug, movements to legalize it, and how it has changed – and is changing – our culture. The five-part series promises to be the first big-picture social history of cannabis, the ultimate pot doc. Nothing like this project exists and the time is right. We’ve done a year of R&D, created a sample reel, deck, treatment and more. I’m really pleased, think we’ve got a great series coming. Just as the project was ready to pitch to streaming channels, the pandemic and economic shutdown hit. So things are on hold and we’re hoping to get a green light by the end of the year. 
 
Here is a link to the sample reel:            https://vimeo.com/351038605/d635de479c
 
If you want to know more or have anything to contribute, please get in touch. Re: funding — this time around we’re looking for a deal, thinking that a subject so popular should be a hot item in the streaming wars. Besides, I don’t know if I could stand another round of grassroots fundraising; the legal cannabis business is in a downturn; and this crisis makes such a route nigh impossible. However we have set up an LLC for investors. And we could really use tax-deductible donations to the project’s fiscal sponsor IDA, just to keep moving forward during this difficult time. If you please, let us know. 
 
Thanks very much for your interest and support for Evolution of Organic. It was a pleasure and an honor to get to tell the story of the organic movement. Everybody we met brings tremendous passion, vision and commitment to the cause. This may be signing off, but you are in my heart forever. With love and gratitude, 
 
Mark Kitchell
 
 

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