Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Documentary to reach audiences in record time

New York / NY (October 13th, 2009) – Chris Smith’s critically acclaimed and incendiary documentary COLLAPSE will reach audiences a record two months after debuting without a distributor at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). A unique deal with FilmBuff and Vitagraph Films was announced today. Vitagraph Films, LLC will handle the film’s theatrical release and FilmBuff will launch the film on VOD simultaneously to its theatrical run. Vitagraph will open the film at New York’s Angelika Theater and Film Buff will premiere the film on cable providers nationwide on November 6th. The film will also rollout theatrically into other markets while also being available on FilmBuff. The VOD/theatrical release of the film has also been endorsed by Landmark theatres, who have agreed to play the film day and date on December 4th, in both the Bay Area (San Francisco and Berkeley ) and in San Diego .This is the first time a film will be released this soon after it premiered at a festival without distribution.

Smith has shown an affinity for outsiders in films like American Movie and The Yes Men. In COLLAPSE, Smith departs stylistically from his past documentaries by interviewing his subject Michael Ruppert in a format that recalls the work of Errol Morris and Spalding Gray. Ruppert, a former Los Angeles police officer turned independent reporter, predicted the current financial crisis in his self-published newsletter at a time when most Wall Street and Washington analysts were still in denial. A character study of the apocalyptic imagination, COLLAPSE is a portrait of a man who believes with total conviction that industrial civilization is on the verge of collapse.

COLLAPSE elicited a powerful response from press at TIFF including: Time Out NY (“Riveting!”), Hammer to Nail (“Terrifying!”), Variety (“An intellectual horror that ranks as an essential work.”), The Onion (“Grade: A! I for one left the theatre shaken.”), Entertainment Weekly (“You may want to dispute him, but more than that you’ll want to hear him, because what he says – right or wrong, prophecy or paranoia – takes up residence in your mind.”), Movie City News (“The most important film I saw at Toronto this year.”), and Hollywood Elsewhere (““A pulverizing film. Everyone needs to see it.”).

“The film had such great word of mouth at Toronto that we immediately began looking for ways to get the film to the biggest audience in the shortest amount of time possible,” says Smith. “After considering many options, it quickly became clear that working with David Shultz and John Sloss was the most innovative and exciting way to release this film. “ Shultz heads up distribution at Vitagraph and Sloss is founder of Cinetic Rights Management which operates FilmBuff.

"When the film premiered at Toronto, audiences demanded that it be released as soon as possible, and as widely as possible. As big fans of Chris and this film, we immediately felt the best way to share such a timely and topical work, was through video-on-demand," says FilmBuff's Matt Dentler.

"Vitagraph Films has chosen to be involved with the day and date theatrical and VOD release of Chris Smith's COLLAPSE because it's part of the new frontier of documentaries that are extremely time sensitive and their strength of their impact on society is in the here and now," said Vitagraph Head of Distribution David Shultz and President of Marketing and Publicity Margot Gerber.

The deal was negotiated by Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers.

Smith is an accomplished filmmaker whose previous films include American Job (1996, Sundance Film Festival), American Movie (1999, Grand Jury Prize Sundance Film Festival, Sony Pictures Classics), Home Movie (2001, Sundance Film Festival), The Yes Men (2004, United Artists) and most recently The Pool (2008), which was also released by Vitagraph Films, LLC. The Pool won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and was selected as one of the Top 25 Films of 2008 by the Museum of Modern Art.

Kinosmith is releasing the film in November in Canada on the heels of the US release.

About Vitagraph Films
Established in 1999, Vitagraph Films is primarily a theatrical releasing entity with a mandate to domestically distribute rare and unique film programming to theatrical exhibitors. David Shultz and Margot Gerber are the principals who established Vitagraph, with David Shultz heading up distribution and Margot Gerber helming the marketing and publicity for the company. Most recently, Vitagraph worked on theatrical release campaigns for the current documentary hit VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR, TOKYO!, THE POOL, JCVD and 2009 Academy Award and Golden Globe foreign film nominee THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, which is currently in distribution.

About FilmBuff and Cinetic Rights Management (CRM) FilmBuff is a VOD channel programmed and operated by Cinetic Rights Management (CRM). Formed in 2007 by Cinetic Media partners John Sloss and Robert Nathan, CRM provides comprehensive film sales representation for digital media. Cinetic has become the industry gold standard through aggressive sales and innovative deal making. That reputation now extends to digital platforms through CRM. CRM is dedicated to assessing the universe of licensing opportunities in order to maximize revenue on behalf of filmmakers. CRM maintains up-to-the-minute relationships with and knowledge of all digital retailers, from the large portals serving the broadest audiences to the small sites serving deep niche interests. CRM provides clients with a fully-integrated digital rights management service including: pioneering sales negotiation and strategy, digital encoding logistics, committed grassroots marketing; and collated accounting and reporting relationships with and knowledge of all digital retailers, from the large portals serving the broadest audiences to the small sites serving deep niche interests. CRM provides clients with a fully-integrated digital rights management service including: pioneering sales negotiation and strategy, digital encoding logistics, committed grassroots marketing; and collated accounting and reporting.

Chris Smith's "CoLLapse" Coming Soon


businessman said...

Congratulations on your film deal, MCR! This is great as it will allow the maximum number of people to see your movie in the shortest amount of time. And lord knows we need to get your message out to as many people as we can very quickly.

Sebastian Ronin said...

Terrific, MCR! There is never any looking back.

For what lies in store for all of us, I twig on an analogy of Apollo 13 (of "Houston, we have a problem" fame). The manually controlled re-entry had to be right on the money. One degree over here, and bounced off into space for all time. One degree over there, and fried to a crisp.

We have one, narrow shot and one shot only. But we do have a shot. This is the hand we have been dealt...so play it.

unrepentantcowboy said...

Congratulations Mike. I understand completely the timely nature of you work. Doesn't do much good to issue warnings after the fact. So you do what you must to get the thing out the door, profit motive be damned.

VOD, I assume, means video on demand?

Might that be the same as par per view?

I'm not well versed on modern technology and the lingo used to describe it.

One thing for certain--I am extremely anxious to see this film.

Don Henry Ford Jr.

RanD said...

re businessman's 1:25 comment(s): ditto.

John Kelty said...

Why isn't there a trailer yet? The movie's finished, how hard can it be to make a trailer?

I'd love to "spread the word" and help promote this film, but sending reviews/descriptions (text), especially to those who know nothing of peak oil and/or MCR, does more to kill interest in today's YouTube world. Most people just don't have the patience.

gamedog said...

Trafigura drops bid to gag Guardian over MP's question


"Farrelly is asking Jack Straw, the justice secretary, about the implications for press freedom of a high court injunction obtained on 11 September 2009 by Trafigura "on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura".

The Guardian is still forbidden by the terms of the existing injunction, granted by a vacation duty judge, Mr Justice Maddison, to give further information about the Minton report, or its contents. Last month, Trafigura agreed to pay more than £30m in compensation and legal costs to 30,000 inhabitants of Abidjan in Ivory Coast, for "flu-like symptoms" they might have suffered following the dumping. The oil traders continue to deny that the waste could have caused serious or fatal injuries."

In this twisted world, the outrage is about freedom of the press, rather than the thousands of people who's health suffered from illegal toxic waste dumping.

v said...

Amazing news! It's time this movie get's out and viewed by as many people as possible.

How about a Europe release?

International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 19 / 29 november 2009

You can mail them in English: info@idfa.nl

Good luck with the movie and keep the spirit Mike!!



OrwellianUK said...


Can Jenna or anyone else help me?

I am trying to find an article from FTW, January 2001 entitled 'Empire' in which Mike details that the Bush Administration was basically a 'War Cabinet' and that conflict was coming.

The article is mentioned on page 573, 2nd from last paragraph in 'Rubicon' but there is no URL and I have been unable to find it by searching FTW's archives.

Does anyone have the link? Does the article exist online? I am writing an 'Essay' of sorts and want to use the article as a reference in a footnote as part of an explanation that the conflicts in the Middle East and Central Asia were planned due to Elite awareness of Peak Oil.

Grateful for anyone's help,


OrwellianUK said...

I second you on the lack of a trailer John.

Is there any development on how I can get to see the film in the UK?

Any video media will do. I'll watch it on my iphone if necessary!

OrwellianUK said...

Just found this article:

Solar Power, Collapse Movie Gets it Wrong

Refutations welcome.

Dave Crossland said...

Will Mike be attending any of the film screenings?

Brendan Carmody said...

Congrats on the film!

Here is a great news documentary on the Australian program "4 Corners "on the "clean cole" debacle, great play on were it started and were we stand today.

Title "The Cole Nightmare" 45 min


Sean Niem said...

Re: Solar Power, Collapse Movie Gets it Wrong

Nate Lew says: "Solar, which delivers energy without pollution, is a racehorse hampered by having its legs tied"

More like a pony...

eyeballs said...

RE: Solar Power, Collapse Movie Gets it Wrong

Sean, you got it right. Solar power is a great idea, but as racehorses go, it's a pony, and a colt, at that.

If solar power increased by 100% this year, it would account for just 2% of world energy demand. If somehow it could do that year after year (4% in 2010, 8% in 2011) it would provide 100% of world demand in 6 or 7 years. Even if that were somehow possible, imagine the amount of oil it would take to mine, smelt and form the metals, manufacture the silicon wafers, assemble the equipment, transport it and finally install enough panels to run the world's cars and factories, heat and cool the world's homes and fly the world's airplanes. By about year 5, most of the world's oil would be used for making solar panels.

It's not true that solar can't replace oil for transportation, but imagine the oil it would take to create a billion personal vehicles that all ran on electricity. Imagine the number of batteries needed. Currently, the old lead batteries are being replaced by lithium, but google the latter to see what a miniscule supply of lithium there is in the world.

R&D is desperately needed in such technologies as algae biofuel and solar power. New materials and techniques could bring down the EROEI considerably. But while we're waiting for the money to be appropriated, the academics to be trained and set at their tasks and the miracles to begin popping, oil (50% of the world's energy) is projected to deplete at 4-9% per year.

If some kind of science-capable civilization can hang together for another decade or two, a number of miracles might emerge. But there are gonna be some hard times between then and now. Just the short-term decline in available energy itself is enough to trigger resource wars, domestic authoritarianism and involuntary culture change leading to mass discontent.

The article takes on MCR for expecting industrial civilization to collapse. Seems obvious to me that it will. But a scary question remains: If it doesn't, if it continues mining and clearcutting and industrial fishing and whaling and crushing indigenous socieities and poisoning the rivers ... is this something to celebrate?

Mother Nature's givin us a "time out". Maybe if we learn our lessons and say we're sorry, she'll let us come out and play again.

MCR said...

ORWELLIAN UK -- That was one of the most prescient articles I ever wrote. Thanks for remembering it. I have a paper version and I believe that if you go to http://www.copvica.com you'll be able to find it in the Jan 2001 newsletter. Sorry, but I have my hands full at the moment. It's around though.

I remember writing something like: The Secretary of State (Powell) is a former Chariman of the Joint Chief. The Vice President is a former Scretary of Defense, etc.

This is a war cabinet and that's where we're going for certain.



MCR said...

ATTENDING SCREENINGS -- Although it's fairly certain that my financial difficulties will be over soon, maybe permanently, I'm still personally broke. So going to any screenings isn't possible yet. I'm just figuring out how to make November rent when the time comes. I probably won't see any incoime till around Christmastime is my guess.

What is so amazing is that Bluemark is an Indie film company who did this on their on their own nickle with no backing. I was surprised and thrilled to learn about Vitagraph yesterday. I'm tickled pink they're involved in this. We just have to see what shakes out.


OrwellianUK said...


'EMPIRE' January 2001

I have been unable to find the actual article - only an excerpt from it in another article "It's a Lie" from October 15th 2001.

Perhaps it was lost at some point when FTW's computers were hacked and smashed? I searched the web on an exact phrase from the excerpt and only the quoting article came up.

In any case, if anyone has an archive of it somewhere I would be very grateful.

I am only aware of the existence of it from its brief mention in Rubicon, and was hoping to use it to bolster an argument that the Post 9/11 wars were planned beforehand and that the intentions of the Bush Administration were obvious.

A friend of mine will certainly remember it, if I can get hold of him, as he was a subscriber from early on.


Paul de Burgh-Day said...

Can't wait to see Collapse!
When and how do I see it in Australia?
Cannot use VOD where I live.
Any DVD plans?
Any download sites?

You are a remarkable man Mike!
I've been inspired by you since 2001.