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“TOE TO TOE” writer-director, Emily Abt

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Friday, Jan. 16, 3:15 pm — Eccles Theatre, Park City]

My filmmaking process wasn’t greatly influenced by changing distribution methods. I don’t want to bend toward trends that dictate that a filmmaker’s work be shorter, faster or sexier to watch on an iPod. I’m more than happy to create Web-friendly content for paying clients, but the films that I sink years into developing are not intended to be glanced at during a subway ride by a multitasking teenager. If those are the only eyeballs I can get then I’ll take them but I want audiences to loose/see themselves in the stories I create, and the best place for that to happen is, call me old-fashioned, in a theater.

My stories are mostly inspired by social problems that I find upsetting and want to explore. When I get into the grind of creating these stories, I fall in love with my characters and they drag me through the process against my better judgment. That’s what films are to me — something I enjoy creating so much that I don’t worry about what will happen to them when they’re completed. I’m sure I should think more about innovative distribution strategies when I’m developing a project but my “if you built it, they will come” approach, not the business side of things, is what keeps me amped in those baby stages. I figure that if I put my guts on the page and make that story so good that it drips, a bunch of folks will eventually want to see the film that brings those words to life.

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