Johnny Robinson

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Public Screenings for The Heart of Tango

The Heart Of tango is being submitted to film festivals and that will be the prime public venue for the movie for a couple of years.

There has also been a lot of interest by tango organizers who would like to screen The Heart Of Tango as part of a workshop, milonga or other tango event. I am heartened by the sentiment that this movie is a good introduction to the public of argentine tango.

I am often agreeable to give written permission for my film to be shown publicly at a tango event. My goal is to make it possible, while participating on a level that is on par with other participants in the event. If everyone involved is donating, then I can too. If there is a little money being gained then I want a little, the there is a lot, then I want my share. The film must be presented in the way it deserves to be shown.

It is important to me that everyone involved understands that this requires written permission from myself or from Colette Herbet, whenever it happens. Any unauthorized public showing is a violation of law regardless of whether admission is charged.

I may deny permission if I am not satisfied with the event, or if it might create competition to a film festival screening. However my goal is for the film to be seen.

General Information about film distribution and exhibition.

DVDs are sold with a license for viewing attached to them. Most DVD sales, including the sales of The Heart Of Tango, are for home viewing only. Screenings in which the general public are invited, either for pay or for free, require either a broader license, or special permission.

If people were permitted to pay $20.00 for a film and then show it in a theatre charging admission, or as part of a workshop where participants pay, then the filmmaker is excluded from profit that the film is earning. Even if a public screening is free, then it can eliminate a potential market by giving away what the filmmaker should be able to sell. Also, association with the reputation of the film may contribute to advertising an event. That advertising draw has value. Certainly screenings expose a film and promotes it, however that is the case with any screening, including paid commercial ones, so exposure cannot be considered in leu of payment.

Licenses for public viewing DVDs generally start at $170.00 - $300.00 for non profit institutions and go up form there. My documentary Visual Lyrics sales to educational institutions for $180.00 per disk. A contract for special permission usually limits show dates and includes a percentage of admission sales.

How to gain permission to screen The Heart Of Tango.

How the movie is presented is important to me. In every case, I would want assurance that the movie be projected with good image quality and adequately amplified. It cannot be played on a TV stand or computer. It must be in a darkened room with the audience seated and no competing events through the duration of the movie. Also, in every case, I would want a verbal announcement that the film was shown with permission, and that it is available on the web site

The first step to get permission is for you to send me a clear description of the event. Please provide:

  • --The responsible party's name and full contact information.
  • --The name of the venue where the film would be shown with the specific address.
  • --The date of the event.
  • --The seating capacity.
  • --Admissions. What is the charge for attendance? Will it be free or bundled with a wider event admission fee.
  • --What type of event is it? What else will be happening in connection?
  • --What advertising will be done and will The Heart Of Tango be featured in it?

Once all that information is stated then it's pretty easy to reach an agreement. I will provide advertising text and pictures. Any agreement will ask that I be given an account after the event of how it went. I also will want samples of advertising that was used.

-- Johnny Robinson

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