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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

First Run Features folded into Icarus Films

The company lives, but a familiar micro-distribution label disappears: “FIRST RUN/ICARUS FILMS BECOMING ICARUS FILMS.” Seymour Wishman, President of First Run Features, and Jonathan Miller, President of First Run/Icarus Films, announced today FRF-logo2.gifthat First Run Features has sold its interest in First Run/Icarus Films back to the company. The result of this transaction is that First Run/Icarus Films is now wholly owned by Jonathan Miller, who will continue as President of the company. Additionally, First Run/Icarus Films will change its name to Icarus Films, as of June 1, 2008.
First Run/Icarus Films was formed in 1987 when Icarus Films (founded in 1978) and First Run Features merged their non-theatrical divisions to create a new company to serve the non-theatrical marketplace.Founded in 1979, First Run Features is a leading distributor of fiction and documentary films, with a library of approximately 450 titles. First Run releases between 10 and 15 films annually in theatres, and around 50 new films per year on DVD. Recent releases have included Michael Apted’s 49 UP, Daniel Karslake’s FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO and Oren Jacoby’s CONSTANTINE’S SWORD.

First Run Features will continue its distribution in the theatrical, home video, and television markets, and also offer many of its titles to the non-theatrical market through Icarus Films. In the coming months it will announce plans to offer a select number of its titles directly to the non-theatrical market exclusively through a new division of First Run Features. Its website is
First Run/Icarus Films is a leading distributor of documentary films in North America, with a library of almost 900 titles and releasing approximately 50 new documentary films each year. Recent releases have included I FOR INDIA (directed by Sandhya Suri), and FOREVER (directed by Heddy Honigmann). Upcoming is Nina Davenport’s OPERATION FILMMAKER, opening at the IFC Center in New York on June 4th.
First Run/Icarus Films will be doing business as Icarus Films as of June 1st, and will soon be announcing plans for new theatrical, non-theatrical, home video and digital releases and initiatives. Its website

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon