Booksellers on the East and West coasts are holding screenings for Indies Under Fire: The Battle for the American Bookstore, an award-winning documentary film about the struggles of independent booksellers in California's Bay Area. In November, screenings are scheduled for Frostburg, Maryland, and Berkeley, California, and the film has been included in a number of film festivals.
The Maryland premiere of Indies Under Fire, which is directed and co-produced by Jacob Bricca, will take place on November 2 at Main Street Books in downtown Frostburg. A discussion will follow the free screening, which is co-sponsored by the Palace Theatre of Frostburg.
On November 30, Black Oak Books in Berkeley will screen the film, followed by a panel discussion featuring Bricca and local booksellers.
Indies Under Fire had its Bay Area premiere on September 30 in Menlo Park as part of the one-year anniversary party marking the reopening of Kepler's, and the film and event received coverage in the local newspaper Palo Alto Weekly.
Over 130 people attended the Menlo Park screening, according to the film's co-producer Jonathan Crosby. "One of the co-owners of Printers Inc. [Susan MacDonald] was there and said she was glad that the film had captured some of what the store was about," Crosby told BTW. "She said that she would show the film to her grandchildren to show them what she did with her life for 20 years."
Crosby noted that the screening sparked a spirited conversation among members of the audience, which also included Andy Ross of Cody's Books, Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Executive Director Hut Landon, and Clark Kepler of Kepler's.
On September 30, Indies Under Fire won recognition as "Best New England Film," honoring a documentary by a New England filmmaker, at its East Coast premiere at the 2006 Newburyport Documentary Film Festival near Boston.
Distribution of the film, which is available on DVD, is two pronged: "First, it's represented by Filmakers Library, a top distributor to libraries and universities," Bricca explained. "But we've retained rights to self-distribute the film to other markets, and we're going about this primarily through independent bookstores. Several indies already stock the film, and we'd love to hear from others who are interested. We offer wholesale pricing and full value for returns."