Vanguard Cinema has picked up the independent film “Searching for Wooden Watermelons” for domestic distribution which will be available for wide release on home video on May 25, 2004. Filmmakers, Wendy English and Bryan Goldsworthy are aiming for this acquisition to mark the shift of home video retailers catering to men 18 – 34 to being open-minded to the nearly non-existent women’s genre. For years, independent film/home video market has been saturated with horror and urban films; distribution has been a persistent problem for independent “chick flicks” without an A-list name, an edgy plot, crazy sex scenes or huge shock value. Therefore, many quality indie female films cannot secure distribution. With women being spenders of six trillion, and being signers of 80% of all checks in the US, it’s bewildering why home video stores and retailers would not want to capitalize on an untapped female market.
“Sofia Coppola’s recent 2004 Academy Award win, set a new historical mark in the Hollywood film industry. In similar fashion, Writer/Producer Wendy English’s ‘Searching For Wooden Watermelons’ demonstrates the stamina, courage, and determination necessary for women in forging new territories of bringing to fruition film projects that may have simply been set aside for consideration in past years, ” says Eric Peterson, Vice President Sales, Vanguard Cinema.
Critics hailed 2002 as the year of the woman with such films as “The Hours,” “Far from Heaven,” “Chicago” and “Frida” – all solid performances from strong leading females. Yet, despite this claim the presence of females behind the camera was clearly lacking. In fact, the films nominated for Oscars were almost null and void of women behind the scenes. Out of the five films nominated for Best Picture there was only one female producer (Fran Walsh, “Lord of the Rings”). Other categories proved to be similar with only one editor (Thelma Schoonmaker, “Gangs of New York”) and one female writer (Nia Vardalas, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”) nominated. There were decidedly no female directors, composers, or cinematographers.
In 2003, the tides are slowly changing for women demonstrated by Sofia Coppola’s win (Best Original Screenplay, “Lost in Translation”), but four of the ten films up for Best Screenplay featured female writers and out of the five films up for Best Picture, four featured female producers. This apparent shift translates to the independent film world which proved to be a banner arena for woman as well. Some of the most talked about films of the year, “Monster,” “Thirteen,” “Whale Rider,” as well as “Lost in Translation” were all helmed by female directors. “Wooden Watermelons” Writer/Producer English and Director Goldsworthy hope that 2004 will be the year that changes the home video market even further for women.
“Searching for Wooden Watermelons” is a universal story about mustering the courage in yourself to follow your dreams regardless of the fear that attempts to hold everyone back. It’s a drama about three generations of women – told with a lot of a southern humor exploring the bond that the women share. It delves into the uncertainty everyone faces in picking a path for their lives and courage it takes to follow our dreams into uncharted territory. This realistic look at life in a small Texas town serves up a myriad of colorful quirky southern characters, but at the core it’s a tale of the triumph of the female spirit.