by Travis Mateer
I began this final month of 2021 excited at the prospect of showing off a final cut of Engen’s Missoula just a few blocks from where the Missoulian building WILL eventually be transformed into condo towers, but that is sadly not going to happen.
Despite signing an agreement on December 1st to rent the Roxy’s largest theater, I received the following email on December 3rd about “over booking”.
There are a couple important things to note about this email. First, it came late in the day on a Friday, so I was unable to speak with anyone on the phone until Monday. Second, there is NO OFFER to find me another date.
By the time I finally spoke with the Rental Coordinator on Monday, it was obvious there had been some additional thought given to the justification for cancelling me. Not only did they “accidentally” over book the theater, but I was also accused of PROMOTING the viewing!
You see, I had ordered printed invitations, and I referred to these invitations as “marketing materials” in my email response. The problem, it was explained to me, is that the use of promotional materials magically transforms the event from a PRIVATE showing to a PUBLIC one, and that’s a big no-no.
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have paid the extra $50 bucks to put ENGEN’S MISSOULA on the marquis for the day. That might have tipped off the establishment of my plans. What a rookie mistake!
Since I’m a big fan of providing educational opportunities, I’m sharing my mistake for any future documentary makers intent on exposing local corruption in their own backyard.
When I finally got on the phone with Mike Steinberg, the head honcho at the Roxy, I educated him about my other attempt to secure a venue. Mike didn’t see how that related to our issue. Maybe that’s because Mike is still adjusting to a smaller market since proudly claiming to have been fired from Hollywood.
Yep, Mike got to use the popular TELL US SOMETHING platform to share his enthralling tales. Here’s a little more context from the bio:
Mike Steinberg became a film director after studying film at Webster University, where he oversaw the Webster Film Series for 10 years. He moved to Montana and was the director of the acclaimed Big Sky Documentary Film Festival before deciding to lovingly re-invent the Roxy Theater as a place that inspires educates and engages diverse audiences with incredible programming.
I bolded the EDUCATES part because that SHOULD BE a shared value between Mike and I. Like I said, I’m ALL ABOUT educating people.
For example, Mike probably doesn’t know this, but TELL US SOMETHING started off as Missoula Moth, hosted by 4&20 Blackbird contributor, Patrick Duganz.
Such a small town! And, to further emphasize that point, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to me at the ZACC. And yet, despite that proximity, I haven’t had a chance to ask them about whether or not Mike’s departure was amicable.
I guess I’m just too busy trying to find another venue with enough guts to show something critical of our emperor and his enablers.
Thanks for reading!