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Flirting With Oscar - December 26, 2023

Dear Friends,

We are officially running for the Oscars. My Love Affair With Marriage by Signe Baumane is one of 33 films that has qualified for The Academy Awards in the Best Animated Feature category and it’s the ONLY one written AND directed by a woman.

The voting starts on January 11th and ends January 16th. Nominations are announced January 23rd. We are well aware of the impossibility of an independent film running against big studio productions, but we feel we owe it to you, our backers, and to all independent animators with big dreams. Dreams may not always come true, but they can make you see the possibilities and inspire action.

My Love Affair With Marriage is also running in two categories for the Annie Awards (important animation awards) in Los Angeles: Best Independent Animated Feature and Best Original Song. The Annie nominations are announced on January 11th.

More good news: the My Love Affair With Marriage soundtrack composed by the very talented Kristian Sensini is out on Spotify! The soundtrack includes Kristian’s Oscar-contending score of the film along with all 24 songs (lyrics by Signe Baumane), including Lion / My Love Affair With Marriage, the Oscar and Annie-contending end-credits song. The Spotify album link is HERE.

To set this all in motion, we had to maximize the film’s visibility in the United States. We signed on with the distributor 8 Above which specializes in Event Cinema. We worked for months with the 8 Above Team -  Team Manager Jon Reiss, Booker Cindy Banach, Impact Producer Nora Poggi, Publicist Sasha Berman, social media advisor Dor Dotson, and super-assistant Lisa Deluc - planning a multi-city, Oscar qualifying tour of the film around the United States.

On October 6th My Love Affair With Marriage had its theatrical premiere at Quad Cinema in New York City where it screened four times a day for a week, officially qualifying it for the Oscars. The premiere received additional press including a Critic’s Pick in The New York Times. Industry publications such as Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and IndieWire followed suit with their own positive reviews and feature stories.

After the New York run, the Team sent Signe and U.S. Producer Sturgis Warner off on the film’s tour around the United States starting with the West Coast premiere at Laemmle Glendale in Los Angeles.

Tour statistics:

37 days

20 cities visited

14 other cities where the film screened

43 Q&As

22 partnering organizations that joined the Q&As

119 original drawings given away at audience quizzes during Q&As

Clockwise from top left: Pittsburgh PA, Cincinnati OH, Seattle WA, Reading PA, Camas WA

Watching the film with audiences was thrilling. Most of the cinemas had state-of-the-art sound systems elevating the film’s surround soundtrack of 24 songs, 2 voiceovers and 30 speaking and singing characters. The projections in 4K were spectacular. Audiences were enthralled, especially because they could laugh and cry together, and talk about it afterwards. We loved experiencing the different cinemas around the country, each of them unique and precious.

Top: Mamaroneck NY, Chicago IL, San Francisco, CA.

Bottom: Chatham NY, Boston MA, St. Louis MO

In an Event-based release, Q&As are an essential part of each screening. Signe’s goal in making the film was to incite conversations, so we partnered with 22 non-profit organizations - women’s support groups, domestic violence awareness/prevention organizations, hotlines, LGBTQ+ groups and more - to talk about the film and its relevancy to the important work they do. Some of the Q&As were electrifying.

Representatives of many of the organizations around the United States

that partnered with My Love Affair With Marriage 

More Tour statistics: 

5 airplanes

8 car rentals

5 motel / hotels (including Signe’s first motel experience)

Many family and friends providing beds, meals and more. Thank you!

We drove whenever we could. Sturgis did all the driving, Signe did all the backseat driving. 

Top: Seattle Airport, California, motel in Greenup IL

Bottom: New Jersey, outside Ithaca NY, home

The Tour elevated the film and a lot happened because of it. The film got great reviews, new followers, new partnerships, new possibilities. It’s now eligible for the Oscars. Excitement on social media is building. There are talks with distributors for online viewing and streaming (stay tuned!). Amazingly, 18 months after premiering at Tribeca Festival in June 2022, conversations around the film continue.

The next cinema screening in New York City will be January 10th, at 7:00 pm at Scandinavia House as part of their Nordic and Baltic Oscar Contender series: 

Please come and bring your friends! We will be there to greet you, introduce the film, give away drawings and answer your questions! It will be an Event.

Merry belated Winter Solstice greetings and LOVE,

Signe, Sturgis and the entire My Love Affair With Marriage Team

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