Hard to believe that a year and a half -- and now a Spirit Award nomination -- after its debut our good pal Keven McAlester still doesn't have distribution for his Roky Erickson documentary You're Gonna Miss Me. But that should all change come Thursday, Keven says. He has a conference call with the producer's rep who's negotiating the movie's sale and the likely distributor, and, Keven says, "the deal should theoretically be closed by the end of the week." And while he doesn't say with whom the deal will be made -- wouldn't expect him to, frankly -- he does say it will be a deal involving a national theatrical run.
"I'm totally thrilled," says Keven, who just returned from screening the movie at a film festival in Marfa. "It's definitely worth the wait."
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Since You're Gonna Miss Me's debut at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March 2005, there have been several suitors, but no deal ever took.
That's not entirely surprising: Even though it's a stunning movie -- a heartbreaker with a happy ending, or at least a hopeful one -- plenty of great indie movies come out of film festivals with rave reviews in one hand and broken promises in the other. As Kevin reminds, even great, celebrated docs such as Spellbound and Mad Hot Ballroom took months and even as long as a year to find someone to love them.
"There was no point where we were gonna close the next day and it fell through," Keven says. "But it's been so long and grueling a process that, frankly, I don't remember most of it. I figured it would get distribution at some point, somehow, mostly because of who Roky is. The only reason I am surprised it's taken so long is because I've never been thorugh it before."
Check back Thursday, when Keven tells us who's gonna put his movie in theaters. --Robert Wilonsky