Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Legend of Pancho Barnes / March, 2010


Last Thursday we screened
The Legend of Pancho Barnes in Pancho's home town of Pasadena, California not once, but twice.  What a terrific experience!  Our matinee showing was introduced by astronaut and U.S. Air Force Major General William Anders, a man who orbited the moon, and things just got better from that point onward.  During our reception at Vroman's Bookstore two of the stars of our film, Michael Patris and Lou D'Elia, gave presentations.  Michael showed a wonderful video of historic footage of the Mt. Lowe Railway, and Lou and partner Mike Salazar wowed the audience with some of the items in their Pancho Barnes collection.  Also attending were our composers Nathan Wang and Knox Summerour, who debuted a soundtrack CD at the event, and Buzz Aldrin's daughter Jan who gave the film high marks.  The whole shebang benefited the KOCE-TV Foundation and two other non-profits we admire, Heritage Square and the Pasadena Museum of History.  What a great evening, thanks to everyone who made it happen -- including Ardis Wilwerth of Pasadena Museum of History, Brian Sheridan and Mitzi Mogul of Heritage Square, their staffs, the staff at Vroman's, and our good friends Patrice and Steve Demory -- and to everyone who attended.


Now for the BIG NEWS I promised you back in February.  First, our PBS station here in Los Angeles / Orange County KOCE-TV will be premiering Pancho on April 15 at 8 p.m., with a second screening the week following.  (Yes I know the 15th is tax day, but here's a reason to get yours in early!)   Second, KOCE-TV station manager Ed Miskevich and I submitted the show for distribution through American Public Television, one of the premiere public TV distributors in the nation.  Guess what?  Our show was not only accepted by APT, but accepted overwhelmingly.  As a result over 100 public television stations will air the doc, and Pancho will be bouncing off satellites from one end of North America to the other.  I'm told we'll reach over 70% of the households in the United States, so clearly The Legend of Pancho Barnes is going to be seen by millions. 

We're thrilled by the news, not only because it means that Pancho's story will be seen and appreciated, but because airing the film in this way represents the fulfillment of the goal we set over five years ago when we first began working on the project.  Those of you who gave money, time, materials and your energy to this project, and who believed the story must be told, share in the achievement.  Take a bow everyone! 

I'll try to put a full list of all the stations we'll be airing on, on our website in weeks to come.  You will need to check your local listings for exact time and date information, but I'm told most will air it in April and May.  Want to make sure your local public television station shows Pancho?  Call your station and tell them you want them to grab it off the sat feed.


Last month we were excited to announce that we'd gotten the film into it's third film festival.  This month we can say we're ecstatic that it's gotten into number six.  One of these, the Big Muddy Festival in Illinois, has already come and gone.  But the other two are coming up, along with the San Luis Obispo Film Festival (March 13 & 14th -- see our webpage for more information).  The two new festivals are the Los Angeles Int'l Women's Film Festival (March 30th) and the San Francisco Women's Film Festival (April 4th).  If you sense a trend, you're not alone.  It simply makes sense that a film directed by an outstanding woman, and about an ill-behaved woman who made history, should be embraced by these festivals.  Hope to see you at one, two or all three of these screenings.  See our webpage under "Screenings" for more details.


We'll also be showing the film at Sun N Fun in Lakeland, Florida on April 17th.  For those of you who don't know, this is one of the nation's premiere air shows.  After our experience at the Arlington Air Show last year, where over 600 people saw the film in an open-air theater, we're really looking forward to this one.  Details will be on our website soon, or visit http://www.sun-n-fun.org/ for more info on the air show.


"A Pancho Connection Brings Tears"


Every now and then something really noteworthy, and unexpected, happens as a result of the film.  It could be like the other day, when Amanda Pope and I went to present the film at Northrop Grumman's facility in El Segundo, California.  Much to our delight, we discovered that Northrop Grumman had invited a group of high school students from the Da Vinci School to attend the event.  Not only that, but NG honcho Scott Sommer had challenged the students to produce short films inspired by Pancho's life story.  The results were terrific, and we were able to turn our presentation into a learning experience not only about Pancho, but about the process of filmmaking.  What a satisfying turn of events!

A few months ago I had another experience worth sharing.  It all started with a photo of Pancho in the collection of the Pancho Barnes Trust Estate that shows Pancho sitting on the wing of a crop duster at her airport...  READ MORE BY VISITING OUR WEBPAGE CLICK HERE

The name, image and likeness of "Pancho Barnes", as well as the "Happy Bottom Riding Club" are trademarks of Pancho Barnes Enterprises, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  "The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club" is copyright by Nick Spark Productions LLC.  Made in affiliation with KOCE-TV, PBS of Orange County, California.

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Nick T. Spark
Los Angeles


1 comment:

Clint said...

I was living on Pancho Barnes Ranch at the time it burned. I was nine years old at that time.
Clint Moore : cam1944@gmail.com