The critically-acclaimed drama I WILL FOLLOW hailed by Roger Ebert as “one of the best films I’ve seen about the loss of a loved one,” tallied the third highest reported grosses among the weekend’s ten new independent specialty releases with a $11,428 per screen average. The film was distributed on five screens in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Seattle by the new African-American film distribution collective, AFFRM, in concert with AMC Independent. Chronicling a day in the life of a black woman at a personal crossroads, I WILL FOLLOW doubled the reported per-screen average of the sole studio offering with an African-American cast this year to date, “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.”
AFFRM will capitalize on the success of the film’s opening weekend with an aggressive expansion from five screens in five cities to 22 screens in 15 cities beginning Friday, March 18. The additional cities include Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Charlotte and Jersey City. The initial five markets will continue into second week.
“The success of AFFRM’s first theatrical release is a victory for those who believe in the necessity of diverse cinematic images,” explained I WILL FOLLOW director and AFFRM founder Ava DuVernay. “I WILL FOLLOW marks the first-ever simultaneous national theatrical release by grassroots organizations, and I’m proud to stand with our partners at BronzeLens in Atlanta, Imagenation and Urbanworld in New York, ReelBlack in Philadelphia and Langston Hughes African-American Film Festival in Seattle as we celebrate this milestone in black film.”
An official selection of AFI Fest and Chicago International Film Festival and winner of Urbanworld, Pan-African and BronzeLens Film Festivals, I WILL FOLLOW stars Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Omari Hardwick, Michole White and Dijon Talton, with Blair Underwood and Beverly Todd. In addition to a “thumbs up” from Roger Ebert, the film has garnered praise from critics at Village Voice, LA Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Philadelphia Inquirer, Seattle Times, BET, New York Daily News, Harlem World Magazine and more.
Check out the interview with I WILL FOLLOW, director Ava DuVernay and Harlem’s Moikgantsi Kgama, founder, president & executive director of the Imagenation Film Festival on HW Radio Show March 8th, 2011.