Michelle Satter Tributes Indie Film Booster Jane alsobrook

Beloved for her warmth and generosity, alsobrook has used her marketing acumen to support the original Sundance and the independent films she loves.

The indie film community lost one of its own last month, Jane alsobrook. Her best friend, Michelle Satter, Founding Senior Director, Sundance The Institute’s artist programs sent us a tribute, with contributions from husband alsobrook, actor and writer Gerard Maguire, and IndieWire collaborator Sydney Levine.

Jane alsobrook, a pioneering film executive, producer, mentor and breast cancer activist, passed away at her home in Sedona, Arizona, on Monday, December 13, 2021, of her grief. condolences to her family, friends, and industry colleagues, who recognize her remarkable contributions to the world of independent cinema.

Jane played a key role in founding the Sundance Institute. In early February 1981, I met Jane, Larry Jackson, Jeff Dowd, and several others at brunch in Los Angeles. We were the Advisory Committee tasked with planning a weekend meeting during the launch of the Sundance Institute’s first Filmmakers Lab. At the Conference, titled “The Distribution, Marketing, and the Specialty Film Show of the 1980s,” film marketers, distributors and exhibitors shared essential information about the state of the industry and sought partnership opportunities.

After that late breakfast, Jeff called, “In June, are you free to come join us at Robert Redford’s ranch in Utah to support the filmmakers and help us organize this convention? ” I’m living in Boston with a job and a boyfriend, but my immediate answer is: “Yes, I won’t miss it!” With that calling, I began my longstanding commitment to the Sundance Institute, assisting Redford in the design of the Laboratory and in the many ways in which we advance the development of independent voices and leaders. Visionary filmmaking.

A few months later, I boarded a plane to Utah, with Jane two weeks later. And when I moved to LA after my first Filmmaking Lab in June, Jane treated me like a friend and mentor, with generosity and kindness, and made me feel at home. We shared long lunches at Mustache Cafe in Westwood, dreaming together, talking, laughing and planning a future inspired by Redford’s vision and commitment. Jane continued her work on the Advisory Committee to follow up ideas from the conference, including publishing the acclaimed book by David Rosen and Peter Hamilton, “Off Hollywood: The Making and Marketing of Specialty Films.” .

Lab Director Creative Advisor - L to R, Catherine Hardwicke, Glenn Close, Randa Haines, Michelle Satter, Robert Redford, Stephen Goldblatt, Barbara Tulliver, Gyula Gazdag, Lee Percy, Joan Darling, Joan Tewkesbury.

Lab Director Creative Advisor – L to R, Catherine Hardwicke, Glenn Close, Randa Haines, Michelle Satter, Robert Redford, Stephen Goldblatt, Barbara Tulliver, Gyula Gazdag, Lee Percy, Joan Darling, Joan Tewkesbury.

© 2016 Sundance Institute, Photo by Carlos Garza

Always modest about her track record as a marketing executive, Jane is a pioneer in independent film marketing. She wants the movies she promotes to bring audiences joy when experiencing cinema. Many of the films Jane has worked on have exceeded box office expectations; Jane’s strategies and tactics are key lessons learned for others in growing the indie film business.

For many years, Jane was an enthusiastic participant in the Sundance Film Festival. I cherish the times we sat together in the Festival theaters and discovered exciting films by potential filmmakers. For Jane, Sundance was a time to be part of a growing community of artists and industries. Over the years, Jane has introduced many artists to the industry and is always looking for opportunities to bring people together.

Jane’s involvement with cinema began in 1971 while she was in graduate school at USC. Her academic career lost its appeal when she was recruited to help organize the Los Angeles Film Show, known as Filmex. She quickly became an important creative member of what became known as the “New Hollywood,” a group that included Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Brian De Palma, Robert Altman, and George Lucas.


Sundance Film Festival

Michael Buckner / Various

While working for indie singer Roger Corman, Jane did marketing for Spike Lee’s “School Daze” and oversaw the 1975 Academy Awards campaign for Fellini’s “Amarcord,” which resulted in four nominations and Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 1975, Jane turned to Music at ABC Records as Country Publicity Director promoting such legends as Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Pointer Sisters, Steely Dan and Chaka Khan.

Jane entered the world of film studios in the 1980s, when she ran Twentieth Century Fox Classics, which acquired “eat Raoul,” “The Gods Must Be Crazy,” “Reuben, Reuben,” and “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders.” from Mars.” When Fox closed that division, she teamed up with close friend Charles Lippincott in a marketing agency. This is a productive period for Jane: she is the unit publisher on “The Miner’s Daughter,” “The Black Stallion Returns” and “Creepshow,” where she works alongside Steven King. . Her music industry connections proved invaluable when she was responsible for bringing The Ramones to “Rock and Roll High School.”

She returned to the major studios when she was recruited by David Puttnam at Columbia Pictures as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Distribution, where she led the Academy Awards campaign for “The Last Emperor” took home 9 Oscars, including Best Picture. After Columbia ousted Puttnam, Jane joined Greg Coote as Island Pictures’ President of Marketing.

Sadly, her long battle with breast cancer began in 1992. During her healing, she helped found LABC, a Los Angeles-based activist group dedicated to education, support, and empowerment. women, raise public awareness, and fund breast cancer research. In 1994, she was the head of the coalition women’s delegation that met Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta at the White House, with more than $200 million allocated for cancer research in women, drawn from the military budget. .

blair witch project

Original “The Blair Witch Project.”

Artisan Entertainment

Jane has completed her treatments and is back to an active life. In 1994, she moved with her husband Gerard Maguire to his native Australia, captivated by the beauty of wildlife and the natural world. She quickly accepted an offer to run the distribution, marketing and acquisition operations for the Becker Corporation. Her ability to select commercial, quality films in the highly competitive world of independent acquisitions led to their acquisition of “Emma,” “Brassing Off,” “Scream,” and her breakout film. Cate Blanchett “Thank God HE Met Lizzie.” At the Sundance Film Festival, she heard young women talking in the street about a documentary that terrified them. Without seeing the film, she brought a DVD back to Australia to watch it. On the advice of someone at Becker, she bought the “Blair Witch Project.”

During her six years in Australia, Jane honed her entrepreneurial abilities. She fosters talent, eager to share her knowledge of marketing and emphasizes the importance of honesty and fair treatment, something she was taught by her entrepreneur father.

The events of 9/11 brought her back to America in late 2001. She wanted to be near her elderly mother in Sedona, and watch her niece and nephew grow up. Film veteran Ira Deutchman introduced Jane to filmmaker Amy Waddell, who cast her as a co-producer of the movie “Brothel,” which was filmed in the nearby ghost town of Jerome.

Unfortunately, the threat of cancer is never far away. In 2010, the cancer returned. Like a seasoned boxer, she’s done the multi-round challenge of tough therapy with energy and focus. But a decade later, on December 13, 2021, cancer overwhelmed her and she died in her husband’s arms, with brother Allen, niece Isabella and grandson Forrest at her bedside. She is 78 years old.

“As impressive as Jane’s career in the movies is,” writes Maguire, “it is her warmth and wisdom that makes her endearing to everyone she meets. As news of her passing spread, the common theme of the memorials was the radiance of the light that seemed to radiate from her. She was much loved and heartbroken. “

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/01/michelle-satter-tribute-jane-alsobrook-independent-film-1234690901/ Michelle Satter Tributes Indie Film Booster Jane alsobrook


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