Logline: Portrait of the legendary New York celebrity and style photographer Rose Hartman, whose sharp eye and sharper attitude have created some of the most iconic pop culture images of her time.
Length: 70 min.
Director: Øtis Mass
Producer: Bob Fisher, with Sally Antonacchio serving as Executive Producer (Sally representing the film at BFF)
About the director and producer: The film is a presentation of The Artists Company, Sally’s storied NYC commercial production company, for which Øtis has directed countless high profile television spots. The Incomparable Rose Hartman marks the first feature for both.
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): At BFF Sally would like to meet talented women filmmakers who also have a temperament for the fast, high-style-and-high-stakes world of commercial production. The Incomparable Rose Hartman is enjoying a fantastic festival run that will end in New York last quarter of 2016, and Sally and the team are in talks with a number of distribution companies.
Funders or production company: The Artists Company presents a Massive Original productionRelease date: last quarter 2016 / first quarter 2017
Why did you make The Incomparable Rose Hartman?
Sally and Øtis met Rose Hartman in the flesh so to speak at a cocktail party in Manhattan celebrating the publication of Rose’s gorgeous coffee table book INCOMPARABLE: Women of Style . There is some debate as to who “made the first move” but the rest as they say is a rich collaboration all around.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
We really hope moms and dads in Bentonville bring their daughters to see our film. It has a relatively short running time of 70 minutes and it will be interesting for them to see that not every older woman is grandma. Rose is a badass!
Why do you think there’s such a continuing fascination with Studio 54 and 1970s celebrity culture in NYC?
We think one of the things our film demonstrates is that even though Rose has taken a lifetime worth of photos, the eras they document took place before the entire culture went digital and when women photographers were outsiders. The fact is, what we think of today as “Studio 54” is deeply informed by Rose’s images.
Why have we had to wait so long for there to be a documentary about Rose Hartman?
Øtis likes to say Rose is the most famous photographer you’ve never heard of, and it’s true. Maybe the answer is that there’s a difference between being an aggressive artist / journalist and being an aggressive self-promoter, and that’s a skill maybe women could work on. It may also be generational. While she’s no shrinking violet, Rose is an observer at heart.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
From the world premiere at SXSW to early reaction out of HotDocs, both audiences and press have embraced Rose and the film. We feel like, at 79 years old, Rose is about to “have a moment.”
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback has been amazing. We knew we had a great story to tell and it is fascinating to watch our film with a live audience and to see and hear their reaction.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
What is amazing about Bentonville is not only its focus on business deals for its filmmakers but also its focus on branding. The fact that our film has been embraced by such a high profile new festival celebrating women in cinema is not only an honor but an opportunity for women in that wider audience out there to find us.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Our film is in this exciting moment when press are just discovering it, and supporting it, and Sally is excited to talk about it on the ground in Bentonville! Right now we are fortunate to be entertaining a number of distribution offers.
What type of impact would you like this film to have?
Rose shared a lot of her life with us. The wider culture is responding. We’re very curious to see what impact this film will have on Rose’s legacy when it screens in New York.
Lastly, what’s a key question that will help spark a debate or conversation about this film?
What is Rose: a street artist? A grounbdreaking journalist? A participant or observer? Is she a mere paparazza?