In the News: Assault on the Massage Table

••• Fascinating article on the economics of film festivals in The Rumpus:

The average festival submission fee is $65. But for many festivals it’s even higher, especially if you miss the early submission window. Cleveland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago, all large regional festivals, charge $100 and receive from 800 to 1,500 feature film submissions. Larger premiere festivals—like Los Angeles, Tribeca, or Slamdance—get over 2,000 narrative features, while Sundance gets over 4,000. If you know someone, or if a movie of yours has played the festival previously, or you have a big celebrity in your movie, or if your movie has already played a prestigious film festival, a festival will often grant you a submission fee waiver. Sales agents and distribution companies also don’t pay submission fees. The more independent your film actually is, the more likely you’ll have to pay a festival to apply to an independent film festival.

Does receiving a fee submission waiver impact the odds of playing at the festival?

It’s safe to say that less than 10% of the movies applying receive submission fee waivers, but they make up a disproportionate number of the feature films selected. […] Perhaps most alarmingly, out of 37 festivals—for which I had more than one data point—there were 17 that didn’t program a single paid submission, including Bend, Denver, Portland, and Tribeca.

••• A patron at Aire Ancient Baths on Franklin accused a massage therapist of inappropriate behavior. She “reported the assault to cops, who later told her that [the man] was not a licensed massage therapist and ‘at least two other victims had reported offensive sexual contact’ in the months before her visit. Cops also told her spa employees weren’t cooperating with the probe. [He] was eventually charged with sexual abuse and unauthorized practice of a profession. He later copped a plea and completed a sexual offender program.” —New York Daily News

••• “The woman who drove her car onto a crowded sidewalk just steps from an elementary school last year, hitting one woman before speeding off will head to prison for two to six years, authorities said.” —DNAinfo

••• “City’s First Railroad, the New-York and Harlem Line, Began Downtown.” —Tribeca Trib

••• There’s a big name-droppy profile of Wyeth’s John Birch—he doesn’t drop the names, the paper does—in the New York Times. The article implies, but never explicitly states, that the new store on Canal is taking the place of the one on Spring (which is what I’ve heard): “When Mr. Birch first agreed to rent that space around 2008, he thought it would become a third Wyeth outpost, focused largely on his new productions. Then, renovations took years, as Mr. Birch slaved over every detail, while the market for midcentury modern furniture became more transparent and democratic, thanks both to 1stdibs and to Restoration Hardware, which recently introduced a modern collection of live-edge tables called the Wythe collection.” One quibble: Todd Merrill’s new shop on Lafayette isn’t in the Financial District.

••• The push-polling incident gets weirder…. From the Broadsheet:

Global Strategy also circulated a statement on behalf of its subcontractor, Political Connection. This statement said, “Political Connection, which is a wholly independent subcontractor, operates the phone bank from which the calls originated. At Global Strategy Group’s insistence, we conducted an audit and discovered Political Connection made a terrible mistake, which resulted in the phone number of Council member Chin being listed as the Caller ID. To be clear, Global Strategy Group and the Alliance for Downtown New York had no knowledge of this issue nor did they instruct us to do so.  Political Connection takes full responsibility for this terrible mistake. We apologize to the Alliance for Downtown New York, Council member Chin, and Global Strategy Group.”

So far, so good, right? But wait….

When the Broadsheet attempted to contact Political Connection, to verify this statement and request additional information, a web search found no website and no working telephone number for any business with that name anywhere in the United States. A spokesman for Global Strategy supplied an office telephone number in Pennsylvania that connected (after business hours) to a voice mailbox with an outgoing message that said, “you have reached Political Connection” and asked callers to try again later. A now-disconnected phone number for a business with the name Political Connection does appear in a web search of businesses in South Carolina. Under this listing, somebody claiming to be a former employee posted a comment raising ethical questions about the company.


1 Comment

  1. “spa employees weren’t cooperating with the probe.”

    Intentional or nah?