News and updates about SKIN

I admit it. I've been neglecting the blog. But if you had been around me these past couple of weeks, you would understand why. No - I did not go down with swine flu.

Please take a look at the Press page, which has recently been updated. We've been busy! But here's some news that's not on the press page: We had a spectacular opening weekend in LA. SKIN was the no. 1 film (out of 9!) at the Laemmle in Encino and the No. 3 film (out of 10!) at the Landmark in West LA - after Michael Jackson's This is It and the hit indie film, An Education (both those films have considerably higher advertising budgets). We were also the no. 1 film at the Beekman in New York and hit similar numbers at the Sunshine downtown - despite Halloween, the marathon and the World Series badly affecting box office in both those theaters. Even with the modest figures in New York, SKIN had the 6th highest per-screen average in the country and was among the top 25 box office earners.

I don't mean to crow, but considering no major distributor wanted this film, it is astonishing. Could it really become the little film that could? And did? A few more reasons to be cheerful:

Sophie Okonedo was nominated as Best Actress for a BIFA (British Independent Film Award - the UK equivalent of the Spirit Awards) - which is seen as a precursor to BAFTAs, Golden Globes and - dare one say it - Oscars.

Veteran film critic Leonard Maltin raved about SKIN as the film he would most like to spread the word about on his Reelz Channel programme.  Please follow this link and click on The Secret's Out:

Mike Sargent, from one of the most influential black radio stations in New York (WBAI) gave us the following quotes (not yet printed, which is why they are here):

an incredibly compelling film about an extraordinary woman whose true story you will never forget.
an oscar worthy performance by sophie okenodo
the first must see film of the season

Other critics joined in:

"A deeply touching story of courage with incredibly powerful performances"  -Jeffrey Lyons KNBC/"LYONS DEN RADIO."  

"Searing Drama" - Stephen Farber, Reel Talk (formerly Variety)

Sandra at UNWe had a packed premiere at the Arclight Cinema in Hollywood Thursday 22nd October, attended by members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes) and the NAACP (Image Awards). The following Monday morning, in New York, Sandra Laing and I joined representatives of the Time for Peace Awards to ring the opening bell at Nasdaq - a ceremony projected on an enormous screen into Times Square, which continued to show a slideshow of the event to all passers by for an hour (see first image above). It was surreal.

Later that day, we were honoured with a United Nations Headquarters Screening, hosted by the South African Mission to the UN and South African Tourism. The conference room was packed with over 600 delegates, Ambassadors and press, and the South African Ambassador to the UN, Baso Sangqu, gave a moving introductory address.

Emily Mortimer, AF and Baso SangquOn Wednesday 28th, SKIN was given the Time for Peace First Film Award, voted by 21 UN Ambassadors. Ambassador Sangqu and the charming actress, Emily Mortimer, attended the ceremony at the Essex Hotel and presented the award - a golden globe (note, no caps)  upon which stands a joyful, large-bottomed lady.

The rest of the week consisted of interviews and Q&As for various film series in the New York area - with the redoubtable Professor Richard Brown from NYU, the Huffington Post's Marshall Fine and KNBC's Jeffrey Lyons - and more Q&As at the weekend, at the Beekman and the Sunshine.

After all that, it was a relief to return home to London for a bit of normality - but also in the knowledge that everyone on the SKIN team - including our publicists, volunteers and distributor - worked incredibly hard to give the film a chance to shine.

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