For several years now I've served as a scholarly advisor for the Popular Romance Project, including the documentary film part of the PRP, Love Between the Covers. The film is now in circulation at festivals in the US and internationally, and I must say, I'm very pleased with how it came out. It's a really interesting film, with solid material on the genre, its authors, the reading community, and the publishing industry (including the digital revolution currently underway. Featured characters include Radclyffe (Len Barot), Beverly Jenkins, Eloisa James, new author Joanne Lockyer, and the collaborative team of Susan Donovan and Celeste Bradley.
I’ve just heard from filmmaker Laurie Kahn that scholars, academic departments, and student groups can now host public screenings of Love Between the Covers at their colleges and universities. If you are interested, go to lovebetweenthecovers.com/screenings where there's a form you can fill in (Laurie's office will then get in touch). The screening team for Love Between the Covers (Laurie, Julia Hines and Riley Davis) will work with you, providing you with
- help and answers to your questions
- posters, flyers, and postcards to promote your screening
- great images from the film and film production,
- easy-to-use templates for a press release, for email messages, facebook messages, tweets, etc.
- a DVD or Blu-Ray of the film for your screening
- and help organizing a Q&A in person or on Skype with Laurie, local romance authors, or -- possibly -- one of the main characters in the film (if they live near by). Obviously the romance scholars hosting the screening will also be part of the Q&A. And those who've seen the film take shape can talk about it.
- Finally, and most importantly, the screening team will help connect you up with other organizations in your area that are also interested in hosting a screening.
The cost of renting the film for a public screening is $400 USD, but all academic institutions and RWA chapters get a 25% discount, bringing the price to $300 USD. If you team up with another organization (a book club, a local chapter of the Romance Writers of America, etc) you can split the cost, and promote the screening together.
Collaborative screenings will draw a particularly interesting audience, with a mix of scholars, students, book lovers, romance authors, and romance readers!
At the Library of Congress conference "What is Love? Romance Fiction in the Digital Age," which began with a sneak preview of Love Between the Covers, there was a mixed audience of scholars, people from the romance community, and the general public. The discussion was extremely lively and interesting -- and substantially different from the discussions one hears at conferences for romance authors/fans or conferences for romance scholars. It was also a lot of fun!
There are many Romance Writers of America local chapters and book groups that are eager to team up with universities. If you let Laurie and her team know that you are interested, they will help pair you up.
The sooner you get in touch the better, since Laurie is planning a Love Between the Covers screenathon, with 50-100 screenings across North America in the fall and early winter. Already, screenings are being planned:
· at a large military base in Hawaii
· at a beautiful new public library in Halifax
· at a romance readers’ conference in Denver
· at a Landmark theater in Cambridge, MA
· at literature festivals in Alabama and Mantua, Italy
· at an independent booksellers trade show in N. Carolina.
If you have any questions, get in touch with me or with the Love Between the Covers screening team.