“We met at the 1971 Flaherty Seminar, where some of our films were programmed,” recalled founding member Amalie Rothschild. “I was in production with It Happens to Us. I'd been trying to get distribution for Woo Who? May Wilson. I'd take it to non-theatrical distribution companies and they'd say 'It's wonderful, dear, we really like it. But there's no audience...’ ”
Founding members Julia Reichert and Jim Klein had already started self-distributing their film, Growing Up Female.
"The whole idea of distribution," explained Julia Reichert, "was to help the women's movement grow. Films could do that, they could get the ideas out. We could watch the women's movement spread across the country just by who was ordering our films. First it was Cambridge and Berkeley. I remember the first showing in the deep South."
Soon, a fourth member joined the three: "When I first met them," Liane Brandon explains, "I'd been inundated with requests to show Anything You Want To Be. I'd been running back and forth to the Post Office, making myself crazy. Other distributors wanted my film, but the most they would offer was a two-year contract, as they were sure the women's movement wouldn't last any longer than that. Because I'd been active in women's groups since 1969, I knew there was a huge demand, but most distributors didn't, so they offered bad deals, or they wanted to ghettoize the films. When I first talked with Jim and Julia and Amalie, I thought 'Ah-hah! Someone else who's experiencing the same things I am.'
Much has changed in media distribution since 1971 when the early members were selling 16 mm film prints! But the commitment to quality content and cutting edge distribution remains.
Shown at right: left to right back row: Amalie R. Rothschild, Julia Reichert, Jim Klein; front: Liane Brandon.
A bit of coöp history
The following images are from founder Liane Brandon's archive.
1971 From left to right: Founders Liane Brandon, Jim Klein, Julia Reichert, Amalie R. Rothschild.
1981: New Day celebrates its 10th anniversary.