BURN, the acclaimed documentary film about Detroit firefighters, will be showing during FDIC 2013 in Indianapolis. Fire Engineering Online Editor Pete Prochilo talked to BURN Producer Brenna Sanchez about the upcoming run in Indy and the screenings around the country.
Q. BURN has been doing a lot of screenings around the country. How has that been going? What’s the reception been like so far?
A. No one in the movie industry believed there was an audience for BURN, including distributors. So we had to take the reins and quickly learn how to distribute our own film if anyone was going to see it! We literally call and rent every single theater the movie plays in. This is not how most movies are distributed, I assure you! It’s expensive, difficult and slow. But BURN will have played in 170 cities by June, and the reception has been tremendous! Firefighters across the country see that BURN isn’t just about Detroit, it’s a movie about all firefighters, the work, and the brotherhood.
Q. BURN will be showing all week long during FDIC. Where can attendees see the film or get more info?
A. BURN will be playing all week during FDIC, from Sunday to Friday at the Indiana State Museum, 7:30pm every evening, with 9:30pm shows Thursday and Friday. We’ve tried to make it easy for people to fit a screening into their busy FDIC schedules. Tom Putnam and I will be there, along with Detroit firefighters from the film, both at the screenings and in MSA booth #2007. The theater serves beer and wine, too!
Tickets are available at http://detroitfirefilm.org/events
Q. What’s in store for the film next?
A. Our next step is digital and DVD release, which we’re working on for early summer. We know everyone is looking forward to it but, ask anyone who’s seen it — nothing beats seeing BURN on the big screen with your buddies and a beer! As you know, a hefty portion of our proceeds goes to the Leary Firefighter Foundation to purchase much-needed gear for Detroit firefighters — they’re essentially our partners on this film. We’ll be tallying that up in December, and are working our tails off to make that donation as large as possible.
Q. Have you been keeping up with the DFD situation since the film? Have things changed much, either positively or negatively?
A. There isn’t a day we don’t hear something coming from Detroit. The department took a hit last summer with further pay and benefit cuts. But layoffs were averted by the largest SAFER grant ever awarded, which saved about 100 jobs. An additional grant was secured for turnout gear. In February, a group of business men donated 100 police cruisers and 43 ambulances. Now that an emergency financial manager has taken over Detroit, everyone’s holding their breath to see the impact his decisions have on the department.