May 20, 1999
CONTACT: Jennifer Peterson

Indie Film Expert John Pierson Invites Fans to Experience the Independent Film Channel; Nine City National Tour Kicks Off Tuesday, May 25

NEW YORK--May 25, 1999--

Author/Producer/Career-Booster Carries the Indie Spirit Coast to Coast

Film Fans Nationwide Invited to Free Screening and Lecture

Indie is everywhere. The independent film movement has held the attention of fans, writers, critics, actors and directors across the country and around the world. Film festivals, awards ceremonies, magazine covers, even the music industry - everywhere you look, indie has been there. Beginning on Tuesday, May 25, The Independent Film Channel (IFC) takes to the road for a three-week adventure, bringing the independent spirit to nine cities across the country.

Fresh from the Cannes International Film Festival, John Pierson, the creator and host of IFC's original signature series Split Screen, and author of the acclaimed book Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes, hits the open road for a cross-country tour, bringing his patented indie wit and wisdom with him. From Cherry Hill, New Jersey to Sacramento, California, film fans are invited to hang with John for a first-hand look behind the scenes of the indie film world.

Tour dates/locations are as follows:

Cherry Hill, NJ Tuesday, May 25

Philadelphia, PA Wednesday, May 26

Columbus, OH Thursday, May 27

Montgomery Cty., MD Wednesday, June 2

Indianapolis, IN Thursday, June 3

Ft. Lauderdale, FL Monday, June 7

Waco, TX Thursday, June 10

San Antonio, TX Friday, June 11

Sacramento, CA Wednesday, June 16

John Pierson is the man Entertainment Weekly calls, "one of the movers and shakers of the independent film world." Rolling Stone called Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes, his book based on a decade of experience in the independent film business, "the most contentiously witty and revealing view of off-Hollywood around." Pierson helped jumpstart the careers of filmmakers like Spike Lee, Michael Moore (Roger & Me, The Big One), and Richard Linklater (Slacker, The Newton Boys). He recently served as Executive Producer for Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy, one of the most successful independent films of in recent history.

Fans attending the each of the nine events will be treated to a night of film and fun as John presents favorite Split Screen segments from past episodes, as well as a sneak peek at what IFC viewers will be seeing on the show later this season. John will also spend time doing what he does best - dishing on the past, present and future of independent film. And to make sure no stone is left unturned, John has set aside time for fielding questions from fans and doling out advice to aspiring filmmakers. Local filmmakers are encouraged to bring their own ideas and works to the events. John is always on the lookout for the "next big thing" - maybe he'll find it on the open road! Additional information regarding John Pierson, the tour, Split Screen and IFC, fans can log on to ( and (

Split Screen has spent its first two years covering anything and everything having to do with independent film and has featured the works of dozens of regional filmmakers from across the country. Split Screen's 1999 Season kicked off in April with a look at the role of indie films in the recent gubernatorial campaign waged by pro-wrestling superstar Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Additional segments featured in Split Screen's newest season include:

  • "Godzilla" Split Screen filmmakers Doug Stone and P.H. O'Brien go all the way to Tokyo to profile the men who donned the original rubber Godzilla suits back in the 56's and 60's, and capture their feelings about the modern-day, computer-generated, Madison Square Garden-stomping version.

  • "Palm Springs Follies" Split Screen's own Amy Elliot and Lizzy Donius return to the spirit of the MGM musical era as they join the Mills Brothers and the ageless chorus of the all-singing, all dancing Palm Springs Follies.

  • "The Fabulous Stains" Sara Jacobson investigates why people like Courtney Love have created a legend out of an unreleased punk-era Paramount film entitled Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains. Find out what Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Ray Winstone, Christine Lahti, Lou Adler, Nancy Dowd and a couple of ex-Sex Pistols have in common.

IFC is committed to showcasing films and original series struck from the creative vision of indie film's most compelling new and important filmmakers. The network will present between 50-60 feature-length titles each month, including Trainspotting, El Mariachi, Clerks, Time Bandits and The Year My Voice Broke. Films recently added to the IFC collection include: Swimming with Sharks (Kevin Spacey), Box of Moonlight (John Turturro), Chinese Box (Jeremy Irons) and Love and a .45 (Renee Zellweger), as well as indie hits The Full Monty, The Ice Storm, She's the One and Slums of Beverly Hills. IFC's films are presented unedited and uninterrupted, spotlighted in distinctive strands such as All-Access IFC and The Greg the Bunny Show.

The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free. The Independent Film Channel, reaching more than 23 million homes on a full-time basis, is the most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film on television.

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