Decades before digital technology transformed how we make and see pictures, American photographer Garry Winogrand made hundreds of thousands of them with his 35mm Leica, creating an encyclopedic portrait of America from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. When he died suddenly at age 56 in 1984, Winogrand left behind more than 10,000 rolls of film – more than a quarter of a million pictures! These images, as well as hours of never before seen 8mm films, capture a bygone era: the New York of Mad Men and the early years of the Women’s Movement, the birth of American suburbs, and the glamour and alienation of Hollywood. He produced so many unseen images that it has taken until now for the full measure of his artistic legacy to emerge. Endorsed by his gallery and estate, Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable is the first cinematic survey of that legacy. The film tells the story of an artist whose rise and fall was – like America’s in the late decades of the 20th century – larger-than-life, full of contradictions and totally unresolved.
Visually, the film centers on images made by Winogrand, both iconic and undiscovered. The film will also make ample use of Winogrand’s 8mm movies of his parents, three wives and children, plus the wealth of footage created as he roamed city streets and iconic 1960s protests. The film also uses newly discovered audio cassette tapes of private conversations between Winogrand and photographer Jay Maisel recorded in 1977.
Thematically, the big picture question asked by this film is: how do we as humans in the world create and sustain meaning in our lives in the face of terrifying social and political forces beyond our control? The relentless pursuit of images – which by the end of his life was out of control – was one answer for Winogrand. An investment in fatherhood was the other. Winogrand’s complex relationship to women and family life invite a deeper consideration of him not only as a “man of his time,” in the words of MoMA Photography curator Susan Kismaric, but also as a man struggling to define himself simultaneously as an artist and a parent. This intimate, compelling documentary portrait of Winogrand builds upon several long-standing themes in director Sasha Waters Freyer's more personal films about motherhood and family: the trappings of everyday life as source material and artistic inspiration; the radical resurrection of lost or ephemeral media; the vanished 20th century New York City of her childhood. Her personal connection to Winogrand dates to learning about his work as a student of photographer Thomas Roma (featured in the film) at School of Visual Arts in NYC in the late 1980s.
DISTRIBUTION AND MARKETING STRATEGY:
Co-producer and North American sales agent Submarine is a leading sales, distribution, and production company based in NYC. Submarine has been involved in three recent Academy award winning documentaries — Citizenfour, 20 Feet From Stardom, and Searching for Sugarman. Recent titles also include Weiner, Miss Sharon Jones!, Troublemakers: the Story of Land Art, and Yayoi Kusama: a Life in Polka Dots, among others. Submarine recently launched a theatrical & DVD imprint, Submarine Deluxe, and Submarine 360, a museum distribution imprint.
WIDE HOUSE, sales agent for the 2016 hit I am Not Your Negro, is the international sales agent for Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable. WIDE HOUSE is handling international pre-sales of the film in all foreign broadcast markets.
Risks and challenges
Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable is ALMOST in post-production, with just two more interviews to be filmed! The plan and challenge is to complete in time for a January 2018 premiere, but that will mean clearing rights for all music and archival materials and polishing the sound mix. Your support can help make that possible! Thanks!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter