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Press release for Tom E. Brown movies including "Das Clown", National
Mar 21st, 1999


Contact David Novak or Tom E. Brown


Although filmmaker Tom E. Brown has been HIV positive for more than 13 years - over 40% of his life, it wasn't until 3 years ago that he began exploring the topic of AIDS in his films. His first two AIDS-related films, Don't Run, Johnny and Rubber Gloves, have been enthusiastically received by audiences and critics.

Rubber Gloves has recently been awarded a Golden Spire from the San Francisco International Film Festival. The short film will screen before Mike Hoolboom's Panic Bodies, a Canadian feature on the same topic. The film festival takes place April 22-May 6.

Rubber Gloves is a screwy, poetic, sometimes haunting film possibly best described by its slugline, "Nothing you need to know about AIDS." This film is Brown's twisted take on the social, physical, and mental consequences of living with AIDS. Since the film's premiere this past June at the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Rubber Gloves has screened at festivals across the country and internationally. In addition to the Golden Spire, the film has received a Director's Citation from The Black Maria Film Festival, and an Award of Merit from the Chicago International Film Festival.

Both Rubber Gloves and Don't Run, Johnny will screen at The American Museum of Natural History in New York City in conjunction with a major exhibition on epidemics. On Thursday, March 25th, the films will run continuously starting at 6:30pm.

The Ed Wood-inspired comedy, Don't Run, Johnny, trails a man's panic-stricken run after learning he is HIV positive. This award-winning film has screened at close to 100 film festivals including Sundance, and was the first gay-related film shown on Northwest Airlines Independents in Flight series. Don't Run, Johnny is currently running on Bravo and The Independent Film Channel.

Brown is presently featured on The Independent Film Channel's high-speed Broadband internet site. Broadband combines cable and internet-flying at speeds 100 times faster than a 56.6 k modem! If you subscribe to this service you can stop by IFC's "Broadband Theater" and view a couple of Brown's shorts. If you don't, drop in and read Peter Graham's interview with Brown. Those interested can stop by www.bugsby.com for a quick link.

Bugsby's fund-raising tactics have been a little out of the ordinary. Crew credits for the ending credit rolls of the films have been sold off at bargain prices to raise quick cash for production costs. Anyone who wanted to be in the movies without all the stress, could simply buy their title. Gaffers, grips, kitty wranglers, were all up for sale on the last few shorts.

The short black comedy, Das Clown, is coming soon. This 8-minute splatter film/love story was inspired by the filmstrips and slideshows frequently screened in grammar schools during the last few decades. It comes complete with fifth grade flashback-inducing beeps between frames and narration by John Popper of the band Blues Traveler. Das Clown, even though it has not yet premiered, was awarded the 1999 Nell Shipman Production Excellence Award from Women in Film, Seattle for Bette Allen's cinematography. Das Clown will be unleashed at film festivals in June.

Up next is Tenderloin, a short film that tells the story of a lonely shut-in and his extreme, last-ditch effort to overcome his fear of social contact. The film is in preproduction and is being financed with a grant from the Film Arts Foundation of San Francisco.

Brown was recently awarded a 1999 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship for Pushing Dead, a feature-length love story between a man and his disease.