eow-ironweed.jpgThough some might mourn the decline of box office numbers in recent years, the fading out of the movie theater as a venue of choice has made way for some true innovations in film exhibition. Netflix has popularized the rise of the Internet and the ease of renting by mail, but what options exist for cinephiles who are looking for something off the beaten path?

Ironweed Films fills this void with their monthly Film Club, which sends a DVD compilation to its members showcasing the best of today’s socially-conscious moviemaking. Even better, the DVD is yours to keep. “We look for important, newer films that have not yet received a wider distribution. Movies that deal with meaningful issues–censorship, war, our impact on the environment,” says David Steuer, head of production at Ironweed’s parent company, Act Now Productions. For instance, the latest installment of the Film Club, which explored the relationship between humans and the natural world, included a portrait of three bull-riding champions, a look at the local reaction to Timothy Treadwell’s death by bear mauling in Alaska and an interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Mattha.

In addition to the Film Club, Ironweed works with organizations like the Earth Day Network to create action campaigns around the films that they screen. For a limited time, MovieMaker readers are invited to get a FREE TRIAL MONTH for the cost of shipping (just $2.95) and then only $14.95 per month thereafter. Log on to
www.ironweedfilms.com/affiliates/moviemaker/offer070227e to sign up or for more information.

Sound Off: Do you watch many “socially-conscious” films? Why or why not? Do you see film primarily as a vehicle for entertainment, or for effecting change? Talk back in the comments section!

–Jennifer Straus