CUZine is toast without support

Friends and colleagues,

Movie madness is brewing all around us as I write this. Hollywood is ramping up for the blockbuster season, “Ebertfest” is preparing to enthrall our twin cites, and local filmmaking projects are launching, finishing, or soon to be released in theaters nationwide or on home video. Amidst the fray, the local movie epicenter we like to call the Secret MICRO-FILM Headquarters has been prepping for its annual public expression of all things local cinema in Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond.

Unfortunately, with a platform release beginning mere weeks from now, our popular C-U Confidential digest is dangerously close to going two-issues-and-out. Work on the content and design has been motoring along according to plan, given that the intended berth of issue 3 is to be at this year’s Boneyard Arts Festival in Champaign County, one week ahead of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. The necessary advertising dollars needed to put it in print and out on the streets have not been easy to come by, however.

After doing the math multiple times over, the solution is thus:

We need to book $1,000 or more in advertising within the next two weeks to make it worthwhile going to press with C-U Confidential no.3, upholding the visual quality everybody expects from it and printing enough of them so the cost-per-copy is economically sound.

After pontificating several worst-case scenarios, the remaining time frame is such:

We need to book and collect the artwork for $1,000 or more in advertising by next Thursday, April 9, 5 p.m., or C-U Confidential will miss the Boneyard Arts Festival and (embarrasingly) the local-film showcase that bears its name.

Or, we need to book and collect the artwork for $1,000 or more in advertising by Thursday, April 16, 5 p.m., or C-U Confidential will miss Ebertfest 11, an occurence that will most likely shut the book on any future it might have had.

Some of you reading this have already committed to advertising in CUZine or offered help with the Boneyard film show, and we thank you again for the support and encouragement. Others have politely declined for various reasons and we certainly respect those decisions. We sincerely ask everyone to consider what you could do to help us right the ship in time to show our neighbors and communities what the art of local film has to offer them – and doing so in the lauded C-U Confidential way.

If you cannot afford the rates for larger ads, please consider the smaller sizes. If you think the smaller sizes will not do justice to your message, then team with another enterprising soul to submit a combo ad and split the costs. If you want to go color but simply can’t swing the prices, make us an offer to give you a half-page color and we’ll talk. If you have no specific products or services to promote at this time, then take out a cheap Bargain Ad (only $25!) to shout out to your community, such as to support your local filmmakers or to trumpet the area’s artists and entertainers as a whole.

And, if you really don’t feel there’s a good reason to place that ad, it’s perfectly cool … but I’m willing to bet you know at least 10 other individuals, businesses, or organizations that might.

It starts (and hopefully does not end) here:

Remember that small is beautiful. All gestures are valuable and can add up to the solution we need in order to rock C-U this spring.

And if we fail to meet the needs of the digest of the Movies of Champaign, Urbana, and the Cities Beyond, then it will be a long, slow summer and fall as we prepare events and products with which to celebrate the 10th anniversary of MICRO-FILM magazine, knowing that its successor has already bit the dust.

Thanks, folks.

~ Jason Pankoke (

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