Independent Production

Marla Grossman ’93 warns that it’s not exactly a feel-good movie. But she certainly feels good about what she and HLS classmate Gary Barkin have accomplished: Their company, Sidekick Entertainment, has produced a film that won a George Foster Peabody Award in March.

Chosen from more than 1,100 entries, Things Behind the Sun tells the story of a rock musician who was raped as a teen and a music journalist linked to her past. It’s both disturbing and hopeful–with a soundtrack that heightens its emotional kick. Directed by Allison Anders, the film stars Don Cheadle, Eric Stoltz, and Kim Dickens, and is now available on video after debuting on Showtime.

It is the fourth film credited to the independent film finance and production company, which the HLS grads founded in 1999. Grossman, who is also a partner at Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson and Hand in Washington, D.C., said Sidekick chooses its films after serious financial analysis backed by instinct: “As much as it’s important for my partner and me to do prestige work, we have a responsibility to our investors to make money.”

Each production, she notes, has made money. And if the company can keep doing that while supporting quality independent filmmaking, she’ll feel good for a long time.