Executive Reads: Avi Federgreen

Avi Federgreen’s nearly 20 years of experience in the Canadian film industry feature many highlights, from music videos to TV series to full-length feature films. Federgreen’s current releases include Empire of Dirt, Random Acts of Romance, Dead Before Dawn and 30 GhostsFedergreen’s other producing credits include Still Mine, Score: A Hockey Musical, Moon Point, and One Week. In November 2011, Federgreen opened his own film distribution company, INDIECAN Entertainment, for those indie filmmakers making films in a lower budget bracket who have otherwise virtually no chance to shine in a market of big studios, distributors and exhibitors. His latest venture is the Reel Indie Film Festival (October 16 to 20 in Toronto), where he serves as Executive Director. Here are the books that have inspired him: 

Making Movies by Sidney Lumet
This book was introduced to me when I first became really serious about getting into the film business. It is one of those must-reads when you want to get into film, everyone in this industry should read it. Sidney Lumet was a very well-known US director, and one of the greatest filmmakers ever if you ask me; someone I personally admire. Anyone that I’ve met that has read it has been tremendously influenced by it. Even Roger Ebert said that this is THE book that everyone in this business should read, and when someone like him says something like that, you listen! Lumet is very straight forward in his writing, and basically covered everything, from actors to scripts and everything else involved in the making of a movie. I have re-read this title so many times, and it still applies to me today. Cannot recommend it enough. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie travelled all over the world doing lectures about this book and its message, which really at its core is all about believing in yourself, going after the things you want, and taking every situation and making it work for you. For him, no is not an option. I live my life that way now, and I do not have any regrets. I have the freedom to just go for the things I truly believe in. For me, this book really rings through; I practice its principles regularly and they really can help you take control of your life. I really think this is a great book for anybody, no matter what you do in life. 

Jaws by Peter Benchley
This one has a really profound meaning for me. I saw the film version when it first came out, then immediately read Benchley’s book, and to this date they are still my all-time favourites. I can truly say they were a big influence for me to get into the film business. I’ve read the book and watched the film so many times that not only did they make me want to make movies, but also, along the way, I became a huge shark enthusiast. When shark week comes, nothing can stop me.