There aren’t many blind feature film directors. In fact, there’s only Joe Monks, and his debut feature, THE BUNKER, will begin streaming in October on IPTV thanks to Tampa-based distribution company Commodity Films.
It’s an unusual success story that began when Monks, a writer and longtime comic publisher, decided to tackle the biggest challenge of his career: directing a movie. Despite the obstacles his handicap presented, as well as vocal internet naysayers, Monks raised the money to begin shooting, and embarked on a journey no filmmaker had taken before.
Enter Russell Hess, a film distributor who saw enormous potential in the envelope-pushing project, and reached out to Monks to offer his services.
“I was more than mildly intrigued when I heard a blind guy was making a movie. At first, I reacted as many would, thinking that this was some kind of stunt. Not only was I completely wrong, what Joe accomplished is far better than most amateur filmmakers I’ve seen during my career.”
After a year’s worth of discussions, the two finally met face-to-face, and sealed the deal.
“It took me a while to trust somebody after the hassles I had in production,” says Monks. “But we secured domestic distribution, foreign distribution and now the IPTV deal. Not bad for a first-timer who can’t see, huh?”
THE BUNKER premieres Halloween night, Oct. 31 on CommodityFilms.com, and will run for free through November 7th, along with a “Making of” documentary, and REDEMPTION, a TV pilot based on one of Monks’ teleplays.