Midas men: Sisson starts digging for gold

You have to be bold to start a business these days. You have to believe in yourself and your mission.

But to run an independent film company in Charlottesville, you have to have something more. And Cavalier Films founders Barry Sisson and Marc Lieberman want it: money.

Thursday, June 24, was an opportunity for a party and a pitch in the soaring studio space behind the Jefferson Theater (owned by Hook editor Hawes Spencer). Sisson, who helped finance the acclaimed film, The Station Agent, which won three awards at the Sundance Film Festival last year, is in the process of raising capital to expand their vision with their new company, Cavalier Films.

Potential investors mingled, had a few cocktails, and then sat down for a little lesson in independent film making.

Sisson sees great potential for bringing small budget (less than $1 million) films to national audiences. Since the overhead is so low, so is the risk, at least when constrasted with high-dollar box office flops like Gigli.

 Not all films will get critical raves and Miramax deals as The Station Agent did, but Sisson says there's satisfaction of helping create something that may last beyond the straight-to-video bargain bin. And his money's on the line too.

"We're very happy the way things are going," says Sisson. "Twenty people have picked up the private placement agreements."

Cavalier Films: The next Charlottesville icon?

Barry Sisson and Marc Lieberman pitch the plan.

This movie could be your movie.

Backstage at the Jefferson

The signs do not lie.
Gigli  sucked!

Sisson gets some face time.

With a smile like that, how can Sisson lose?


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