News Column

Wenatchee native hopes to screen his Burning Man film locally

July 4, 2013


July 04--Wenatchee native Steve Brown is planning to screen his documentary "Spark: A Burning Man Story" at Liberty Theater July 18 -- but only if there's a crowd.

So far, the filmmaker has sold nearly half the tickets he needs to host the one-time showing. Brown needs to find about 45 more ticket holders more before the event is a go.

"I have no doubt that Spark will be sold out at the Liberty on July 18 -- it will play," Brown wrote in the email. "We have had screenings at major theaters in New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco, and all have been sold out."

Burning Man is a Bohemian art carnival that attracts 60,000 people from around the world to a desert in Nevada, where they build a temporary city, party and create art. Brown and his film crew followed the festival's founders to tell the story of an organization struggling to balance its guiding principals with the event's booming popularity.

Brown's first full-length feature, the film was accepted into Seattle International Film Festival, South by South West and the Ashland Independent Film Festival earlier this year.

Through Spark Pictures, an independent film company Brown founded, he decided to distribute the documentary independently instead of selling it to a traditional Hollywood distributor. That's why the tickets are all pre-sale, he said.

"The way big Hollywood films get into lots of theaters is by spending millions of dollars on marketing," he said. "As an independent film company, we need to use guerrilla tactics. One of those is called 'theatrical on demand.' "

Later, he plans to release the film on DVD, video-on-demand and host more traditional, open-ended theatrical runs in 10 major cities across the U.S.

The son of Wenatchee doctor Jim Brown, Steve Brown graduated from Wenatchee High School in 1983 and studied physics at Stanford University. He spent most of his career in software and technology and founded several media and tech ventures.

Before the show, the Cellar Cafe will host a meet-and-greet with Brown. After the screening, Brown be on hand to field questions from the audience.

Tickets are $14.50 for the 7:30 p.m. screening. Visit to reserve a seat. If the event doesn't happen, ticketholders won't be charged.

Read more about the film and watch the trailer at


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