“Last night far exceeded our hopes for what could happen during this pandemic,” said “9 To 5” directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar in a joint statement. “Hundreds of people socially distanced on a warm summer-like night in late October, with a wonderful energy in the air. It was so much fun, kind of goofy to do it in the drive-in but also there was a magic to seeing that projector beam under the night sky and the stars. We are so grateful to everyone who came.”
Over 225 car-load tickets were sold ahead of the showing. When the final scene ended, countless cars honked in celebration and applause.
“What a huge success last night was,” said Lisa Grigsby, FilmDayton executive director. “For Steve and Julia to allow their film premiere with FilmDayton was so kind and the proceeds from the event will allow us to continue to advance the art, craft and business of film in the Greater Dayton Region.”
Due to COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of most in-person events this year, the film did not get to premiere as originally planned at the South by Southwest festival in Texas in March. Instead, it premiered at another, remote film festival and was received — as the duo’s masterpieces always are — with admiration and praise.
Thursday’s premiere was Reichert and Bognar’s first time watching the complete film with an in-person audience since its release.
“For many of us, seeing friends even in this socially distanced way, was such a great mental boost,” Grigsby said. "Then watching such an inspiring film about the power of women, and the ability to join together to make a difference left me motivated to accomplish more today!”
The film, a full-length documentary, is about the fight for women’s equality in the U.S. workplace.
“It’s surprisingly funny,” said Lela Klein, FilmDayton trustee member and daughter of Julia Reichert, “(and) it’s been getting great reviews. ... The audience that has gotten to see it has loved it.”