Film Festival Alliance

Category Archives: News

FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Following a successful 4th annual conference in conjunction with the Art House Convergence in January, the Film Festival Alliance (FFA) is building on its established foundation to become North America’s preeminent film festival service organization, strengthening this vital segment of the film exhibition industry, and providing even more robust resources to help mission-driven film festivals meet their community needs.

The newly elected Board of Directors includes President Dan Brawley (Cucalorus Film Festival), Vice President Andrew Rodgers (Denver Film Society), Treasurer Anne Chaisson (Hamptons International Film Festival and FFA founding member), Secretary Judy Laster (Woods Hole Film Festival, FFA founding member) and Jon Gann (Founder DC Shorts Film Festival, Past Program Director, FFA.) Members at large include Beth Barrett (SIFF), Clint Bowie (New Orleans Film Society), Mark Fishkin (Califiornia Film Institute) and Josh Leake (Portland Film Festival.)

FFA has hired Lela Meadow-Conner (Tallgrass Film Association) to serve in a consulting role as the Acting Executive Director. A founder of Wichita’s Tallgrass Film Festival, its former Executive Director, and current Creative Director, she brings her entrepreneurial spirit and love of film festivals to the FFA. FFA’s founding members created a strong framework and the group will focus on constructing a productive and valuable organization for all film festival folks. “It’s important to us that we are an inclusive group for all film festival professionals and that we recognize our common threads, and appreciate those characteristics that make every festival unique,” said Meadow-Conner.

“Along with developing the best programming for our 5th annual conference in January, 2018, we’ll be focusing on learning from our members how best we can help service our industry and advocate for film festivals of all sizes and genres across the country,” said Brawley.

We want to hear from you! Tell us how you’d like to see the Film Festival Alliance evolve and better serve your organization. Email Lela @ filmfestivalalliance.org, or 323.810.6909, or email  Dan @ cucalorus.org.

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Earlier this fall, 60 festivals participated in FFA’s first salary survey. The results are in — and instead of a dry report with graphs and numbers, we are allowing you to play with the data.

Using Airtable technology, you can sort, group, and filter to work your way through the data to see how other festivals compensate Executive Directors/Sole Operators and other main staff members. There is a table of all relevant data, and each position is also detailed in separate tables accessible by clicking the dropdown menu on the upper left. By default, the data is grouped by festival budget size to compare numbers and benefits within a cohort of similar organizations. For best viewing, click on the “View Larger Version” button at the bottom right. Note: This works best from a computer screen. The mobile view is limited.

Let us know what you think — and please participate in the 2017 survey which will launch during the summer.

Thank you to all of the festivals who participated.

 

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Happy Summer from the Film Festival Alliance!

We have some updates and news we’d like to share, and we’re also looking ahead to our upcoming in-person gatherings, including IFP Film Week in September in Brooklyn and the annual Art House Convergence in Utah in January.

First of all, we’d like to thank Colin Stanfield for the transitional leadership he provided as Interim Executive Director. Over the past eight months, he has guided us through our transformation into a stand-alone entity, creating a framework for membership, sponsorship and board development.

As Colin moves on to new endeavors, we are excited to share that as our new Program Director, Jon Gann will take the lead on (among many other things) both year-round programming and conference planning over the next six months, taking us through Art House Convergence in January. As usual, he is working with a crack team of organizers—if you’re interested in helping out, please let him know.

Over the next six months, we will be transitioning in other ways as well. The current members of the Executive Committee are ready to hand the reins over to those of you ready to step up and take our place. We feel a strong sense of pride in what we have achieved together, but we are excited to bring in new ideas and fresh enthusiasm—we will be looking for people with a broad range of skills to manage our multiple areas of need. So… If you are eager to take on a leadership role within our community, please let one of us know. (Some of you already have, and we will be reaching out!)

We hope to see you all and further our ongoing conversation at the following events:

IFP Film Week (September 17-22, 2016)

Among other programming for festival organizers, we will be hosting an event specifically for our colleagues:
Film Festival Alliance Breakfast and Diversity Talk
Thursday, September 22, 9:00am – 10:30am
All IFP Film Week registrants from film festivals are welcome at this breakfast, which will be followed by a conversation about ensuring diversity across the board at film festivals. We will also be providing more updates on Film Festival Alliance. More details to come!
Learn more about programming for festival professionals and register today!

Art House Convergence (January 16-19, 2017)

For the third year in a row, in conjunction with our art house colleagues, Film Festival Alliance will provide three days of programming with a specific eye towards film festivals. We are very eager to receive your thoughts and ideas on topics, panels, and participation, so please let us know if you’ll attend and how we can shape this conference to best serve you! As we hope you will agree, each year just keeps getting better and better.
Registration is now open!
Early Bird Rate: $525 through December 1
Special rate of $450/pp if you register yourself and two new participants (either from your organization — or others)

We look forward to connecting with you all in the months to come.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Best,
Jody, Anne, Jon, Tom, Deirdre, Kristin & Rosie

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What is IFP Film Week?
A week of meetings, screenings, talks, meet ups, exhibitions, and tours centered on cutting-edge independent content for the big screen, small screen and Internet. It’s a neo-post-trans-screen film project and marketplace.

As usual, the 2016 IFP Film Week will include programming of interest to Film Festival folks. Registration is now open! Click this link, use the drop-down “Company Type,” which allows fest programmers to register for a special rate of $250.

Note the exciting new location! This year’s events will take place at IFP’s home base, the Made in NY Media Center, and all over Brooklyn.


IFP Film Week 2016
September 17-22

Brooklyn, NY

Bowling Night Hosted by Amazon Studios

Monday, September 19 (Brooklyn Bowl)
Join fellow industry members and filmmakers at the one and only Brooklyn Bowl!

IFP Filmmaker Labs Showcase

Tuesday, September 20 – 8pm (location TBD)
IFP’s annual outdoor screening, in partnership with Rooftop Films, features excerpts from the twenty films taking part in this year’s Filmmaker Labs. All projects come from first-time directors and are currently in post-production. Last year’s participants went on to premiere at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, HotDocs, Locarno Film Festival, and many others.

IFP Screen Forward Labs Showcase

Wednesday, September 21 – 8pm (location TBD)
For the first time, IFP presents a new showcase (also done in partnership with Rooftop Films) dedicated to highlighting its newly-created program: the Screen Forward Labs. Beginning in November 2015, the Screen Forward Labs selects groundbreaking serialized content that pushes storytelling forward. Past participants have already gone on to be featured at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, among many others.

Film Festival Alliance Breakfast and Diversity Talk

Thursday, September 22 – 9 to 10:30am (Brooklyn)
All IFP Film Week registrants from film festivals are welcome at this breakfast, which will be followed by a conversation about ensuring diversity across the board at film festivals. We will also be providing more updates on Film Festival Alliance. More details to come!

Meet the Programmers at IFP Film Week

Thursday, September 22
Each year, festival programmers who register to attend Film Week are able to take ten-minute meetings with projects hoping to be on the festival circuit in the coming year. Register now to ensure access to these meetings!

Festival tribe, do you have emerging filmmakers on your radar who would benefit from the 2016 IFP Filmmaker Labs? If so, please spread the word…

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IFP’s unique yearlong mentorship program supports first-time feature directors when they need it most: through the completion, marketing and distribution of their films.  Focusing exclusively on low-budget features (<$1million), this highly immersive program provides filmmakers with the technical, creative and strategic tools necessary to launch their films—and their careers. Through the Labs, IFP works to ensure that talented emerging voices receive the support, resources, and industry exposure necessary to reach audiences.

Open to all first time feature documentary and narrative directors with films in post-production. Twenty projects (10 documentaries and 10 narratives) are selected for the annual program. All Lab projects also automatically participate in the Project Forum of IFP’s Independent Film Week.

Lab alumni projects include Charles Poekel’s Christmas, Again (Factory 25), Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)error (The Film Collaborative), Darius Clark Monroe’s Evolution of a Criminal (Independent Lens), David Thorpe’s Do I Sound Gay? (Sundance Selects) Aron Gaudet & Gita Pullapilly’s Beneath the Harvest Sky (Tribeca Film), Stacie Passon‘s Concussion (RADiUS), Alexandre Moors‘ Blue Caprice (Sundance Selects), Penny Lane‘s Our Nixon (CNN Films and Cinedigm), Daniel Patrick Carbone‘s Hide Your Smiling Faces (Tribeca Film), Lotfy Nathan‘s 12 O’Clock Boys (Oscilloscope), Dee Rees‘s Pariah (FocusFeatures), and Terence Nance‘s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Variance Films).

Deadline to Apply:  Tuesday, March 1

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Now that the Film Festival Alliance is a stand-alone organization, we have a lot of work to do as a community. As such, we are pleased to announce the initial Committee structure discussed at the Art House Convergence. These committees will certainly shift and shimmy over time, but we identified these topics of immediate concern.

For the time being, acting board members will chair these committees; over time, however, we plan to engage a broader range of members in leadership positions. As well, we expect that each Committee will refine its individual mission over time.

Please note: Committees are open to Film Festival Alliance members in good standing.


Board Development, Governance & Membership

As the Film Festival Alliance transitions into a fully independent nonprofit, issues around governance and board development become more critical. We are currently considering new candidates for board of directors seats and looking to put a committee together to create a strategy around composition, recruitment, and duties and responsibilities. This committee would also be involved with researching and recommending governance policies and discussing and recommending potential amendments to the current bylaws.

Want to join? Contact Chair Colin Stanfield.


Ethics/Advocacy

This far-reaching Committee will focus on issues that cut across film festivals both internally and externally. Some areas of focus will be standardizing how attendance is reported; ensuring that FFA member festivals have procedures to ensure fair treatment of filmmakers; and establishing base best practices for venues, submissions, and festival operations.

The Committee will also address external issues that film festivals, as a whole, need to respond to, such as AMPAS grant or qualification changes for festivals; ADA compliance in art houses or make-shift festival venues; theater safety concerns; and more.

It is important to note that the FFA currently neither requires nor has the resources to police these issues festival by festival. Therefore, this Committee will come up with a list of best practices that member festivals can agree to implement according to their budget level and resources; we will then determine if any reporting of errors on behalf of the festival can take place.

Want to join? Contact Chair Deirdre Haj.


Development

Made up of film festivals nationwide, this Committee seeks to find funds for the Alliance and our member festivals, and also to identify and outline ways that festivals of all sizes can get access to much needed funding from national resources.

The Committee will also offer educational forums on development, detailing how to market your festival to patrons, members, sponsors, foundations and individuals.

Want to join? Contact Chair Anne Chaisson.


Membership Benefits

By working with partner festivals, companies and sponsors, the Benefits Committee seeks to create and establish a ongoing structure of membership benefits, opportunities, and privileges to be enjoyed by participating and current FFA members.

Want to join? Contact Co-Chairs Tom Hall and Rosie Wong.


Programming

This Committee will brainstorm, plan and develop diverse and wide-ranging programming—identifying topics and recruiting participants for panel discussions, presentations, roundtables and more—for the annual in-person gatherings of the Film Festival Alliance. These events currently include the annual Art House Convergence in January and IFP Film Week in September.

The Committee will also work with AHC to plan and develop regional conferences, which offer terrific opportunities for local festivals and theaters to connect and collaborate.

Throughout the year, the Committee will work with the Communications and Professional Development Committee to develop monthly webinars, white papers on best practices, and members-only forum discussions.

Want to join? Contact Chair Jon Gann.


Communications and Professional Development

This Committee will develop internal communications for the Alliance—including newsletters, website, social media and publicity. The Committee will also manage external communications, including press releases and broader public-facing messaging, on behalf of the Alliance’s ongoing organizational and advocacy work.

Throughout the year, the Committee will work with the Programming Committee to offer professional development, including but not limited to monthly webinars, white papers on best practices, and members-only forum discussions. In monthly calls, the Committee will identify areas of development of interest to our members, and recruit presenters, authors and moderators for these topics of discussion.

Want to join? Contact Co-Chairs Jody Arlington & Kristin McCracken.

The countdown to the 2016 Art House Convergence is ON!

We’re looking forward to seeing SO many of you Monday in Midway, UT. To make sure you are fully prepared for the jam-packed agenda put together by the stellar Film Festival Alliance Programming Team, please study the following, and make room in your carry-on for the requested “bring-alongs.” It takes a village festival to raise a convergence… or something like that.

Download the agenda here.

Or click to see the entire agenda (only first page displayed):

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Click to keep reading…

Excellent news! The Academy for Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) has announced that its grants programs for film festivals, educational programs and film scholars are back in play.

Briefly:

FilmWatch grants support curated screening programs at North America-based film festivals, film societies and other film-related organizations…

FilmCraft grants support high-quality educational programs that identify and empower future filmmakers from nontraditional backgrounds…

Academy Film Scholars grants are awarded to previously published individuals who are pursuing significant new works of film scholarship…

Read all about it on the AMPAS site!

We have finalized the agenda for the Film Festival Alliance @ IFP Film Week, including seminars, presentations and networking opportunities. While Film Week runs from September 20-25, most of the festival-specific programming is scheduled for September 23-25; we hope you can join us!

Festivals receive 40% off the registration fee for IFP Film Week. Visit ifp.org and use code ah$s to generate the discount.

Questions? Contact Industry Manager Jennifer Carpenter at jcarpenter@ifp.org.

2015 ANNUAL FESTIVAL FORUM AGENDA
September 23-25
Lincoln Center
144 West 65th Street (map)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Festival Forum: Should Festivals Care About TV?
2:00 to 2:45 pm

Bruno Walter Auditorium – 111 Amsterdam Avenue
As filmmakers seize upon the creative and professional opportunities provided by episodic storytelling, both on network TV and online, film festivals have only just begun to incorporate this shift into their programming. But with the small screen often considered a traditional enemy of the big screen experience, can festivals find a meaningful relationship with TV storytelling? Does a festival’s mission of “serving the filmmaking community” extend to small screen content? And if so, how can festivals build a meaningful, competitive platform for TV while preserving the collective film-going experience that is at the heart of their missions? This panel examines the opportunities and issues surrounding the rapidly changing landscape of ambitious, cinematic storytelling.

Panelists: Terence Gray, Founder and Exec Director, NY Television Festival; Randi Kleiner, CEO of SeriesFest; Janet Pierson, Head of Film, SXSW; Amanda Warman, producer of The Outs and Whatever This Is; Moderated by Jody Arlington, Festival Forum

Meet the Festival Programmers: Narrative
Note time and location change!
3:30 to 5:30 pm (also on Thursday, 2:30-5:30) 

Rose Room | Rose Building: 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 10th Floor
Meet with narrative feature, doc and web content creators, discovering them first before they’re on the circuit. These are filmmaker-selected meetings, so contact Zach Mandinach if you would like to represent your event at these small group meetings, which last approximately 15 minutes. Not all festivals can participate, and you must sign up for participation in advance of August 25. Register now for your festival to be considered for the roundtables. For more information, email Zach Mandinach at zmandinach@ifp.org.

Rooftop Films + IFP Labs “Sneak Peek” Showcase
7:00 to 10:00 pm

The Labs Showcase gives audiences a first-look at exciting new films before their festival premieres. This outdoor screening features excerpts from the 20 new films from the emerging talent of the 2015 IFP Labs, the nation’s only program that supports diverse feature filmmakers when they need it most: through the completion, marketing and distribution of their first features. Invite with details will be sent to registrants.

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Gilman Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center

Welcome and Association Updates
9:00 to 9:30 am

Introducing the Film Festival Alliance and our 2016 programming and member-driven initiatives!

Love, Money, Youth: Your Festival’s Strategy Here!
9:30 am to 12:30 pm

While each film festival is unique in its own way, we all share similar challenges and opportunities. No matter what a single festival might look like, most are grappling with the same questions: how can we grow in esteem in the eyes of filmmakers and the industry? How can we secure more financial support to deliver on our best ideas and capitalize on creative opportunities? How can we reach younger audiences and build for the future? This two-part session will ask each attending delegate to introduce what makes your festival special and share your festival’s greatest challenge, followed by an open discussion of strategies and tactics that can help your organization become all that it can be.

Space is limited, so please register soon. Registrants will receive further instructions and a presentation template ASAP.

Kaplan Room | Rose Building: 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 10th Floor

Note date, time and location change!
Meet the Festival Programmers: Documentary
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Meet with narrative feature, doc and web content creators, discovering them first before they’re on the circuit. These are filmmaker-selected meetings, so contact Zach Mandinach if you would like to represent your event at these small group meetings, which last approximately 15 minutes. Not all festivals can participate, and you must sign up for participation in advance of August 25. Register now for your festival to be considered for the roundtables. For more information, email Zach Mandinach at zmandinach@ifp.org.

IFP at Film Week 2015


We hope to see you there! In the meantime, please check out the Festival Alliance on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 

The American Film Institute is seeking candidates for Head Programmer for its annual documentary film festival, AFI DOCS. AFI DOCS is a five-day international documentary film festival that takes place at landmark venues in Washington, DC, and the world-class AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD.

The Head Programmer is responsible for curating film programs for the annual festival and year-round programming, overseeing the festival’s film submissions and selection process, as well as editorial content for AFI DOCS publications and other communication. The Head Programmer also collaborates with the AFI DOCS team on special events during the festival and throughout the year.

For a detailed job description, qualifications and application information, please visit this link.