Film Festival Alliance

News

Our friends at Art House Convergence are giving away a FREE REGISTRATION for the AHC Regional Seminar in Philadelphia to one lucky Film Festival Alliance Member.

The 3-day seminar includes networking, a Festival Operations Panel presented by the Philadelphia Film Society, a Fundraising Panel, a special event with the inventor of the Steadicam, a group photo on the “Rocky Steps” & much more.

To enter the giveaway, just fill out our quick FFA Q&A (please complete the quick survey even if you can’t make it – your feedback is deeply valuable!)  We’ll announce the selected entrant on Wednesday, Thursday May 18th to allow plenty of time for travel arrangements.

Make sure to renew your membership or join today to be eligible for this special giveaway!

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.

The Film Festival Alliance, in coordination with Anna Feder (Emerson College, Wicked Queer), is conducting a survey to collect information about shorts programming at festivals throughout the U.S. The findings will be presented by Anna during SXSW this March, and published anonymously on the FFA website shortly after.

12 Questions. 12 minutes. 
Thank you.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

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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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Dear Film Festival Professional:

Greetings! Just a few weeks ago, many of us gathered pre-Sundance at the Art House Convergence to share camaraderie, best practices and new ideas for how to be better film festivals. For those who were there, thank you for making this our largest, best-attended event yet. A record number of festival professionals attended this year, our third as an AHC partner. We programmed close to 30 festival-specific panels and events, and our members and attending festival professionals participated in a wide range of productive activities throughout the conference.

For those who could not be with us, no worries. We will start our monthly webinars again soon, and are already planning our next regional event, so stay tuned!

Originally founded in 2010 as a program of IFP, we are excited to remind you that we are now a stand alone, not-for-profit organization: the first and only such group dedicated to Film Festivals and the dedicated individuals who make them happen. Our new website is up and running, which we will be adding to and updating often, so poke around and see what is new.

Many festivals graciously renewed their memberships or joined for the first time last month. Thank you all! If you were a previous a member of the IFP Festival Forum—our former entity—but have not renewed, expect a letter soon from our Treasurer, Anne Chaisson.

If you have not yet joined, we ask that you join today. The rates are reasonable, and soon many of the tools and benefits we have provided will be available only to paying festivals and professional members. Do you work for several organizations or run a volunteer festival? Join as an individual! Rates start as low as $100, but the benefits to the field are innumerable.

Lastly, our board formed working committees at the Art House Convergence. If you volunteered for a committee, or if you wish to join one now (and are a paying member), please contact the relevant committee chair, get involved and help these groups undertake their important work in the weeks to come. Have a festival coming up? Please just let your chair know when you will be available. We know better than anyone how seasonally your workload shifts.

That is why the Film Festival Alliance is special: no one knows what gets you out of bed to do the mission-driven work of running a film festival better than we do. The Film Festival Alliance is your tribe, and we are here for you.

On behalf of all of us, thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all again—and working together!—soon.

Colin Stanfield, Jody Arlington, Anne Chaisson, Jon Gann, Tom Hall, Deirdre Haj, Lesli Klainberg, Kristin McCracken, Rosie Wong—Acting Board of Directors

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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…