Film Festival Alliance

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NEA Art Works Grant Opportunity for Media Arts Organizations – Overview

Part 1 – Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov: February 15, 2018
Part 2 – Submit Materials to Applicant Portal: February 20-27, 2018
Earliest Announcement of Grant Award or Rejection: November 2018
Earliest Beginning Date for National Endowment for the Arts Period of Performance: January 1, 2019

Eligible projects types include exhibition, presentation, distribution, and preservation activities:
· Film/video/audio/new-media festivals and associated public programming that include artists, critics, and/or scholars, and are open to the general public and demonstrate meaningful community engagement.
· Preservation, restoration, or archiving of media art works, and services that support preservation, restoration, or archiving efforts.
· Curated series, screenings, exhibitions, installations, and/or touring programs and associated programming featuring all genres of historic and contemporary art that uses electronic media, film and technology (old and new) as an artistic medium and demonstrate meaningful community engagement.
· Regional, national, or international distribution of electronic media, film, and technology as art.

Here is the link to more information about the NEA Art Works: Media Arts grant. There are two grant cycles – each have different eligible project activities for each deadline. Note, the July deadline is for creation, education, and resources for artistic and professional development. For many of you, this upcoming deadline might be the best fit for you.

Helpful tips:
· Eligible applicants must be a 501c3 organization – review list of organizational eligibility here.
· Though the SF-424 is due on February 15, it is strongly recommended to submit the SF-424 to Grants.gov (aka: Step 1 – more details here) by February 6, to allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter.
· The second step of the process is submitting your application to the applicant portal between 2/20-2/27/2018 (aka: Step 2 – more details here).
· We highly recommend downloading the Media Arts FY19 Application PDF in advance to start preparing your project narrative and additional materials/work samples in advance. The application PDF also has helpful hints and tips that may not be visible in the applicant portal.
· All eligible applications will be reviewed on the basis of the artistic excellence and artistic merit. Full descriptions of the review criteria are available here.
· For a general overview of the Art Works grant opportunity, here is a link to a recent webinar on the Art Works Guidelines for FY2019.
· Some of you may enjoy (or find it helpful) to look at previous grants awarded to film festivals or other projects in the media arts field. The link to the database is here.
· If you have any general questions during the application process, please contact Media Art Grant Specialists Sarah Burford (burfords@arts.gov) or Sarah Metz (metzs@arts.gov).

(Pictured above L to R: Patrick Shepherd, Cara Ogburn, Ryan Watt. Missing: Rachel Morgan.)

FFA is thrilled to welcome four new members to its Board of Directors, who represent festivals of different sizes and from varied geographical locations. They join several existing directors who are committed to advancing FFA’s growth, programming and networking opportunities.

Rachel Morgan, Sidewalk Film Festival
Rachel Morgan is the creative director and lead programmer for the Sidewalk Film Festival as well as an instructor of Media Production and Telecommunication and Film at Lawson State Community College. She is also a co-instructor in the Documenting Justice documentary film program at the University of Alabama and is a former contributor to Film Threat. She received a BFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design in Film/Video Production and a MA in Film Critical Studies from the University of Alabama where her focus of study was on Children and Adolescence in Cinematic Horror.

Cara Ogburn, Ph.D., Programming & Education Director, Milwaukee Film
Cara Ogburn is the Programming & Education Director for Milwaukee Film, which hosts the annual Milwaukee Film Festival, a 15-day film festival that, in 2017, boasted attendance over 84,000 for 297 films (shorts, features and VR shorts) and which will in summer 2018 be assuming operation of the historic Oriental Theatre year-round. Cara began working for the Milwaukee Film Festival seasonally in 2011, curating and planning panels, workshops, and other programming for filmmakers and general audiences to extend the films onscreen. With twelve years of experience teaching at the college level, in 2013, Cara joined Milwaukee Film’s year-round staff, overseeing strategic planning and a resulting expanded slate of programs for youth, filmmakers, and general audiences. In late 2015, Cara was promoted to direct the Programming Department in addition to Education, guiding the process and team that curate all content presented on and off-screen during the festival and year-round.

Patrick Shepherd, Cleveland International Film Festival
Patrick Shepherd serves as the Associate Director of the Cleveland International Film Festival and marks his twentieth year with the organization in 2018. Joining the organization as a seasonal staff member in 1999, Patrick was hired as Development Director in 2001 and promoted to Associate Director in 2006. He has managed the CIFF’s fundraising efforts as our attendance tripled (to 106,504) and our budget increased to just over $3.2 million in the last 17 years.

Ryan Watt, IndieMemphis
Ryan Watt is the Executive Director of Indie Memphis, creating community for independent film and supporting the development of filmmakers. The arts organization is dedicated to year-round programs culminating with the annual Indie Memphis Film Festival in November.  He is a film producer of features with premieres at SXSW, Locarno International, AFI, Los Angeles Film Festival, and Venice Film Festival. Most recently, Ryan is Associate Producer of FREE IN DEED, nominated for four 2017 Film Independent Spirit Awards.  Before transitioning into film production, Ryan specialized in marketing technology services at Securas Consulting Group, after they acquired his data backup firm Metro Backup.

If you want the next edition of your film festival to have a bigger audience, stronger international reputation and improved sponsorship and partnerships, this course was designed for you. Developing Your Film Festival is an intensive programme for film festival professionals, taught by some of the world’s experts on taking your festival to the next level. Don’t just take our word for it: We are 100% recommended by our participants, which include over 120 film festivals from around the world.

Developing Your Film Festival is taught interactively by experts from the Independent Cinema Office as well as key festival staff from the best festivals from around the world (in the past, we have welcomed representatives from the Berlinale, Hot Docs, Rotterdam, Toronto and many more). You will come away with a clear strategy that you can implement immediately, as well as new contacts from festivals around the world. On the course you will learn practical lessons about:
Sponsorship
Partnerships
Audience development
Programming
Press strategy
Income building

DYFF 2018 is taking place at Vilnius Film Festival. You will have the chance to make new connections and see the beautiful Lithuanian city of Vilnius, as well take in the one of the most incredible festivals in Europe.

Deadline for expressions of interest from North American applicants: Monday 29th January, 2018.

For more information please see here or contact Jemma Buckley, Partnerships Manager: jemma.buckley@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk

Testimonials
· 100% of participants questioned said they would recommend Developing Your Film Festival (DYFF) to a colleague or peer.
· 100% of respondents said the course was ‘very relevant’ or ‘relevant’ to their job and career development.
· 100% said the overall organisation of the course was either ‘excellent’ (77%) or ‘good’ (23%)
· 96% rated the speakers expertise as ‘excellent’

What our participants say:
“We changed our ticketing strategy and overall ticket sales increased by 35%. We implemented an intensive rebranding and have received rave reviews from the board, and our partners”.
Marian Spier, KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival, Netherlands

“Extremely insightful. The course will allow me to bring back a variety of tangible ideas which I can implement immediately.”
Damian Connor, Belfast Film Festival, UK

“Since attending DYFF, we’ve trebled annual turnover of the festival, implemented a five year strategic plan, received international attention and acclaim for our projects and had 79% capacity at last year’s festival.”
Holly Tarquini, Bath Film Festival, UK

The FFA Board is excited to announce it is seeking new board members! We’re looking for a handful of film festival professionals (or well-financed film festival enthusiasts!!) who would like to lend their time, talent and connections to help take the organization to the next level and to shape the future growth of the alliance.

Candidates for the board will be presented to members leading up to the annual meeting of the Alliance during the Arthouse Convergence. All active members of the Alliance will get a chance to cast their vote on the final candidates. The results will be announced during the annual meeting. To nominate yourself or someone else, please complete this form by January 4th.

We are gearing up for the 5th annual Film Festival Alliance @ Art House Convergence (FFA@AHC), which is packed to the brim with many great sessions and panels — including new discussions on Workplace Harassment, and Persevering Through Natural Disasters.

PLUS, we’re adding two special events:

SOCIAL FABRIC: T-SHIRT EXCHANGE
We know you love your event’s shirts — and want other festival professionals to sport them in their towns. Fill the empty space in your luggage with a few extra shirts, and exchange them with other festivals at our official T-shirt Exchange (time TBD.) You may go home with a new wardrobe AND some clean clothes!

BEFORE THEY RAN THE PLACE: SHORT FILM PROGRAM
Before you became a festival professional, were you a director, actor, producer or worked on a short film? If so, send a link to jon@filmfestivalalliance.org, and we will showcase during a special screening. If possible, send your shorter works so we can show as many as possible in 60 minutes. All entries accepted (the easiest festival you ever entered).

AIRPORT/SUNDANCE SHUTTLE
If you have not yet completed the form to reserve a space on the shuttles — DO SO NOW before space fills up.

LODGING:
It appears that the Zermatt and Homestead are SOLD OUT. We recommend checking Airbnb. If you are in need of a roommate or have extra space, please let us know and we will try and help out!

More information is forthcoming — we will send updates as more events and sessions are confirmed and you can check out the Full Conference Schedule.

We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks and hope you enjoy a happy & peaceful holiday season.

Cheers!

Jon Gann & Lela Meadow-Conner
Conference Organizers

Register Now

Confirmed Panels to date include:

SESSIONS AND PANELS

Past participants tell us that it is the best event of the year — and allows them to interact with their peers across the country in a relaxed, productive and non-competitive atmosphere.

MAKING YOUR FESTIVAL ‘FESTIVE’
How do you keep the “festive” in festival? Beyond programming, how do you attract new audiences? Hear out-of-the-box presenters share their favorite special events: parties, seminars, live comedy performances, BBQs, bar crawls, talks, staged readings, hula hooping — and beyond —  to target active and passive entertainment seekers.

LET’S TALK DISTRIBUTION
Acknowledging the elephant in the room, no cell phones, no social media – just an honest, closed-door session where film festivals and distributors can openly discuss everything from scheduling, marketing, distribution strategies, and the necessity of screening fees. Our goal is for this frank talk discussion to create more transparency on both sides of the invoice, helping make negotiations easier for all parties.

REAL DATA = REAL GROWTH
Learn how Indie Memphis and others use a data-driven approach to audience development and ticket sales for film festivals and weekly screenings. Analytics are used to better understand each individual attendee, fine tune sales and outreach, activate sponsorship and maximize attendance for each event.

BUILDING A FUTURE: DEVELOPING A LOVE OF CINEMA AMONG CHILDREN
Most children only see three films a year in a theater, vs 20+ on tablets and TV. How do we create culture of cinema to ensure future audiences for theaters and festivals alike? Learn how we can work together to develop new programs and activities that encourage long-term affiliation and appreciation of cinema as a shared cultural experience.

TURNING NON-TRADITIONAL SPACES INTO SUCCESSFUL SCREENING VENUES
Not every festival is able to use the local cineplex or DCI-compliant theater. Discover how other festival organizers and tech staff turn high school cafeterias, church basements, empty storefronts and other raw space into facilities that welcome audiences, and honor the work of filmmakers through extraordinary presentation.

WHO’S AFRAID OF THE BIG BAD WOLF?
With Netflix, Amazon and other snapping up properties before their festival runs are over, many programmers are skeptical to include these titles in their final lineups. Hear from festivals who eschewed traditional thought — with runaway sales and success.

FESTIVAL TALES
In these rapid-fire presentations, hear how three festivals (small, medium and large) tackle everything from programming to marketing to audience development, and presentation. This is the first year that festivals will been included in the storied Art House Tales program — where there is much to learn from both festivals and theaters alike.

MARKETING DEEP-DIVE
Everything is marketing — and marketing is everything. Hear from theaters, festivals, and marketing professionals about strategies, techniques and new software solutions to engage your audience, drive up sales, and decrease your day-to-day work. Attendance to this special double session is limited. Please sign up in advance.


SPECIAL EVENTS & CONNECTIONS

FILM FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS’ DINNER
The conference gets underway with a delicious buffet dinner in which all attending festivals introduce themselves, their event — and their hopes for the week.

PRODUCT DEMOS
Take a break between sessions to visit one of the sponsoring vendors to demo various software solutions for ticketing, film trafficking, review panels and other festival administration.

ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE MEETING & ELECTION
Discover what FFA has planned for 2018 and beyond, and reflect on the past year’s programming efforts. The Annual Meeting is open to all attendees, with the election of a new board limited to FFA members.

EVENING COCKTAIL RECEPTIONS
After a day of panels and seminars, relax before dinner (included) with a glass of wine or a stiff cocktail. Whatever your poison, relax and mingle with festival crew from around the country.

INTERFACE WITH YOUR TRIBE
It’s said that there are 3,000 film festivals — and 2,999 way to run one. Meet fellow organizers throughout the conference, exchange ideas and successes, collaborate on future events — and make friends with the one group of people who truly understands what you do, and the trials and tribulations that challenge us every day.

PLUS DOZENS OF OTHER SESSIONS ORGANIZED BY ART HOUSE CONVERGENCE — ALL OPEN TO YOU!

Register Now

Email us! We’re seeking festivals professionals of all kinds to join in sharing your knowledge with the tribe. Confirmed Panels to Date Include:

  • Making Your Festival Festive/Programming Beyond the Films How do you keep the “festive” in festival? Beyond programming, how do you attract new audiences? Hear out-of-the-box presenters share their favorite special events: parties, seminars, live comedy performances, BBQs, bar crawls, talks, staged readings, hula hooping — and beyond — to target active and passive entertainment seekers.
  • Let’s Talk Distribution Acknowledging the elephant in the room, no cell phones, no social media – just an honest, closed-door session where film festivals and distributors can openly discuss everything from scheduling, marketing, distribution strategies, and the necessity of screening fees. Our goal is for this frank talk discussion to create more transparency on both sides of the invoice, helping make negotiations easier for all parties.
  • Real Data Means Real Growth Learn how Indie Memphis and others use a data-driven approach to audience development and ticket sales for film festivals and weekly screenings. Analytics are used to better understand each individual attendee, fine tune sales and outreach, activate sponsorship and maximize attendance for each event.
  • Building a Future: Developing a Love of Cinema among Children Most children only see three films a year in a theater, vs 20+ on tablets and TV. How do we create culture of cinema to ensure future audiences for theaters and festivals alike? Learn how we can work together to develop new programs and activities that encourage long-term affiliation and appreciation of cinema as a shared cultural experience.
  • Festival Tales In these rapid-fire presentations, hear how three festivals (small, medium and large) tackle everything from programming to marketing to audience development, and presentation. This is the first year that festivals will been included in the storied Art House Tales program — where there is much to learn from both festivals and theaters alike.

On Sunday July 30th, FFA sponsored a Meet The Festival Directors & Programmers panel at the University Film and Video Association Conference in Los Angeles. The panel gave film teachers a chance to meet and ask questions of film festival professionals. Participants included programmers from the Bentonville Film Festival, the Utah Film Awards, Outfest, the Pasadena International Film Festival and the Dallas VideoFest. Over the 90 minutes of conversation, the filmmakers/ teachers learned about our various programming processes and the discussion continued over drinks nearby. Cards were exchanged, friendships were made, and we had fun – as film fest folks do!

Festival Folks:  Are you a Former (or Current) Filmmaker?

As part of this year’s Film Festival Alliance conference, we’re introducing a new evening shorts program, comprised of films made by YOU!  Submit your short for “Directors on Directing: Shorts from Recovering Filmmakers.” The program will be curated by Jon Gann, founder of the DC Shorts Film Festival and short film programmer extraordinaire.

FAQ’s

  • Submissions are open to anyone who works for an FFA member festival
  • Shorts must be 15 minutes or less (unless it’s REALLY good)
  • Screeners must be available online or downloadable
  • Send links to info@filmfestivalalliance.org
  • Super Duper Extended Deadline: December 31, 2017
  • There is no submission fee and NO waivers will be extended
  • The screening will be followed by a Q&A with all attending filmmakers
  • A prize will be given to the Audience Award Winner
  • The film must have been made and completed between 1957 – 2017.

Registration is now open for the 2018 Art House Convergence and Film Festival Alliance conference.

Register by September 30th and receive Early Bird pricing. FFA Members receive Early Bird through November 30! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

Early Bird + : $495/individual | 3 or more from the same organization
Early Bird: $575/individual

The registration price goes up after September 30th for non-FFA Members. See price schedule below:

October 1 – November 30
Individual: $675
Two or more from the same organization: : $625

December 1 – Conference
Group: $775
Two or more from the same organization: : $725

What does the registration fee include?

  • Complimentary bus to/from the Zermatt & Homestead Resorts from downtown Salt Lake City (More details on pick-up and drop-off location will be sent prior to conference) *only available on Monday and Thursday of the conference*
  • Most meals from Monday evening through Thursday lunchtime (think lunch, dinner, and some light breakfast + Art House Lounge snacks!)
  • Drink tickets for use at events throughout the conference
  • All the coffee your brain desires! (or tea!)
  • Access to all education sessions, workshops, and keynote speakers
  • Access to all evening events, like film screenings, trivia and karaoke
  • Conference Attendee bag, including program guide, Art House swag, and other educational materials (we’ve been known to have *pretty cool* swag…)
  • Online access to speaker and panel presentations following the conference
  • And so much more…

What does the registration fee NOT include?

  • Hotel reservations (see below)
  • Festival Organizer’s Dinner
  • Airfare/your mode of transportation to Utah
  • Transportation to/from the Zermatt & Homestead Resort when our complimentary buses are not running.

Make Your Hotel Reservations Today

Zermatt Resort
784 W Resort Dr
Midway, UT 84049
1-866-937-6288
Rooms start at $149/night
*NEW: There is a 3-NIGHT minimum at the Zermatt Resort*
To make your reservations at the Zermatt, click here
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Homestead Resort
700 Homestead Dr
Midway, UT 84049
1-800-327-7220
Rooms start at $129/night
To make your reservations at the Homestead, call 1-800-327-7220

*Make sure to mention Art House to get the discounted rates. There are no minimum nights at the Homestead.