Film Festival Alliance

Monthly Archives: April 2020

FFA Group Think: Reading the Relationship Temperature: Filmmaker & Festival

Many thanks to Katie McCullough of Festival Formula for moderating our sixth COVID-19 conversation: Reading the Relationship Temperature: Filmmaker & Festival. Out of this conversation came much thoughtful discussion and many questions to ponder (see below). Watch the call here.

Festival Formula is a consultancy company helping filmmakers navigate the world wide festival circuit, giving support on strategy and submissions.

FILMMAKERS EXPECTATIONS: (general points but important as it’s the baseline to paint your co-collaborator)

  • Seeking validation by being screened in festivals
  • Want announcements they can share about their career
  • By their very nature they are laurel hunters
  • Fighting a tidal wave of other filmmakers to be heard and seen on the circuit
  • Battling with smaller budgets than they’d like for festival submissions

 FILMMAKERS CONCERNS: (I’m going to read out some of the questions or statements we’ve been posed)

  • “all festivals are cancelling, why should I bother?”
  • “other festivals don’t want my film online so I can’t opt in if a festival goes virtual”
  • “doesn’t that mean that the end of the year will be really busy?”
  • “can I get refunds if a festival doesn’t go ahead?”
  • “all festivals are moving dates so it’s a waste of money”
  • “I’ve missed a big chunk of the circuit, my film is now too old”

FESTIVAL AREAS TO HIGHLIGHT: 

  • No matter how large or small your team is, keep talking about working out what your plan a, b, or c is even if they are all the same thing!
  • Respect and honour your filmmakers – they deserve to have communication from you first rather than find out on social media
  • At at time like this there is no such thing as too much communication – you have a captive audience and if they are a selected filmmaker they will want to know what the plan is, even if you’re not 100% confirmed something is better than silence
  • If you are in the process of selections and there is a delay, let everyone know
  • That communication needs to be existing otherwise you lose the trust of your co-collaborator – give them something great to talk about you for, not the opposite

COMMUNICATION & VERBIAGE:

  • FFA chat previously mentioned about using the term “virtual” rather than online. I completely champion this, “online” panics filmmakers and also distributors. They envision YouTube and Vimeo links open to all. It won’t correspond to *all* festivals though, but it’s something to nip in the bud to stop panic and also increase those who opt in.
  • Be clear in what you are actually wanting to say – are you cancelling? Postponing? Going virtual? Are you just getting in touch to say you’re going ahead as planned for the foreseeable? Make the message clear so you don’t get a plethora of responses asking questions, and therefore giving yourself more work.
  • Allow filmmakers time to respond and ask any questions – they chose you to submit to and you selected their film so it’s a two-way street of you working together.
  • When possible try not to group the features and shorts into the same process – shorts will be easier to get to opt in, features will possibly be reluctant or tied up with distributors – so treat them accordingly.

Online Festival Platforms

As many festivals pivot towards online events, we’ve created a list of know resources. If you have additional resources we should add, please email us: info at filmfestivalalliance.org. Please note that current FFA members receive a discount for FilmFestivaFlix.com.

Film Festival Flix: benjamin at filmfestivalflix.com
A streaming service, like Netflix, dedicated to film festivals. See films you missed, share films you love, and discover movies curated for you by respected and trusted festivals!
*FFA members receive a 25% discount on all services,

AgileLink VOD: sburkett at agiletix.com
Your organization can invite your patrons and members to experience curated films and live experiences from the comfort of their home. It allows you to market films, collect payment and issue a temporary expiring link to your customer. Once the customer clicks the link, they’ll enjoy the selected production in the comfort of their home theatre or virtually any streaming device. Once the time has expired, the link is no longer available for use. AgileLink VOD keeps your organization connected to what matters most to your patrons and members-great film experiences.
*Agile is an official FFA sponsor

Cinando Video Library
Cinando Video Library is an online B2B digital solution, launched by Cinando, the film industry network created by the Marché du film in Cannes, the world’s largest film market. Cinando VL allows film festivals and other film institutions to stream their selected films online.

CineSend Screener Rooms: eric at cinesend.com
CineSend is preparing assistance packages for film festivals looking to host virtual festivals that would allow the audience the opportunity to watch films from home.They are integrated with many ticketing platforms as well. Pay by the Gb transferred.
*CineSend is an official FFA sponsor

Elevent: Jeremy at eleventsolutions.net
Elevent’s Virtual Event suite supports robust online-only or hybrid online-on-premise event ticketing, membership, subscriber, and donor access, all under your org’s banner and brand. Elevent Virtual Events integrate to your choice of CineSend or Vimeo as video streaming providers.
*Elevent is an official FFA sponsor

Eventiveiddo at eventive.org
Eventive Virtual Festival is a premium service created to make your films and events available for secure, ticketed on-demand and live streaming through your very own Eventive site as well as via our streaming TV apps.
*Eventive is an official FFA sponsor

Eventivaltomas.prasek at eventival.com
Festivals using Eventival can benefit from its integration with both Eventive and CineSend by maintaining their natural workflow and benefitting in many other ways.

Its A Short, christine@itsashort.com
The ‘go to’ site for award winning short film, video and web series. Organized by channels, you can find comedy, drama, documentaries, horror and adventure all while learning about new emerging artists.

Seed&Spark, clay at seedandspark.com
The team is hard at work on a platform to power official fixed-term and ticketed online festivals, and they anticipate being ready to go live with our first festivals by mid-April 2020.

Others:

Vimeo OTT (formerly VHX.tv): vimeo.com/ott/home

Vision Media: https://visionmedia.com/

Festival Scope: https://www.festivalscope.com/all/

My Cinema: https://mycinema.live

XERB: https://landing.xerb.tv

AHC & FFA: SBA Loans, Cares Act & Paycheck Protection Call

Today, Art House Convergence and Film Festival Alliance hosted a call to discuss SBA Loans, Cares Act & Paycheck Protection. The call was moderated by Film Festival Alliance member Bears Rebecca Fonte of Other Worlds Austin and featured Dean Elazab, SBA expert from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in Austin, TX. In case you missed it, you can watch the very informative conversation here.

Dean represents esports teams and financial institutions in a wide range of legal matters, including entity formation, player and sponsor contract negotiation, and other general corporate concerns. Dean also has experience in capital markets, IPO’s, mergers and acquisitions, as well as real estate financing. Before arriving at Hunton Andrews Kurth in 2019, Dean worked at Latham & Watkins in New York for three years. He is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, and went to Southern Methodist University for his undergraduate degree. He can be reached by email: delazab at HuntonAK.com

FFA Group Think: Taking It Online

On Friday April 3, FFA hosted its fifth call in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were joined by several festivals who have taken or are planning to take their events online using various platforms, including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Queens World Film Festival, Aspen Shorts Fest, San Luis Obispo Film Festival, Cleveland Film Festival, and Ashland Independent Film Festival, with some final words from our partner Film Festival Flix. There are many options for taking your festival online, however, the key things to note include making sure that your media is uploaded and tested, determining your best marketing plan, educating your audiences and giving yourself ample time to achieve an online festival that matches that quality of your brand. Watch the call here.

Check out the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s Guide to Using Zoom, Vimeo and PlayBack Pro to Take A Film Festival Online. 

FFA & Theatrical At Home Present Film Festival Day

In partnership with the independent streaming platform Theatrical At Home, FFA presents the inaugural Film Festival Day.

On April 11th, film festival audiences from across North America will join together for a virtual screening of the independent film PHOENIX, OREGON and filmmaker Q&A. Indie film fans can select their festival of choice when purchasing tickets and box office revenue will be generously split with that organization.

33 FFA member festivals (from 21 states) are participating in this initiative to spotlight the film festival industry, which has endured more than 175 cancellations, postponements and quick pivots in the wake of COVID-19, with an estimated economic impact of more than $1.4 million for this group organizations alone. Of the participating festivals, they have combined audiences of more than 200,000, support more than 5,500 filmmakers and collectively screened over 3,700 films in the last year.

“Film festivals and community cinemas are the backbone of the independent film industry. They introduce audiences to stories which nurture, nourish and encourage new perspectives” said Annie Lundgren, Producer of Phoenix, Oregon. “Especially at this time, we are excited to partner with Film Festival Alliance to share our film and support festivals who have given so much to us.”

Movies unite us in a way that no other art form can and film festivals play an essential role in connecting our community to support the works of independent storytellers. Please join us in a celebration of our communities, our audiences, independent filmmakers and what makes the film festival experience so unique, while supporting many FFA member organizations.

“We’ve been looking for a way to emulate the iconic Record Store Day idea for years,” said Lela Meadow-Conner, Executive Director of Film Festival Alliance. “It was always a challenge for film festivals since not everyone has access to a theater at the same time. So now, we gladly take this opportunity to bring audiences from across the country together, at home, and celebrate independent film. We are so grateful to the Phoenix, Oregon team for supporting so many festivals.”

LIST OF PARTICIPATING FESTIVALS: (See on A  Map!) AND PURCHASE TODAY!

  • Alexander Valley Film Festival (CA)
  • Ashland Film Festival (OR)
  • BendFilm (OR)
  • Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (IL)
  • Buffalo International Film Festival (NY)
  • Cambria Film Festival (CA)
  • Cinetopia Film Festival (MI)
  • Cucalorus Film Festival (NC)
  • Durango Independent Film Festival (CO)
  • Heartland Film Festival (IN)
  • Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival (MI)
  • Indy Film Fest (IN)
  • Interfaith Film & Music Festival (NY)
  • Flyway Film Festival (WI)
  • Free State Festival (KS)
  • Golden State Film Festival (CA)
  • Nashville Film Festival (TN)
  • New Filmmakers Los Angeles (CA)
  • Orcas Island Film Festival (WA)
  • Oxford Film Festival (MS)
  • Phoenix Film Festival (AZ)
  • Poppy Jasper International Film Festival (CA)
  • San Luis Obispo Film Festival (CA)
  • Sidewalk Film Festival (AL)
  • Silver State Film Festival (NV)
  • Scottsdale International Film Festival (AZ)
  • Skyline Indie Fest (VA)
  • South Georgia Film Festival (GA)
  • St. Louis International Film Festival (MO)
  • Tallgrass Film Festival (KS)
  • The Valley Film Festival (CA)
  • Vermont International Film Festival (VT)
  • Woods Hole Film Festival (MA)