Film Festival Alliance

Monthly Archives: May 2020

Filmmaker Lounge: Connecting Filmmakers & Festivals

Presented by Film Festival Alliance & Festival Formula, LTD.
May 28th, 1:30pm-3:00pm EST/10:30am-12:00pm PST

 Grab your lunch and join us in the filmmaker lounge for a candid conversation between festival directors & programmers, with filmmakers bringing the questions.

As all of us navigate the future of the festival circuit, we’re finding ourselves with more questions than answers. Festivals and filmmakers are pivoting in various directions in response to different circumstances with varying degrees of success. As we move forward, FFA and our member festivals, and Festival Formula, all believe that communication and transparency are critical to the sustainability of the film festival industry. This conversation will feature speakers from different types of festivals, and filmmakers are encouraged to participate by submitting their questions in advance. Moderated by Katie McCullough, Founder of Festival Formula Ltd.

Register and ask your question here:

Film Festival Day: Life in Synchro

On May 23, FFA will team with Theatrical- At-Home once again to present a sequel to Film Festival Day.

39 FFA member film festivals will participate in a virtual screening of Angela Pinaglia’s documentary LIFE IN SYNCHRO, which Pinaglia describes as “the most feminist sport you’ve never heard of.” The special screening will benefit each of the participating film festivals across the country with a share of the evening’s proceeds. Film festival audiences from across the country will be able to select their festival of choice when purchasing tickets and box office revenue will be generously split with that organization and the filmmakers themselves.To purchase a ticket, please go to

“The results of our first Film Festival Day surpassed any of our expectations,” said Lela Meadow-Conner, Executive Director of Film Festival Alliance. “To witness the collective power of these community & filmmaker-driven festivals coming together in support of independent storytellers and audiences, embodies the spirit our members organizations. Thus, the idea of doing a sequel seemed natural and LIFE IN SYNCHRO was a perfect film for us to feature. It’s a film that would have played the in-person festival circuit in 2020, and it represents the heart that independent filmmakers often infuse into their projects – exactly the type of storytelling that brings audiences to a film festival. The cherry on top is being able to support the filmmakers, as well.”

“Working with Film Festival Alliance for the inaugural Film Festival Day in April was a tremendous experience,” said Annie Lundgren, Producer of PHOENIX, OREGON, the first Film Festival Day selection. Their one day event brought in almost a third of our total virtual cinema revenues. We loved sharing these revenues with festivals, and we were able to screen our film for welcoming audiences. Being able to collaborate with festivals who directly engage with loyal indie audiences is monumental and could be transformational as indie filmmakers seek new distribution models.”

A film festival favorite that has touched and enthralled audiences around the country as it introduced them to the world of synchronized ice skating, Pinaglia’s LIFE IN SYNCHRO follows a skating season alongside the stars of today, the newcomers, the passionate amateurs and the founders of the sport as they push their teams and themselves to be too good to ignore. But will it be enough to get their sport off the fringes and into the Olympic spotlight? From a young Team USA skater with big dreams, a 65-year-old amateur skater embracing this next chapter of life with her team, to a woman who was on the first synchro team back in 1956, who is now trying to get the founder of synchro, the credit he deserves for creating the sport that gave her so much, LIFE IN SYNCHRO interweaves each woman’s vastly different journeys, from all around the U.S., as they and these determined teams are out to prove the staying power of synchro.

LIFE IN SYNCHRO was directed, edited and produced by Pinaglia. Nicole Davies is the film’s executive producer. As part of the special Film Festival Day presentation, both will participate in a Q&A along with the film’s subjects Emily Fitzgerald (a former competitive skater on the Dearborn Crystallettes), Heidi Coffin (a 68-year-old adult skater on the Maine DownEasters), and Peggy MacDonald (who was a skater on the first ever synchro team in 1956 and went on to coach the first ever national champions of the sport in 1984), The Q&A will be moderated by Women Sports Film Festival’s Co-Founder Susan Sullivan.

Pinaglia said, “Synchronized skating is the closest thing I have ever seen to a women’s utopia, and it’s not in an alternative reality or in the far off future. It exists in the here and now. LIFE IN SYNCHRO captures the promise of what can be – for the sport, the athletes, and ultimately all women.”

Among the 38 participating film festivals:

  • BendFilm (OR)
  • Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (IL)
  • Buffalo International Film Festival (NY)
  • CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival (WA)
  • Charlotte Film Festival (NC)
  • Cinetopia Film Festival (MI)
  • Cucalorus Film Festival (NC)
  • Durango Independent Film Festival (CO)
  • Film Pittsburgh (PA)
  • Flyway Film Festival (WI)
  • Free State Festival (KS)
  • Golden State Film Festival (CA)
  • Hells Half Mile Film & Music Festival (MI)
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (AR)
  • Indy Film Fest (IN)
  • InterFaith Film & Music Festival (NY)
  • Maine Film Center (ME)
  • Martha’s Vineyard Film Society (MA)
  • Milwaukee Film Festival (WI)
  • Nashville Film Festival (TN)
  • NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (CA)
  • Orcas Island Film Festival (WA)
  • Oxford Film Festival (MS)
  • Phoenix Film Festival (AZ)
  • Poppy Jasper International Film Festival (CA)
  • RiverRun International Festival (NC)
  • Rocky Mountain Women’s Film (CO)
  • San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (CA)
  • Scottsdale International Film Festival (AZ)
  • Sedona International Film Festival (AZ)
  • Sidewalk Film Festival (AL)
  • Silver State Film Festival (NV)
  • St. Louis International Film Festival (MO)
  • Tallgrass Film Festival (KS)
  • The Valley Film Festival (CA)
  • Vermont International Film Festival (VT)
  • Women Sports Film Festival (CA),
  • Women Texas Film Festival (TX), and
  • Woods Hole Film Festival (MA).


Film Festival Day: The Results Are In

On April 11, FFA and Theatrical at Home presented the first Film Festival Day, to virtually come together in support of film festivals and independent film.  Below are some statistics. Every participating festival received a list of all ticket purchasers and all notes left to them by their patrons, as well as payment the following week.

  • Participating Film Festivals: 32
  • States Represented: 20
  • Ticket Price: $6.50
  • Total # of Orders: 1,037
  • Total # of Tickets Sold: 1,420
  • Total Box Office: $9,243
  • Total Net Revenue for Filmmakers: $4,706
  • Total Net Revenue for Festivals: $4,475
  • Highest Festival Net Revenue: $510 (with no paid advertising)
  • Attending Virtual Q&A: 402

Watch the Q&A with Director, Gary Lundgren and Cast Members James Le Gros, Jesse Borrego and Diedrich Bader, here. Moderated by Melanie Addington (Oxford Film Festival.)

Read a blog “Lessons From Our Most Successful Festival Partners by  Phoenix, Oregon producer Annie Lundgren here.

Save the date for FFD2, coming to festival audiences on May 23, 2020.

FFA & Sundance Institute Present A Conversation with the NEA/ Media Arts Discipline Grants

Sundance Institute and the Film Festival Alliance invite you to a conversation with the Media Arts team at the Arts Endowment on the topic of Grants for Arts Projects in the Media Arts discipline (application deadline: July 9) on Wednesday, May 20 at 3pm EST.

With a focus on educating new and first-time applicants (as well as offering a refresher for seasoned applicants), Arts Endowment staff will walk participants through the entire process from application preparation, submission, and review.

The session will also include first-hand stories from recent applicants, as well as time for questions throughout the session. Register here.