Film Festival Alliance

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Film Festival Alliance (FFA) announced today it has named Lela Meadow-Conner as the organization’s Executive Director; She has served as Acting Executive Director since April 2017.

“FFA and the film festival industry have grown rapidly over the past several years. We’re thrilled to have Lela fill this important role at a critical time for the Alliance as we evolve from a grassroots movement into an institution that can support festival professionals and shape the future of our industry. Lela has the right mix of vision and experience to lead the organization into the new phase and I’m excited to work with her as we build, grow, and adapt,” said FFA Board President Dan Brawley, Chief Instigating Officer of Cucalorus Festival.

Meadow-Conner comes to Film Festival Alliance with over 15 years of experience in the film festival industry. A founder of the Tallgrass Film Festival, she filled several roles within that organization between 2003-2017, including six years as the popular festival’s Executive Director. She’s also served in consulting roles for the Woods Hole Film Festival, and most recently for Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival, and has attended dozens of film festivals, nationally and internationally in various roles and capacities, as well.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with my peers at FFA, which is such an important organization for our industry. It’s a place where film festival professionals sincerely feel like they belong and know that the work they are doing is making a difference,” she said.Our environment is collaborative and inclusive, and our membership base is truly passionate about storytelling, independent film exhibition, supporting filmmakers, and enriching audiences. I look forward to working together to advance the film festival’s role in the entertainment ecosystem.”

The agenda is here for our second Regional Roundtable gathering, July 27-30th, at the 27th annual Woods Hole Film Festival in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Support comes from Elevent and Film Freeway. Registration is $75, or $50 for FFA members. Lodging information can be found here. Industry Passes (good for the entire festival) are still available ($100 Pass for FFA members / $150 – Pass for non members.) Group discussions, centered around audience as stakeholders, take place on Saturday July 28th and Sunday July 29th along with FFA’s signature Meet The Programmers session. See the full agenda below.


July 27:
3:00pm: Group Tour Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory (Meet at WHFF office, 89 Water Street, Second Floor)

4:00pm: Welcome Drinks, Sponsored by Elevent

6:00pm: Private Party, RSVP Required

July 28:
9:00am-10:30am: Identifying & Expanding our Audience:
We will begin by identifying our existing audiences and then our aspirational audience. What should the audience of the future look like and how do we work to develop our audiences to reflect that? How can our marketing, messaging and planning attract and engage desired audiences and new demographics while retaining existing ones?

11:00am – 12:30pm: Fulfilling Audience Expectations:
How do we continue to provide the people what they want? Does a film festival’s programming need to include episodic, streaming, VR and other interdisciplinary art, and does our audience expect us to be leaders in new forms of visual entertainment? This session will explore whether or not the film festival needs to stay in constant evolution as technology and exhibition changes, and what our audiences really appreciate about and expect from what we provide.

12:30pm: Lunch

2:00-3:30pm: Audience Experience – Box Office:
How can we make the box office a seamless and accessible experience for our audiences? This session will attempt to tackle the box office beast. Topics include pricing, packaging, logistics, location, delivery, comp inventory, data tracking and audience experience within your box office platform, both digitally and physically. We will also discuss audience measurement and whether or not there might be a standardized way for festivals to count attendance.

Sunday, July  29:
9:00-10:15am: Audience Experience & Your Brand:
From a physical perspective, including venue selection, to concessions, logistics, parties, panels, accessibility, etc., how do festivals prioritize their audience’s experience? And how do you convey that experience virtually and year-round to create brand loyalty?

10:30am: Filmmaker Brunch (Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, Woods Hole Branch)

12:30pm: Meet the Programmers Session:
FFA’s flagship panel discussion is a two-way conversation between film festival professionals and filmmakers to create a more open dialogue about the festival process. More than 70 filmmakers will attend the session at Woods Hole Film Festival.

5:00pm: Sunday Drinks sponsored by Film Freeway

Monday, July 30:

10:45am: Martha’s Vineyard Excursion, for attendees and filmmakers, sponsored by Steamship Authority with a tour of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven.

Wednesday, July 18 @ 1:00pm ET (11:00am PT)

Cultivating a long-term relationship with your audience for increased engagement & sustainable revenue.

For every stakeholder, the first point of contact for your festival is likely going to be online. FFA partner Eventive presents July’s webinar, examine how to attract and retain your audience by creating a fun, easy to use and accessible online presence that communicates a consistent brand message and experience regardless of where they find you. Topics include staying on top of your multiple online channels and creating a feeling of belonging and ownership amongst your followers, maintaining a rich online experience for your users that reflects the essence of your festival, a fun ticket buying experience, easy ways for your audience to support you, email marketing and tracking audience and sponsor behavior with online analytics tools.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android (see the slides):
Call in from a phone: US: 646 876 9923, Meeting ID: 428 854 7450

FFA partner Agile Ticketing Solutions presents “Demystifying Memberships,” on Wednesday, June 20 from  1:00-2:00pm EST. The presentation was given before a sold-out crowd at the 2018 Film Festival Alliance/Art House Convergence conference and Agile is back to share it with our festival community. The webinar includes overall guidance for establishing Membership Programs: is it right for your organization, why they are important, when you should start one, who your members are and where to find them, and maintaining the program, followed by a a Q&A with the Agile team.

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android (see the slides):
Call in from a phone: US: 646 876 9923, Meeting ID: 428 854 7450

FFA is excited to announce another valuable opportunity through its partnership with Spotlight Cinema Networks! FFA members will receive a free premium listing on Spotlight’s mobile app: CineLife.

CineLife, developed in conjunction with the Art House Convergence, is a mobile app that reaches dedicated independent film enthusiasts. Users discover film festival dates, Q&A’s, live arts and other special events in their community as well as independent films, showtimes, and movie news from across the nation.

As a CineLife partner, FFA members will receive a custom-branded profile, with logo and custom color scheme, as well as integration of social media and other feeds. Your custom branded festival listing will appear with the theatre list in your area for about a month, increasing awareness and attendance.

To get started, just fill out this form – it is that easy!

FFA’s popular Spotlight Support Program, from sponsor Spotlight Cinema Networks is back!

The Spotlight Support Program is a great way for Film Festival Alliance (FFA) members to generate self-earned revenue by leveraging unused/underused screen time during their events. This is a turnkey revenue generating opportunity offered exclusively to U.S. film festivals that are Film Festival Alliance organizational members. Learn more & apply here.

Member Testimonials:

“It would not be exaggerating to say that the Spotlight Support Program helped elevate the experience at Horrible Imaginings Film Festival. Because the folks at Spotlight work so hard to find sponsors that are strong fits for us thematically, the sponsor messaging on display at the event was relevant and of interest to our audience. With the helpfulness of the team and the strong financial support of the sponsors they find, the partnership offered by the Spotlight Support Program is unparalleled!” Miguel Rodriquez, Director, Horrible Imaginings Film Festival

“The Spotlight Support Program has been indispensable for Other Worlds Austin, supplying us with an easily recognizable corporation that adds credibility to the festival to leverage with the rest of our sponsors, in addition to the always appreciated financial support.  The team is easy to work with and quick to respond to questions.  And someone in our audience told me they actually bought the car we featured two years in a row, so apparently it’s great for advertisers as well.” – Bears Rebecca Fonte, Founder/Director of Programming, Other Worlds Austin Sci Fi Film Festival

FFA invites film festival professionals to our 2nd Regional Roundtable of 2018 at the 27th annual Woods Hole Film Festival.  A full agenda will be coming soon…highlights include:

-Roundtable discussions with an emphasis on audience development
-FFA’ signature Meet The Programmers session
-A group trip to Martha’s Vineyard (Monday, July 30)
-A group tour of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Marine Biology Laboratory
-Film Screenings, Lobster Tacos & More!

Registration Information:
$50 FFA Members / $75 Non-Members
Member Discount Code: WHFF4FFA

Industry Pass Information:
-10 comp industry passes will be given away randomly to those who register by June 30.
Industry Pass Prices: (Pass good for entire festival)
-$100 Pass for FFA members / $150 – Pass for non members

Hotel Links:
Treehouse Lodge Discount Code: WHFF2018

Transportation Information:
By Air: Closest Airports are Boston Logan and T.F. Green, Providence, RI (Woods Hole is approximately 70 miles from Boston Logan Airport)
By Bus: Busses area available to Woods Hole and Falmouth from Logan Airport and Downtown Boston; as well as from Downtown Providence, RI and Port Authority to Woods Hole (NYC)

Transportation in Woods Hole:
If you are staying within walking or ubering distance, a vehicle may not be necessary, especially as parking in Woods Hole is tricky.
Uber is available as is the WHOOSH Shuttle from Woods Hole to Falmouth.

Film Festival Alliance invites attending SIFF and regional filmmakers to a candid Meet the Programmers discussion with film festival programmers from across the country, on Sunday, May 27th from 12:00pm-1:30pm, hosted by the Northwest Film Forum.

This moderated session is designed to create an open dialogue intended to increase transparency between filmmakers and festivals – demystifying the festival programming process and giving filmmakers an inside look at the people behind the screen. This is also an opportunity for filmmakers to share stories and insights about their festival experiences – from submissions to notifications, screenings and more.

The event is free, but space is limited. Follow the link to get signed up!

About Northwest Film Forum:
Founded in Seattle in 1995 as an independent film and arts nonprofit, Northwest Film Forum incites public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences. Each year the Forum presents hundreds of films, festivals, community events, multidisciplinary performances, and public discussions. As a comprehensive visual media organization, the Forum offers educational workshops and artist services for film and media makers at all stages of their development. 

FFA has announced the agenda for our first-ever Regional Roundtable at SIFF, May 25-27,sponsored by Elevent. The gathering is open to all festivals, FFA-members and non-members, and strives toward inclusive and meaningful conversations and outcomes for festivals of all sizes.

Register by April 20th to get yourself in the running for one of 10 FREE SIFF Industry Passes!
Registration: $50/FFA Members; $75 FFA non-members // SIFF Industry Pass: $100

SIFF Regional Agenda:

Friday, May 25th:
8pm: Informal Gathering, Queen Anne Beer Hall (203 W Thomas St.)

Saturday, May 26th:
9:30-11:00am: The Intersection Between Filmmakers and Festivals, SIFF Lounge (2 West Roy Street)
This group discussion will explore the intersection between festivals and filmmakers: what benefits do festivals offer filmmakers, is exposure enough, how can film festivals help create conditions for filmmakers to make a living as creators? We’ll also look at the differences and similarities in festivals of all sizes when it comes to filmmaker support and the filmmaker experience. Join as we explore this essential question – what is the functional relationship (creative, economic, emotional, spiritual) that you have with your filmmakers?

11:15am-12:45pm: Sifting Through Entries: Submission Management Strategies, SIFF Lounge (2 West Roy Street)
The ever-evolving landscape of submission management is a hot topic within the film festival community. From competing platforms to how many programmers watch each entry, the manner in which festivals handle submissions can have far-reaching consequences. This discussion will explore platform options, scoring, databases, and more – to find out what film festivals need in order to manage submissions.

12:45: Group Lunch (Optional), Location TBD

Afternoon: SIFF Screenings, Various Locations

7:00pm: Informal Meet-Up,  Queen Anne Beer Hall (203 W Thomas St.)
Followed by a  group excursion to the SIFF Saturday Evening Party

Sunday, May 27th
10:00-11:30am: Identifying Festival Stakeholders: Filmmakers, Northwest Film Forum (515 12th Ave.)
How can the Film Festival Alliance engage festival stakeholders – from vendors, to sponsors, to filmmakers, to festival nomads? Join us as we kick-off this discussion by addressing the question: Should the Film Festival Alliance create a membership category for filmmakers? This roundtable series will continue at Woods Hole, IFP, and Cucalorus as the Film Festival Alliance works engage stakeholders on multiple levels to grow and shape our industry.

12:00-1:30: FFA’s Meet the Programmers, Northwest Film Forum (515 12th Ave.)
A moderated session, open to SIFF-filmmakers, regional filmmakers and festival programmers. Join us for an open dialogue intended to increase transparency between filmmakers and festivals. We’ll try to demystify the festival programming process and give filmmakers an inside look at the people behind the screen. This is also an opportunity for filmmakers to share stories and insights about their festival experiences – from submissions to notifications, screenings and more.

1:45pm: Group Lunch (Optional), Location TB

Afternoon: SIFF Screenings, Various Locations

8:00pm: Film Freeway presents FFA Drinks + Bites, Solo Bar (200 Roy St)
Gather for FFA-hosted drinks and appetizers  to share programming tips and continue the conversation. Sponsored by FilmFreeway.

Save The Date for these Upcoming Regional Roundtables:

FFA is excited to announce that registration is now open for our first Regional Roundtable conference at the 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival (May 25-28)

Group discussions will take place on Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27th, over the SIFF Shorts Weekend. In addition to conversation, the Regional will also include Happy Hours, a Meet The Programmers event with visiting short filmmakers and other networking opportunities.

Your special FFA Industry Pass is valid from May 23-30 to attend all festival film programming. 10 complimentary SIFF Industry Passes will be available to FFA Members (one per festival) via lottery. SIFF will offer an additional 20 discounted passes available for FFA Members for $100. (Should demand exceed 30, regular priced industry passes are available for $150.) The first 20 discounted passes will be available on a first-come first-serve basis. Non-members pay the full pass price of $150.

Register now
Registration: $50/FFA Members; $75 FFA non-members // SIFF Industry Pass: $100

Attendees are responsible for their own travel and housing. Here is a link to SIFF partner hotels.