Film Festival Alliance

Regional Roundtables

Regional Roundtable: Cucalorus

FFA’s third roundtable of 2018 takes place November 8-11 at the 24th annual Cucalorus Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina, sponsored by Eventive and FilmFreeway.

Open to all festival professionals, this 3-day workshop/festival experience will focus on the Human Capital it takes to run a film festival, with discussion topics including HR, seasonal staff, volunteer management and board partnerships, as well as specific sessions on data management, print traffic & DCP logistics. Additionally, the gathering will include networking events, group activities, FFA’s signature Meet the Festivals session, and a host of unexpected artistic collisions as we dive deep into the 24th annual Cucalorus Festival. Full agenda coming soon!

A number of complimentary Cucalorus Festival industry passes will be available by lottery for FFA members who register by October 21. Additional, deeply discounted passes will be available for members as well. Register now!

ROUNDTABLE AGENDA (November 9-10)

(Industry passes allow full access to everything Cucalorus. To see a full list of Cucalorus films, stage, music and off-screen events, click here*Please allow adequate time for impromptu group shenanigans!)

Thursday, November 8:

  • Pass pickup: Beginning at 9:00am (CFCC Union Station 5th Floor)
  • 10:00am – Films Begin and run all day (various venues)
  • 6:00-7:30pm: Brews + Bytes Welcome Reception, Sponsored by North Carolina Technology Assoc. (CFCC Union Station 5th Floor)
  • Late Night Party: Jengo’s Backyard (815 Princess Street)

Friday, November 9:

  • 10:15-11:00am: Workshop: On-boarding Your Staff to New Technology, Presented by Eventive, (Startup Breakout Room CFCC Union Station 5th Floor)
  • 11:15am: STAFF: Building & Maintaining A Balanced Team: Our first session delves right into staffing, and the many issues that arise with this topic, including interviewing, hiring (seasonal staff, interns), on-boarding and parity within your hires. Who is managing the various groups of staff – from full time to seasonal and what is the best organizational structure to handle large groups, of often underpaid, people? What happens when you are the founder of your organization and carry years upon years of institutional knowledge? How do you transition to ensure the longevity of your festival or association to a new regime? (Startup Breakout Room, CFCC Union Station 5th Floor)
  • 1:45pm: VOLUNTEERS: Managing & Retaining A Vital Workforce: We all know festivals wouldn’t happen without volunteers. How do you reward your volunteers, beyond the basics? How do you handle the blurred lines between volunteers who work as hard as staff, are volunteer staff or provide professional services? What does your volunteer handbook look like? What volunteer management system do you use and how can volunteer tracking, retention and recruitment be improved? (Startup Breakout Room, CFCC Union Station 5th Floor)
  • Late Night Party: Jengo’s Backyard (815 Princess Street)

Saturday, November 10

  • 9:30am: BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Forming Your Core Framework: The elephant in the room…Boards. How do you attract and retain effective board members, manage them and set realistic expectations? How do you handle the blurred lines between governance and operations? How do you motivate your board to fundraise and become strong ambassadors for your brand?, Moderator: Iddo Patt (Startup Breakout Room, CFCC Union Station 5th Floor)
  • 11:00am: CODE OF CONDUCT: Setting Expectations Internally & Externally: Most film organizations don’t have the means to run their own HR department. What are the codes of conduct that you set forth and what kind of messaging do you create around those for your employees and for your patrons? What is the “unwritten understand” vs. the “policy?” How do you navigate the blurred lines of professionalism vs. the film festival “family” environment, and what happens when an extreme situation comes up? (Startup Breakout Room, CFCC Union Station 5th Floor)
  • 2:00pm: Meet the Festivals AMA: Meet programmers & professionals from across the country for a candid conversation about the film festival process. Roundtable attendees will serve as panelists and experts. (The Blind Elephant, 21 N. Front Street)

Regional Roundtable: Woods Hole 

FFA’s second roundtable takes place July 27-30 at the 27th annual Woods Hole Film Festival in Massachusetts, with support from Elevent and Film Freeway. Registration is $75, or $50 for FFA members. Lodging information can be found here.

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.

Schedule/Agenda:

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.


Regional Roundtable: SIFF

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), sponsored by Elevent.

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 Meet Ups, 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.

Attendees are responsible for their own travel and housing. Click for SIFF partner hotels.

SIFF ROUNDTABLE AGENDA

FFA has announced the agenda for our first-ever Regional Roundtable at SIFF, May 25-27. 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 now
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: FFA Drinks + Bites, Solo Bar (200 Roy St)
Gather for FFA-hosted drinks and appetizers  to share programming tips and continue the conversation.

Save The Date for these Upcoming Regional Roundtables: