Film Festival Alliance

Virtual Roundtables

FFA’s Virtual Roundtable video conversations are free and open to all festival professionals. Recordings are accessible for FFA members on the FFA Member Resource page shortly thereafter. Members can visit the archive of webinars on the resource page, once logged in.

How to Join Zoom Meeting:
https://zoom.us/j/4288547450
or One tap mobile: +16699006833,,4288547450# US (San Jose), +16468769923,,4288547450# US (New York)

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2020 VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLES

April 3: COVID-19 Pivoting & Planning Call/Brain Trust): (2:00pm – 3:30pm EST/11:00am -12:30pm PST): This call will spotlight festivals who have or are in the process of taking their film festival online. The first part of our call will be dedicated to a case study of the Live Stream of the 58th Ann Arbor Film Festival, with Leslie Raymond/ Festival Director, Tom Bray/Tech Director, Angela Lenhardt/ Operations Manager, Katherine Pertuso/Marketing and Communications Manager and Marin Smith/Festival Assistant. Please reach out to us at any time with questions, comments, etc: info@filmfestivalalliance.org. This series of calls is open to ALL and recorded videos will be made available to the entire film festival (including non-members) community on our website.

March 27: Pandemic Contingency & Planning Call/Brain Trust 4 (2:00pm EST/11:00am PST): FFA will be closely tracking developments as they occur and is dedicated to facilitating these group conversations, brainstorms and sharing of ideas and information. Please reach out to us at any time with questions, comments, etc: info@filmfestivalalliance.org. This series of calls is open to ALL and recorded videos will be made available to the entire film festival (including non-members) community on our website.

March 20: Pandemic Contingency & Planning Call/Brain Trust 3 (2:00pm EST/11:00am PST): FFA will be closely tracking developments as they occur and is dedicated to facilitating these group conversations, brainstorms and sharing of ideas and information. Please reach out to us at any time with questions, comments, etc: info@filmfestivalalliance.org. This series of calls is open to ALL and recorded videos will be made available to the entire film festival (including non-members) community on our website.

March 13: Pandemic Contingency & Planning Call/Brain Trust 2 (2:00pm EST/11:00am PST): FFA will be closely tracking developments as they occur and is dedicated to facilitating these group conversations, brainstorms and sharing of ideas and information. Please reach out to us at any time with questions, comments, etc: info@filmfestivalalliance.org. This series of calls is open to ALL and recorded videos will be made available to the entire film festival (including non-members) community on our website.

March 10: Turn Technical Difficulties into Technical Excellence: (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST): Tech…one of the most vital and frustrating parts of running a film festival! Join Adam Howell, Director of Operations for the Heartland International Film Festival, to discuss  tech tips & tricks. Bring your burning tech questions and horror stories for a group think. Adam is responsible for running all the behind-the-scenes operations at Heartland and Indy Shorts Film Festival. This includes planning logistics, event management, technical production, quality control, vendor liaison and more. Adam has worked 13 festivals over the past 10 years with Heartland Film. As a fellow artist/musician Adam understands the importance of presenting the art of film in the highest of quality.

March 6: Pandemic Contingency & Planning Call/Brain Trust (2:00pm EST/11:00am PST): As the news rapidly changes and develops each moment about the spreading coronavirus, event-based organizations all over the world are scrambling to make decisions that keep in mind the best interests of their staff, patrons, stakeholders, and bottom lines. Let’s take a moment to connect with one another and share thoughts and ideas on how we’re handling these challenges. Moderated by Erica Thompson, Managing Director, Ashland Independent Film Festival. Watch the Roundtable Recording Here.

February 18: Increasing Accessibility Across the Festival Landscape (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST): Festival professional Mara Bresnahan will discuss her experiences as Festival Director for the Boston ReelAbilities Disability Film Festival (2015-2019) where she  worked to increase the accessibility of screenings and venues across Greater Boston. She most recently served as the  Accessibility Consultant for the Netflix  documentary Crip Camp at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Mara will share insights, tools, resources and example as well as answer questions about how we can work towards ensuring our festival footprints become truly accessible to all . A fan of all things non-fiction, she is currently in post-production on the short documentary Les Deux featuring identical twin brothers from The Perkins School for the Blind.

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2019 VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLES

December 18: Networking for the Film Festival Professional: (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST): Heading to Art House Convergence or Sundance? Keep hearing how valuable these experiences are for “networking” and start to panic? Join us for a pre-convergence online gathering and discussion about how other film festival professionals get the most out of these networking opportunities. Bring your tips and tricks and hear from others, or at minimum, put a few faces to names together before we connect face to face. Hosted by FFA Board Member Cara Ogburn of Milwaukee Film.

September 17: The D in Diversity: Making Your Festival Truly Accessible (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST): Isaac Zablocki, Director of Reel Abilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival will talk (and answer questions) about  the many ways in which we can make our festivals more accessible for people with varying disabilities. From venues, to marketing, operations and screenings, how can we all be more aware about the vital importance of accessibility for all?

August 20: Groupthink: AHC 2020 (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST):
Join your 2020 Art House Convergence Film Festival Track Chairs Bears Rebecca Fonte & Lela Meadow-Conner for a groupthink conversation about panels, session and speaker ideas you’d like to see at January’s annual gathering. We’ll collect ideas specific to the film festival track, which will help the track heads and conference planning team create robust programming at AHC. We need your input to make this the best conference it can be!
Official Session Proposals may be submitted through August 13th here: https://www.arthouseconvergence.org/index.php/2020-call-for-proposals/

July 23: Mid-Season Support Circle (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST):
Bring all of your burning questions, issues and conundrums,  from programming to sponsorship, tech and marketing,  board and staff and anything in between, for some in-person group feedback (and possible therapy) session. And remember – what happens on Zoom stays on Zoom.

June  12: Trash Talk: Evolving Towards A Greener Film Festival  (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST)
Join Roslyn Chao, Principle, Insight + reDesign Consulting, LLC, for a case study on her work with the Cleveland International Film Festival, where she designed and implemented a waste diversion program for their 43rd festival, diverting over 4.5 tons of waste for composting and recycling. Roslyn will share an overview of the program along with ideas that can be easily implemented to more in-depth programs involving educational and sponsorship opportunities and more.

May  15: Working With Academic Institutions to Engage Students  (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST)
Join FFA member Anna Feder, Director of Programming in the Visual Media Arts Department ay Emerson College, and curator of the school’s Bright Lights Screening Series, for a conversation about engaging students within your festival and organization. From building institutional relationships with faculty and administration to providing opportunities for students to volunteer and attend, Anna will share her experiences and invite virtual roundtable attendees to share theirs, so that we can work towards promoting the value of cinema culture to younger generations. 

April 17: The F Word (Fee Waivers) (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST)
A civilized conversation on the “F” word, aka Fee Waivers. It’s a hot topic amongst film festival organizers and filmmakers. Now is the time to share your opinion. Should there be a standardization of fee waivers amongst festivals, should there be a barter or exchanges system, or should every festival just do what they’d like? There are advocates for all of these ideas, and we want to know what you think!

March 20: The Gender Parity Pledge: A Case Study (1:00pmEST/10:00amPST)
As we celebrate women’s history month, our March Virtual Roundtable conversation takes an inside look at Heartland Film’s decision to publicly take the Gender Parity Pledge. From demystifying the pledge itself, to potential obstacles and why it made sense for their organization, this webinar will focus on Heartland Film’s commitment to achieve parity by 2020 and the strategies they are employing to achieve that goal. The conversation will be moderated by Linda Broker (Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival) and will feature Heartland Film’s Director of Programming Greg Sorvig.


February 20: Defining Our Industry (1:00pm EST/10:00am PST)
How do we define a ‘film festival’ and how can we use specific language to shape our ecosystem within the greater film industry? How do we best advocate for our sector of the industry as a sustainable means for the distribution of creative storytelling, and within our own communities? How do we harness the collective power of the Film Festival Alliance to tell our own story? Join us to share your ideas and thoughts as we work towards better illustrating the enormous impact of film festivals on cities and towns, audiences, storytellers and other industry stakeholder.