Tag Archives: Advocacy

Join an FFA Committee!

committee-graphic

Now that the Film Festival Alliance is a stand-alone organization, we have a lot of work to do as a community. As such, we are pleased to announce the initial Committee structure discussed at the Art House Convergence. These committees will certainly shift and shimmy over time, but we identified these topics of immediate concern.

For the time being, acting board members will chair these committees; over time, however, we plan to engage a broader range of members in leadership positions. As well, we expect that each Committee will refine its individual mission over time.

Please note: Committees are open to Film Festival Alliance members in good standing.


Board Development, Governance & Membership

As the Film Festival Alliance transitions into a fully independent nonprofit, issues around governance and board development become more critical. We are currently considering new candidates for board of directors seats and looking to put a committee together to create a strategy around composition, recruitment, and duties and responsibilities. This committee would also be involved with researching and recommending governance policies and discussing and recommending potential amendments to the current bylaws.

Want to join? Contact Chair Colin Stanfield.


Ethics/Advocacy

This far-reaching Committee will focus on issues that cut across film festivals both internally and externally. Some areas of focus will be standardizing how attendance is reported; ensuring that FFA member festivals have procedures to ensure fair treatment of filmmakers; and establishing base best practices for venues, submissions, and festival operations.

The Committee will also address external issues that film festivals, as a whole, need to respond to, such as AMPAS grant or qualification changes for festivals; ADA compliance in art houses or make-shift festival venues; theater safety concerns; and more.

It is important to note that the FFA currently neither requires nor has the resources to police these issues festival by festival. Therefore, this Committee will come up with a list of best practices that member festivals can agree to implement according to their budget level and resources; we will then determine if any reporting of errors on behalf of the festival can take place.

Want to join? Contact Chair Deirdre Haj.


Development

Made up of film festivals nationwide, this Committee seeks to find funds for the Alliance and our member festivals, and also to identify and outline ways that festivals of all sizes can get access to much needed funding from national resources.

The Committee will also offer educational forums on development, detailing how to market your festival to patrons, members, sponsors, foundations and individuals.

Want to join? Contact Chair Anne Chaisson.


Membership Benefits

By working with partner festivals, companies and sponsors, the Benefits Committee seeks to create and establish a ongoing structure of membership benefits, opportunities, and privileges to be enjoyed by participating and current FFA members.

Want to join? Contact Co-Chairs Tom Hall and Rosie Wong.


Programming

This Committee will brainstorm, plan and develop diverse and wide-ranging programming—identifying topics and recruiting participants for panel discussions, presentations, roundtables and more—for the annual in-person gatherings of the Film Festival Alliance. These events currently include the annual Art House Convergence in January and IFP Film Week in September.

The Committee will also work with AHC to plan and develop regional conferences, which offer terrific opportunities for local festivals and theaters to connect and collaborate.

Throughout the year, the Committee will work with the Communications and Professional Development Committee to develop monthly webinars, white papers on best practices, and members-only forum discussions.

Want to join? Contact Chair Jon Gann.


Communications and Professional Development

This Committee will develop internal communications for the Alliance—including newsletters, website, social media and publicity. The Committee will also manage external communications, including press releases and broader public-facing messaging, on behalf of the Alliance’s ongoing organizational and advocacy work.

Throughout the year, the Committee will work with the Programming Committee to offer professional development, including but not limited to monthly webinars, white papers on best practices, and members-only forum discussions. In monthly calls, the Committee will identify areas of development of interest to our members, and recruit presenters, authors and moderators for these topics of discussion.

Want to join? Contact Co-Chairs Jody Arlington & Kristin McCracken.

Membership Case Study: Advocacy (Woods Hole Film Festival)

Judy Laster
Executive Director, Woods Hole Film Festival
Cape Cod

Being a good advocate takes time and effort, but the results can be rewarding.

While we in the Festival world understand and value what we do and what we offer to our local, regional and state communities, we can’t assume that others share our enthusiasm or understanding. The best way to bring people along and to convert them into supporters is by first hand experience.

Invite them to your events and follow up afterwards to thank them for coming.

At the local level, it is important to know your civic leaders (Mayor or Selectmen) and business leaders and Chambers of Commerce.

If your town has an Arts or Tourism Council, get involved and stay involved. Become indispensable. In addition to providing them detailed information about the Festival, paint the picture of how your Festival fits into the fabric of the community from a financial, social and reputation perspective.

For example, in 2014, Woods Hole was deemed to be one of the best small towns in the United States for culture by Smithsonian Magazine, and the Festival was a determining factor in their calculus.

Understand the issues in the Community and try to develop programming that is responsive or complimentary to the broader concerns; this helps to create an ownership stake for residents and business leaders.

At the state level, understand that your local state rep or senator has many, many issues to consider. While an in-person meeting is a great idea, developing relationships with their staff is important as well. And keeping staff briefed will help to pave the way when it comes time for budget decision-making.

In Massachusetts, there are also several statewide advocacy organizations that focus on arts and arts funding. Mass Creative is a non-profit that helps inform legislators on issues related to arts and culture, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council—a state grant funding organization—does as well. We make sure their leaders know our story.

We also participate in the broader film community organizations, particularly the Massachusetts Production Coalition, which focuses on advocacy around film and the film tax credit.

We have and maintain a relationship with the state film office, and we keep emphasizing the importance of Festivals to them as well, although they don’t really have much ability to help financially. (However, at this past Sundance, they were able to make introductions to Massachusetts filmmakers whose work was in the Festival.)

Finally, when appropriate, be a thought leader through op-eds or other public forums.

Our philosophy: a rising tide floats all boats. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.


Have an idea for a case study? Email us with a proposal!