Tag Archives: Festival Forum

2015 Film Festival Alliance @ IFP Film Week Agenda Announced

We have finalized the agenda for the Film Festival Alliance @ IFP Film Week, including seminars, presentations and networking opportunities. While Film Week runs from September 20-25, most of the festival-specific programming is scheduled for September 23-25; we hope you can join us!

Festivals receive 40% off the registration fee for IFP Film Week. Visit ifp.org and use code ah$s to generate the discount.

Questions? Contact Industry Manager Jennifer Carpenter at jcarpenter@ifp.org.

September 23-25
Lincoln Center
144 West 65th Street (map)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Festival Forum: Should Festivals Care About TV?
2:00 to 2:45 pm

Bruno Walter Auditorium – 111 Amsterdam Avenue
As filmmakers seize upon the creative and professional opportunities provided by episodic storytelling, both on network TV and online, film festivals have only just begun to incorporate this shift into their programming. But with the small screen often considered a traditional enemy of the big screen experience, can festivals find a meaningful relationship with TV storytelling? Does a festival’s mission of “serving the filmmaking community” extend to small screen content? And if so, how can festivals build a meaningful, competitive platform for TV while preserving the collective film-going experience that is at the heart of their missions? This panel examines the opportunities and issues surrounding the rapidly changing landscape of ambitious, cinematic storytelling.

Panelists: Terence Gray, Founder and Exec Director, NY Television Festival; Randi Kleiner, CEO of SeriesFest; Janet Pierson, Head of Film, SXSW; Amanda Warman, producer of The Outs and Whatever This Is; Moderated by Jody Arlington, Festival Forum

Meet the Festival Programmers: Narrative
Note time and location change!
3:30 to 5:30 pm (also on Thursday, 2:30-5:30) 

Rose Room | Rose Building: 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 10th Floor
Meet with narrative feature, doc and web content creators, discovering them first before they’re on the circuit. These are filmmaker-selected meetings, so contact Zach Mandinach if you would like to represent your event at these small group meetings, which last approximately 15 minutes. Not all festivals can participate, and you must sign up for participation in advance of August 25. Register now for your festival to be considered for the roundtables. For more information, email Zach Mandinach at zmandinach@ifp.org.

Rooftop Films + IFP Labs “Sneak Peek” Showcase
7:00 to 10:00 pm

The Labs Showcase gives audiences a first-look at exciting new films before their festival premieres. This outdoor screening features excerpts from the 20 new films from the emerging talent of the 2015 IFP Labs, the nation’s only program that supports diverse feature filmmakers when they need it most: through the completion, marketing and distribution of their first features. Invite with details will be sent to registrants.

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Gilman Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center

Welcome and Association Updates
9:00 to 9:30 am

Introducing the Film Festival Alliance and our 2016 programming and member-driven initiatives!

Love, Money, Youth: Your Festival’s Strategy Here!
9:30 am to 12:30 pm

While each film festival is unique in its own way, we all share similar challenges and opportunities. No matter what a single festival might look like, most are grappling with the same questions: how can we grow in esteem in the eyes of filmmakers and the industry? How can we secure more financial support to deliver on our best ideas and capitalize on creative opportunities? How can we reach younger audiences and build for the future? This two-part session will ask each attending delegate to introduce what makes your festival special and share your festival’s greatest challenge, followed by an open discussion of strategies and tactics that can help your organization become all that it can be.

Space is limited, so please register soon. Registrants will receive further instructions and a presentation template ASAP.

Kaplan Room | Rose Building: 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 10th Floor

Note date, time and location change!
Meet the Festival Programmers: Documentary
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Meet with narrative feature, doc and web content creators, discovering them first before they’re on the circuit. These are filmmaker-selected meetings, so contact Zach Mandinach if you would like to represent your event at these small group meetings, which last approximately 15 minutes. Not all festivals can participate, and you must sign up for participation in advance of August 25. Register now for your festival to be considered for the roundtables. For more information, email Zach Mandinach at zmandinach@ifp.org.

IFP at Film Week 2015

We hope to see you there! In the meantime, please check out the Festival Alliance on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 

Film Festivals Converged with Art Houses at High Altitude

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it? If you’re like us, you’re still on a (re-oxygenated) high from the jam-packed trip to the mountains of Utah—a double dose of Art House Convergence and Sundance. If you’re lucky, you avoided the Park City Flu, and came back refreshed and ready to tackle another productive year of festival planning…

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we want to thank you all for your enthusiastic participation, your friendly good nature, and your endless stream of ideas. We always learn so well from each other—our collective knowledge is unstoppable—and we are energized by the camaraderie that comes from sharing our experiences. (It’s so good to know we are not alone!)

What came out of our Convergence? In addition to friendships forged and renewed, we have a few big announcements to share:

1. In the coming months, our organization will make the transition to an independent and vocal organization with a new name: we will soon become the Film Festival Alliance. As a community, we will benefit from strength in numbers as we advocate for best practices and symbiotic relationships with filmmakers and distributors.

2. What’s more, membership in the Film Festival Alliance just got a bit sweeter: entertainment legal eagles Michael Donaldson and Corey Field have offered their services as a first line of defense, should any of our member organizations face an unforeseen legal hurdle. This is huge.

Reminder: If you have not yet officially joined the IFP Festival Forum, what are you waiting for? (Membership will transition to the new organization automatically.)

During our time together, our panels—including a legal clinic from Donaldson and Field—covered the gamut, from rush lines to hospitality to Oscars to board management and beyond. Our roundtable discussions were especially fruitful this year, centering on topics such as social media, sponsorship, ticketing, tech, the (dreaded) program guide, and making the most of a small budget.

Once we got to Park City, we of course reconvened in line for Press & Industry screenings, and gathered more formally at what has becoming an annual tradition: our colleagues at the Sundance Film Festival showed off their terrific hospitality, hosting festival organizers at an intimate brunch last Tuesday. (Thank you!)

All of these conversations will continue throughout the year; we’re just getting started. In the weeks to come, we will compile the learnings from our various sessions, sharing the wealth with those who weren’t able to attend and serving as a concrete refresher (and to-do list) for the rest of us. Please stay tuned, and keep in touch on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to the comments selection below.

We’ve got a lot of work to do, and it’s easier to do it together. Happy New Year!

Join the Forum!

We’re looking for a few good festivals.

If we’ve learned anything over the past several years, it’s the fact that our power comes from our diversity: small festivals, large festivals, year-round showcases, three-day events. Each and every one of our member festivals brings something to the table, and we all learn best when learning from each other.

As we move into our next phase of existence (as the Film Festival Alliance; read more here), we know that strength in numbers is key. That means we need YOU.

Click here to join today!

What are you waiting for? Join today. Note: Membership will transition to the new organization automatically.

We can’t wait to have you (officially) on board!

2014 IFP Festival Forum Agenda Announced

We have finalized the agenda for the 2014 IFP Festival Forum, two days of seminars and presentations at IFP Independent Film Week (September 16-17), with sessions looking at festival budgets, marketing and social media, the new tools and services for submitting films to festivals, “Meet the Programmers,” where fests gain access to this year’s filmmakers and their new projects, and more.

Festivals receive 40% off.  To register for IFP Film Week, visit ifp.org and use code ah$s to generate the discount.
Questions? Contact Industry Manager Jennifer Carpenter at industryreg@ifp.org or 212.465.8200 x222.

Click to download 2014 Festival Forum Agenda in PDF form.


Tuesday & Wednesday, September 16 & 17, 2014
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater
144 W. 65th St. (map)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM

The 5th Annual IFP Festival Forum Roundtable (11:30 AM – 11:55 AM)

The IFP Festival Forum Executive Committee will discuss with attendees the organization’s achievements and new initiatives for the year, including the operational survey and nomination process for new leadership in 2015.

Festival Budgets: Best Practices (12:00 – 1:15PM)

Creating an accurate budget for your film festival is one of the most important steps in building an effective, lasting organization. It also serves as an expression of your organization’s values, allowing a snapshot of priorities and managerial success for donors, sponsors, granting organizations, auditors and artists to review. But given the nature of festival production, where events and screenings often cost more than ticket revenue can provide, how can festivals develop budgets that showcase their priorities while also satisfying the need for transparency and fiscal responsibility? Join Film Society of Lincoln Center Executive Director Lesli Klainberg and New York Film Festival producer Colin Stanfield for an examination of best practices available to festival leaders looking to build a better budget.

Advocacy Tool Kit: Harmony Institute/Festival’s Impact (1:20 – 2:00PM)

How effective are films and film festivals at fostering positive change? How can that change be tracked over time with data that fosters new strategies for audience engagement and action? Join us for a presentation by Harmony Institute as they preview StoryPilot (storypilot.org), their forthcoming interactive platform for measuring the impact of film. It will be followed by a discussion on how film festivals can become more effective partners in tracking impact, delivering measurable outcomes for social transformation and leveraging impact metrics to demonstrate organizational effectiveness with sponsors, donors, distributors and other stakeholders.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Everyone is on the Marketing Team…and Other Things Your Co-Workers Don’t Want to Hear! (11:00 – 12:15PM)

As social media tools continue to present inexpensive and effective opportunities for building audiences online, film festivals have developed all manner of ways to keep an ongoing connection with their audiences. But how can organizations continue to thrive in a constantly evolving social media landscape? Atlanta Film Festival’s Chris Holland, and Tribeca Film Festival’s former VP of Digital Media Kristin McCracken join forces to expand on their popular webinar to show how your Festival can reach potential customers all year long and make them fans for life. From programming to sponsorship to customer service, learn how to engage staff in all areas – and at all levels – to amplify your Festival’s message through embedded marketing strategies.

Festival Tools: Submission Survey (12:30 – 1:30PM)

In a world where everyone with a cell phone might be considered a filmmaker, the tremendous increase in film festival submissions has been fraught with mistrust between artists and festivals. As costs increase and the number of film festivals expands rapidly, the film festival submissions process has grown, vexing fests and filmmakers alike. But with new services and terms, expanded offerings, and emerging opportunities, festivals and filmmakers have more choices than ever before. DC Shorts impresario Jon Gann will present a survey of new services and strategies to increase your reach, find more diverse films, reduce the requests for fee waivers, and make stronger connections with filmmakers.

Community Discussion (1:35 – 2:00PM)

To close the day, we’ll open the floor up to our festival colleagues to discuss the issues covered during IFW – and the role that they’d like to see the IFP Festival Forum play in the community moving forward.

Thursday, September 18, 2015 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Each year Festival programmers gain access to the IFP’s Project Forum filmmakers at Meet the Programmers, one-on-one 10-minute “speed dating” meetings set up exclusively for festival programmers attending Film Week.  Details provided upon registration for IFW.  Meet the Programmers is held at the Kaplan Penthouse, 165 West 65th Street
, New York, NY 10023.

We hope to see you soon! In the meantime, please check out the IFP Festival Forum on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 

IFP Festival Forum at Art House Convergence A Success!

For the first time the IFP Festival Forum partnered with the Art House Convergence to present a Film Festival track at the annual conference January 13-15 in Midway, Utah.  The IFP Festival Forum at the Art House Convergence conference featured inspirational speakers, informative sessions and panel discussions that provided productive tips about programming, marketing, fundraising, technology and industry trends to help improve the quality and effectiveness of festivals. Over 50 film festival organizers attended the inaugural event, and over 70% of the art houses in attendance present or host film festivals, creating a vibrant exchange of best practices, curatorial efficiencies, research and advocacy discussions.  Plans to make next year’s Festival Forum at the Art House Convergence even more meaningful and accessible to members are underway.

Following the Art House Convergence, more than 150 festival organizers had the opportunity to convene again at the annual Sundance Film Festival Organizer Brunch, held during the Sundance Film Festival.  See photos below from the conference.  We hope to see you at both events again next year!