Tag Archives: Film Festival Alliance

Introducing the Film Festival Alliance!

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Dear Film Festival Professional:

Greetings! Just a few weeks ago, many of us gathered pre-Sundance at the Art House Convergence to share camaraderie, best practices and new ideas for how to be better film festivals. For those who were there, thank you for making this our largest, best-attended event yet. A record number of festival professionals attended this year, our third as an AHC partner. We programmed close to 30 festival-specific panels and events, and our members and attending festival professionals participated in a wide range of productive activities throughout the conference.

For those who could not be with us, no worries. We will start our monthly webinars again soon, and are already planning our next regional event, so stay tuned!

Originally founded in 2010 as a program of IFP, we are excited to remind you that we are now a stand alone, not-for-profit organization: the first and only such group dedicated to Film Festivals and the dedicated individuals who make them happen. Our new website is up and running, which we will be adding to and updating often, so poke around and see what is new.

Many festivals graciously renewed their memberships or joined for the first time last month. Thank you all! If you were a previous a member of the IFP Festival Forum—our former entity—but have not renewed, expect a letter soon from our Treasurer, Anne Chaisson.

If you have not yet joined, we ask that you join today. The rates are reasonable, and soon many of the tools and benefits we have provided will be available only to paying festivals and professional members. Do you work for several organizations or run a volunteer festival? Join as an individual! Rates start as low as $100, but the benefits to the field are innumerable.

Lastly, our board formed working committees at the Art House Convergence. If you volunteered for a committee, or if you wish to join one now (and are a paying member), please contact the relevant committee chair, get involved and help these groups undertake their important work in the weeks to come. Have a festival coming up? Please just let your chair know when you will be available. We know better than anyone how seasonally your workload shifts.

That is why the Film Festival Alliance is special: no one knows what gets you out of bed to do the mission-driven work of running a film festival better than we do. The Film Festival Alliance is your tribe, and we are here for you.

On behalf of all of us, thank you, and we look forward to seeing you all again—and working together!—soon.

Colin Stanfield, Jody Arlington, Anne Chaisson, Jon Gann, Tom Hall, Deirdre Haj, Lesli Klainberg, Kristin McCracken, Rosie Wong—Acting Board of Directors

Festival Alliance Programming Set for Art House Convergence 2016

The reviews are rave, the company is spectacular, and the shared knowledge is priceless.

Join festival colleagues from across the country (and beyond) for the only Festival Conference you need! Programming is set for the 2016 Art House ConvergenceJanuary 18-21 in Midway, UT, and we think you will find the far-ranging topics to be right up your alley.

Registration is now open!

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In the meantime, follow the Festival Alliance on Facebook and Twitter for ongoing conversations…

Indiewire: Why Filmmakers Need the Festival Forum

In a recent post for Indiewire, IFP Festival Forum Executive Committee member Deirdre Haj outlines the work that we do and makes the case for why festivals are a crucial piece of the filmmaking ecosystem. We’ve excerpted a few key quotes below, but please find the entire article here.

 

“I am proud to say that the 200 members of the IFP Festival Forum (soon to be a stand alone organization called the Film Festival Alliance) believe in collaboration, not competition, and this is a very good thing for filmmakers on the festival circuit and for the audiences who come to see films.”

 

“Up until now, there has been no formal way for film festival professionals to communicate and learn from one another on a consistent basis.”

 

“The film festival circuit in the United States is vibrant, healthy and a more powerful distribution tool for independent film than a short run in New York or LA.”

 

“The plethora of established and humming film festivals in the United States is testament to the fact that audiences still want to see films together in a theater, and if they can hear from the filmmaker firsthand, they will come and pay to do so.”

 

“The Festival Forum will work to make sure that the filmmaker experience is the best one possible, and that our fellow festival organizers have the tools and resources to deliver the best event for them and their audiences. That’s why we do our jobs in the first place.”

 

More from Indiewire.

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!