Tag Archives: Membership

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

Join an FFA Committee!

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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.

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!