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Transparency Project Announced: How Can We Help?

As the landscape of the business side of filmmaking—distribution, platforms, revenue streams—becomes more and more murky, Sundance Institute, Cinereach, and other organizations have launched The Transparency Project to counteract the complexity. Recently previewed at Art House Convergence and launched at Sundance, IFP Festival Forum has come on board as a collaborator in this nonprofit initiative, which explains itself with the following motto:

We empower filmmakers by creating tools to analyze independent films’ financial data.

As Anne Thompson outlines in her detailed piece introducing the project, the “goal is to collect and share current data on both revenue and expenses for independent film distribution in order to help filmmakers be more creative and efficient in funding, marketing and releasing their work.”

For the project to actually work, the filmmaking community (filmmakers, distributors and exhibitors—including film festivals, where applicable) needs to participate by submitting data about individual projects, specific production factors, and detailed revenue numbers.

So far, the following non-profits have come on board as collaborators, in addition to IFP Festival Forum:

Arthouse Convergence |Austin Film Society | Britdoc | IDA | IFP | ITVS | The Film Collaborative | FIND | POV | San Francisco Film Society | Tribeca Film Institute |WGA East | Film Society of Lincoln Center

In addition, the following “for-profit distributors and industry leaders have expressed their support of mission”:

Alchemy | Amplify | Bond 360 | Brainstorm | Cinedigm | Cinetic | Film Movement | Ocilloscope | Paladin | Preferred | Premiere Digital Services | Radius | Roco | Tribeca Film | Vimeo | VHX

For the project to take root and succeed in empowering the film community, all parties must agree to provide input. “The website is still being designed and updated,” Thompson explains, “but the idea is to fill in your budget and cast levels and genres, and when relevant, reviews and festival exposure, to see what numbers comparable projects obtained using different release platforms. The numbers will not—initially—reflect individual returns on iTunes, Hulu, Amazon etc., but rather throw them all into the same online platform bucket.”

We encourage all IFP Festival Forum members to become more acquainted with the project. Together, we can make a collective difference.

First step: Please read Anne Thompson’s full article by clicking on the following image.

thompson-transparency
Second, sign up for their mailing list, and get involved.

And please: let us know what you think, either via the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter, or via email.