Archive for the ‘film festivals’ Category

Babelgum & Channel 4 Team for Episodic Doc Prequel

July 13, 2010

from worldscreen.com

Babelgum has entered into a co-production deal with Native Voice Films that sees the web platform working alongside traditional media partners to support the release of the documentary featureThe Bengali Detective.

The new project is a co-production between Babelgum, the Channel 4 British Documentary Foundation, DR2 Denmark, Commonwealth Broadcasting Trust and Salty Sea Music. Further production and broadcast deals are being confirmed.

Babelgum is to broadcast, starting today, specially commissioned prequel episodes for the film. The exclusive customized episodes will roll out on a weekly basis. These mini-documentary episodes will then be used to virally promote the feature film festival appearances and theatrical release of The Bengali Detective in 2011.

The feature-length documentary centers on the day-to-day investigations of Rajesh Ji. He is a dance-obsessed gumshoe with a motley band of helpers who look to expose the secrets, fears and covert lives of today’s middle-class Indian society. The accompanying doc series takes a look at modern India and highlights the real-world characters investigating cases in Calcutta.

“This deal is a crystallization of what we have been working towards at Babelgum’s film division,” said Karol Martesko-Fenster, the senior VP and general manager of the film division at Babelgum. “A true 360-degree production approach that doesn’t just pay lip service to the online dimension—but rather where online and mobile are the driving factors, working with, not against, traditional media, to virally create interest in the project before it is released on traditional platforms. Bearing in mind the ever-fragmenting nature of the media landscape and the need to target audiences across all platforms, it is the kind of approach that filmmakers will increasingly be adopting. We are excited to be working with Native Voice Films on this fantastic project.”

Phil Cox, director for Native Voice Films, added, “At Native Voice Films, we’ve always strived to make films built on strong storytelling that challenge our audience’s view of the world, while at the same time revealing the essential humanity of our subjects. We’re especially excited to be working with our co-producing partners at Babelgum on the premiere of The Bengali Detective. Together we’ve crafted a fresh, compelling approach to distributing the film, first as an episodic prequel and then as a full-fledged theatrical feature, harnessing their platforms to reach the widest global audience possible. It truly will be a landmark event and hopefully a guidepost for other independent filmmakers.”

see original article at http://worldscreen.com/articles/display/26226

Future Artists is one! PARTY!

June 23, 2010

We have been going now for nearly one year!

Since we launched in July of last year during the Not Part of Festival at the Urbis we have had a busy year! We’ve organized a networking event, made a few films, sold a few films, been to Cannes and back, had crazy meetings, amazing meetings, ran Praxsis, been artists in residence at the Zion Center, run creative digital drop ins, been selected for schemes, consulted on projects and not slept, or stopped!

So now we are one we thought we’d have a party to celebrate with all the wonderful people who have supported us and to find some new people to join in!

We are having a picnic with live performance and music, a film screening and an after party and one of manchester’s top venues!

more info is on our web site at futureartists.co.uk, just scroll down, or better information (at the moment!) is on facebook  here

Really excited and hope you can come and join in with us and everyone else who’s coming!

Using Social Media Tools To Build A Truly Free Film Community

April 13, 2010

from trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com

If only 30% of people’s online time is spent viewing content, then there is real hope for indie film.  The other 70% of users’ time is spent in search and social.  We know that people not only want todiscover stuff (like great stories and films) but even more so, they want to talk about it.

One way to define Film is as the transformation of leisure time into intellectual capital and then into social capital.

The question all filmmakers need to ask themselves is what can we do to get the others to talk about film more.  How can we improve the conversation people have about film?  We have the tools.

I loved B-side’s Festival Genius and hope it doesn’t go away now that the company has. One of major festivals, or indie film support orgs should acquire it (for their own benefit as well as ours).

(UPDATE 4/10 : Okay, I admit I have a crystal ball: the day after I wrote this, IFP announced it was acquiring Festival Genius.)

I was recently hipped to Dan Zeitman’s FilmFest from a comment on this blog by Weak Species‘ Dan Faltz.  FilmFest looks like it is much of the same thing as FestivalGenius.  All festivals should utilize these tools (please!). As they are available, it is safe to say that a festival that does not provide these tools are doing both their audience and their filmmakers a disservice.

Filmmakers should INSIST all festivals to utilize these tools, or refuse participation in them.  Or maybe it’s the other approach:  Let’s build a list of all the festivals that use these tools and encourage participation in them.

I spoke before about the idea of film festivals using Foursquare to engage audiences, but there are no doubt many more of this sort of ideas.   It might be time to develop a new list!  If only I had wasn’t trying to get my movies made, I would have some time to do something really important.  Lend a hand though: we can make it better together.

see original article http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/2010/04/using-social-media-tools-to-build-a-truly-free-film-community.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TrulyFreeFilm+%28Truly+Free+Film%29

Street Artist Banksy Sets Release Strategy For Subversive Feature Directing Debut

March 29, 2010

from deadline.com

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Exit Through The Gift Shop, one of Sundance’s most subversive entries, is getting an unorthodox theatrical release. It has been acquired for distribution, sort of, by Producers Distribution Agency, which is run by Cinetic Media’s John Sloss, who repped the film at the festival.

Most buzzworthy Sundance films got bought for minimum guarantees by established distributors who made P&A commitments. This one, a documentary directed by the mystery-shrouded street artist Banksy, will debut in New York, L.A. and San Francisco on April 16 and then slowly platform to other cities. Through PDA, Sloss  will book the theaters and handle the marketing and publicity with indie vets Richard Abramowitz and Donna Daniels.

When I passed by the Egyptian Theater one day during the festival, Sloss grabbed me to see the film. Without giving too much away, it focuses on Thierry Guetta, a French aspiring filmmaker who sets out to film street artists-turned art gallery fixtures like Banksy and Shepard Fairey, and then tries his own hand at it, despite questionable talent. It was well received and was funny in a Borat way, and many questioned if the whole thing was a put-on. Sloss swore the self-distribution strategy wasn’t done because no established distributor made an offer. There were several, he said.

Sloss said the strategy is right for Banksy, who never shows his face, and who left his mark at Sundance creating street paintings on walls that included rats wearing 3D glasses. He also decorated the side of a barn visible on the way into town, but that got quickly whitewashed.

“The 20th Century distribution model involved the transfer of rights for 15 to 20 years to distributors who said, `we have the access and knowledge you don’t, give us your film,’” Sloss said. “Now, there are a lot of high quality distribution and marketing execs for hire, and in the 21st Century, is the other model always necessary? We showed this to the head of Landmark Theaters, and he loved it. When Banksy has such an ability to generate awareness, do we really need significant P&A when so much of what Banksy does is viral?”

While Banksy be on hand to paint each town with his own version of a one-sheet?

“I’m not ruling anything out,” Sloss said.

see original article

http://www.deadline.com/2010/03/street-artist-bansky-sets-release-strategy-for-subversive-feature-directing-debut/

Thoughts on The New Festival Model

March 4, 2010

from trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com

I love that the Tribeca Film Festival has facilitated an immediate VOD launch for some of the films premiering there this year.  This is a key step in freeing festivals from their geographic limitations.  With the collapse of print and the firing of local film critics, festivals have become our most vital curatorial voice.  Whether we like this or not, it is the time we are living in, and it requires festivals to aggregate their audiences and expand their base; that is if they really want to help film culture grow and deepen, which I thought was their mandate (maybe that no longer is what it about; maybe it is now, like everything else, primarily financially motivated).

Unfortunately though the VOD experiment as currently structured (or at least as I understand it) is not the distribution or marketing solution for filmmakers that is necessary.  I worry that the lack of prior promotion,non-existant window, and filmmaker-led marketing will lead Tribeca’s bold step forward to mirror the popular (and negative) wisdom that came from the Sundance YouTube experiment (i.e. Fail!).  This is totally avoidable.  We already have better answers.

It’s great that most of the film industry now accepts a festival launch as the media launch and not themarket launch for most films (okay, so-called producers’ reps may still have motivations to think otherwise…).  But a media launch does not translate into immediate audience want-to-see.  Without want-to-see failure is a forgone conclusion. We still need to manufacture the desire for our films (and for the culture and world we want too while we are at it!).  It’s not like the films with their festival slots were creating lines around the block, selling out shows with rapidity.  We need to harvest word-of-mouth, seed it, and corral it.  And that takes time, labor, promotion.

Festivals and Film Organizations need to launch Marketing & Distribution Labs akin to the Screenwriting & Directing Labs currently endorsed worldwide. Sending filmmakers into the distribution world without proper tools is irresponsible.  Granted filmmakers are not helpless creatures, and most are not ignorant of this necessity these days.  Yet, it is rare that filmmakers arrive at the festival having built a full campaign, armed with engaged and aggregated audiences.  The established players, and most certainly the platforms offering the opportunity, need to offer more support and guidance to their filmmaker constituency (or is that not really their constituency after all…).

If filmmakers are not prepared to exploit the opportunity of VOD or Online Streaming availability of their film, those that offer this opportunity are aiding in the destruction of a new model before it has been given the opportunity to prove itself.  One step forward, two steps back.

It is not as if we are lacking in good films to view.  It is not even as if we are lacking in good films to view instantly.  New films compete against the entire history of filmmaking.  What new films offer that the classic movies don’t is the opportunity for an audience to engage with one another in a new and unexpected way all at the same time.  The launch of the conversation is a key component in the launch of a film.  You can’t make movies by yourself (okay other than a few folks out there) and you can’t start and lead a worldwide conversation by yourself.  Availability on VOD is not a conversation starter.  The big winner in the current model of festival VOD launch will be the content aggregators again.  Yay, right?  Not.

We need to pave the path to make this new model work.  AMPAS currently will deny films award consideration if the films don’t first premiere theatrically.  Award consideration has historically been one of the most dramatic and cost effective ways to increase want-to-see; cross that out from your strategy plan.  Or maybe we should organize to get some rules changed…  and organize marketing & distribution labs while we are at it.

It seems to me that a more effective strategy would be to have released a series of transmedia content prior to the festival launch, using that content to create a robust database of engaged fans, tracked geographically.  As the festival approaches, utilize a crowdfunding campaign, not so much to raise $ — but of course that always helps — but to further engage the super fans.  In the final weeks leading to the fest, mobilize the audience to demand the film locally via a service like OpenIndie.  All the while feed the hungry with increasingly available updates to a site that offers a wide variety of related products for purchase (audiences do want to support the artists they respect).  With this crowd now identified and engaged, launch a series of regional (and ideally sponsored) screenings following that festival media launch, whereby the audience gets involved to help spread awareness.  And only after all of that, launch the VOD release.

Well, that’s my two cents, but I only recently got up, and need my coffee — and besides, I wasn’t charging you for this (not that I do).  You may not agree.  I am sure you have some thoughts of your own and I hope you will share them.  This was all news yesterday.  We shouldn’t be so damn slow to respond.  Let’s figure out the right way.  I make myself pretty available. I would have liked to discuss this before, but happy to do so after too.  Share your thoughts.  We can make this work if we work together.

see original article at http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/2010/03/thoughts-on-the-new-festival-model.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TrulyFreeFilm+%28Truly+Free+Film%29