Which Film Festival is Right for My Feature or Short Film? How to Navigate the Growing Festival Market

Hosted by Aimee Schoof

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Aimee Schoof

Webinar hosted by: Aimee Schoof

10 Sundance, 4 Tribeca and 3 SXSW Premieres - Producer at Intrinsic Value Films

Aimee Schoof Co-founded Intrinsic Value Films with Isen Robbins, and have produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale to name a few. The company develops, produces and sells independent lms that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance award, a Sundance Special Grand Jury prize, and being nominated 5 times by Film Independent as producers. They are currently both Sundance and Film Independent Fellows, have worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecture on film finance and production. They have expanded into Television and currently have a slate of scripted and unscripted projects and feature films in all phases of production. Aimee is a partner in comic book publishing company Red Giant Entertainment, developing comic book properties for film and TV.   Select films include: MIGHTY GROUND (Documentary: Random Media) AMERICAN SATAN (Malcolm McDowell, Boo Boo Stewart, Denise Richards: AMC/Weinstein) MARJORIE PRIME (Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins, Geena Davis: Film Rise) EXPERIMENTER (Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, John Leguizamo: Magnolia) TRUTH ABOUT LIES (Fran Kranz, Odette Annable: Blue Fox/Level 32) BLUE CAPRICE (Isiaiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Lauren Adams: IFC) RUN (William Moseley, Kelsey Chow, Adrian Pasdar, Eric Roberts: Millennium Entertainment) ALPHABET KILLER (Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, Timothy Hutton: Starz/Anchor Bay) DEATH OF A DYNASTY (Kevin Hart, Rashida Jones, Chloe Sevigny: TLA Releasing) XX/XY (Mark Ruffalo, Kathleen Robertson: IFC) SKEPTIC (Zoe Saldana, Tom Arnold, Tim Daly: IFC) BROTHER TO BROTHER (Anthony Mackie, Daniel Sunjata, Aunjanue Ellis: Wolfe Releasing). Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Stop wasting money! Make no mistake, entering film festivals should be part of the overall strategy for just about any independent filmmaker or producer. There is tremendous value in getting in the right film festival, perhaps more than ever before. So how do you not only identify the best festivals for your film, but assure you give yourself the best chance of being selected? Get the answers from a producer of over 35 independent films and a veteran of the festival circuit.
 
With so many film festivals popping up year over year and many of the major festivals turning to higher profile projects, navigating which festivals to spend your dollars on can be daunting. Unfortunately, many filmmakers and producers today are overspending on festival submissions (or entering as many as possible) so they can say they've made it into something. This is an approach that can not only leave you light in the wallet, but can also put your film, the one you spent so much time and effort into, in a position to be branded incorrectly and actually hurting its chances of success.
 
Aimee Schoof has produced over 35 films, many of which have played at some of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. But many others have played at festivals that may not have the marquee names, but proved correct for the content. By using this approach, Aimee and her producing partner have scored lucrative deals and distribution opportunities.
 
If you've seen Aimee's other Stage 32 webinars, you know she brings energy and knowledge to spare. She will teach you everything you need to know about where to submit, but also approaches on how to give your film the best chance of standing out from the crowd. She will also demystify and destroy some of the "false truths" that have become part of submitting for festivals (YES, you can submit a rough cut!) She'll tackle how to get press, how to run your social media, how to get your team involved, and much more, all in the name of getting your film seen and, ultimately, the attention it deserves.
 
This is a blueprint that will have you saving money, making it into more festivals, and smiling from ear to ear while walking the red carpet.
 
 
Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar?
Send her your script and speak with her for an hour by clicking here
 
 
 
 
I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!
- Debra S.

What You'll Learn

Choosing the Right Festivals To Enter First

  • Understanding the top tier festivals for your short and/or feature film
  • Choosing the timing of the festivals and when your film will be ready to submit and how
  • Understanding the year cycle/calendar of the festivals and markets and how you should strategize best for your project
  • Understanding and strategizing what festivals will be right for you project via location, content, and demographics
  • How to get noticed in a sea of submissions

Stop Wasting Money on Festival Submissions!

  • Which festivals to pay for first
  • Getting to know the programmers
  • Rallying your network for those that have
  • Relationships with programmers
  • How hard to you push? Best approach as and after you submit. When and how’s…

Choosing the Right Festival and Market 

  • Understanding Tier A and B festivals
  • Do you have a genre film that may play better at a niche festival for horror or Sci-fi? What to do.
  • How your team can help you get in
  • Don’t be afraid to submit a rough cut…we’ll discuss in more detail on how this can help your chances
  • Being really careful on what festival you decide to premiere your film…there’s only one chance to premiere domestically
  • Do you go for domestic or international premiere first?

Setting Your Film up Right for Success

  • Have you gotten any press? Do you have any market for your film already? Awareness helps.
  • Do you have a social media presence? Do you have your talent supporting you and following? All of this helps a lot.
  • Do you have your website set up with all correct contact info and info about your film
  • Set your self up for the life run of the film but setting all these things up early. You want to make your film hard to say ”no” to. You create the buzz first…

Q&A with Aimee

About Your Instructor

Aimee Schoof Co-founded Intrinsic Value Films with Isen Robbins, and have produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale to name a few. The company develops, produces and sells independent lms that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance award, a Sundance Special Grand Jury prize, and being nominated 5 times by Film Independent as producers. They are currently both Sundance and Film Independent Fellows, have worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecture on film finance and production. They have expanded into Television and currently have a slate of scripted and unscripted projects and feature films in all phases of production. Aimee is a partner in comic book publishing company Red Giant Entertainment, developing comic book properties for film and TV.
 
Select films include: MIGHTY GROUND (Documentary: Random Media) AMERICAN SATAN (Malcolm McDowell, Boo Boo Stewart, Denise Richards: AMC/Weinstein) MARJORIE PRIME (Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins, Geena Davis: Film Rise) EXPERIMENTER (Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, John Leguizamo: Magnolia) TRUTH ABOUT LIES (Fran Kranz, Odette Annable: Blue Fox/Level 32) BLUE CAPRICE (Isiaiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Lauren Adams: IFC) RUN (William Moseley, Kelsey Chow, Adrian Pasdar, Eric Roberts: Millennium Entertainment) ALPHABET KILLER (Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, Timothy Hutton: Starz/Anchor Bay) DEATH OF A DYNASTY (Kevin Hart, Rashida Jones, Chloe Sevigny: TLA Releasing) XX/XY (Mark Ruffalo, Kathleen Robertson: IFC) SKEPTIC (Zoe Saldana, Tom Arnold, Tim Daly: IFC) BROTHER TO BROTHER (Anthony Mackie, Daniel Sunjata, Aunjanue Ellis: Wolfe Releasing).

FAQs

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

Stage 32 Producing Lab: Get Your Feature Film Project Ready to Go to Market

Aimee has added 5 more spots! 2 Spots Remain  In today’s film market independently producing a film is a great way to get your project made. There are thousands of independent films that are developed, made and distributed every year that started from a script. But how? Now, more than ever, the need for a major studio to get your project into production becomes less and less, while more control is put into your own hands. Whether you're a filmmaker, producer, writer or actor, you have the ability to produce and shepherd a film project if you know the right steps to take to get it done. In order to do this, though, you will need to get your project market-ready and make it attractive to co-producers, financiers, actors, directors, distributors and more. Looking professional when going out to the market with a film project is key and separates the professionals from the amateurs. Figuring out who and how to get your script into the right hands and get the ball rolling on a project can feel overwhelming, almost impossible for a newer creator. Knowing the right way to strategize, present, and partner with the perfect collaborators is key to success. A good producer is always in action, looking at ways to make her project the best it can be. As intimidating and bewildering as this might feel to creators, it’s absolutely within your reach. And, there are strategies you can learn to put you on the right track to turn your passion project into a reality, especially if you have guidance to help you get there. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, 9 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee’s extensive experience has made her intimately familiar with how to successfully get a project off the ground and build a team to get a script made. In this advanced level and exclusive four-session lab (no more than 10 students will be admitted), Aimee will work directly with you in an intimate class setting to help you make your script marketable and put the pieces together to get the film ready to go. To do so Aimee will begin by working with you on your script and concept. She will help you understand what shape your script is currently in and how marketable your story is. Next she will help you strategize and give you the tools to find the partners you’ll need for your project, including other producers and executive producers, directors, writers, actors, and more. Then Aimee will work with you on your project’s pitch deck, including perfecting your logline and synopsis. Finally Aimee will guide you through forming your own specific plan of attack moving forward, including building the list of people to reach out to and getting your foot in the door with organizations. Aimee will even work with you on practicing your pitch, cold calls, and email messages. Expect to leave this lab with a better handle on the potential for your script, a working pitch deck, and a plan of attack to find your own team and get your film moving towards the finish line. Plus! Aimee will also provide you exclusive, confidential and helpful documents for you to download and use for your own projects including: Up-to-date list of in-demand writers and directors to reach out to Pitch Deck examples Free access to Variety Insight for one month ($200 value) Outreach email templates WHAT TO EXPECT (FOR THE SESSION BREAKDOWN, SEE BELOW) This lab is designed for beginner and intermediate creators looking to get their film project ready to pitch and put together. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed lab with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar. ***Aimee has added 5 more spots! 2 Spots remain *** You will be given exclusive and confidential handouts that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the lab ends. This lab will consist of four weekly sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. In addition to the lessons where Aimee teaches the class, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session as well as multiple chances to speak with her directly about your specific project. Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the TV project development process. To see the full film producing lab schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   PLEASE NOTE: This exclusive Stage 32 lab is limited to 10 people and will be booked on a first come, first served basis. The opportunity to work this closely and for this long with a veteran producer and an expert in the field is an incredibly unique and valuable opportunity. If you are interested, please book quickly. Once the spots are gone, they’re gone for good. Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at edu@stage32.com for more information   Praise for Aimee's Previous Stage 32 Webinars:   "I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!"- Debra S.   “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.   “I feel ready and inspired to set out on my own and make some great movies after listening to Aimee!” -Hannah W.

How to Structure Financing for your Film and Creatively Approach Investors

It can be the bane of a filmmaker’s existence, but there’s no denying that financing is a critical step in getting that movie made. After all, not even the greatest script can get produced without the money and resources to back it up. But this is never a straightforward endeavor. Securing the funding for your film is almost without question a fraught, complicated ordeal. It can be enough to drive the most optimistic filmmaker away, but if done smartly and successfully, financing can give you the resources you need to not only see your vision through, but perhaps even to elevate it, to gather opportunities and talent to raise your project’s profile and find further success. Finding and dealing with financing for a film can feel like a Sisyphean task, a hunt for treasure without any map to help. After all, we’re not just talking about finding people with deep pockets who believe in your vision (though that definitely helps); you also need to be well versed in tax structure and incentives, legal codes, equity models, sales projections, crafting a pitch to investors—all things you likely didn’t learn along the way or through the process of writing that script. Yet as overwhelming and insurmountable as it seems, there’s always a way through, and there are strategies and skills you can pick up as a producer or filmmaker to find the money and navigate the politics and nuances of this difficult landscape. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee’s extensive experience has made her an expert in the art of film financing, and she has developed a slew of skills and lessons learned to more successfully find and manage funding for independent projects, skill and lessons that she’s excited to share with you. Aimee will give you a comprehensive look at how to finance your independent film and the tips and strategies to have in your arsenal to make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity available. Aimee will start by discussing how equity models are structured and the benefits that come with starting your own LLC. She will then delve into the legal components of a standard investment deal, including being clear with who owns the rights to the film and how those rights are distributed and paid for. Then, Aimee will go into navigating foreign sales and domestic sales within this quickly changing landscape and how you may be able to find the right sales partner that can give you an advance to make the movie. Aimee will teach you everything you need to know about tax incentives and how best to take advantage of them and earn back what is essentially free money. Next, Aimee will discuss the benefits of crowdfunding and the strategies and tips she has employed in the past to create a successful campaign. She will talk about the rise of the digital streamers and how to target these platforms for possible funding. Aimee will then delve into the art of finding and approaching potential investors, including the research you need to do and how best to pitch them your project. Aimee will even share one of her own pitch decks to illustrate how to craft the perfect pitch deck. She will teach you ways to think outside-the-box and find non-traditional investors or partners that you might not have otherwise encountered. Finally Aimee will teach you strategies to better network, including finding way to get to people you don’t personally know and how to use film festivals and film markets to your advantage. Be prepared to leave this webinar with an expansive and comprehensive view of film funding and the tools you need to get your next project financed.   Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send her your script and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.   Praise for Aimee’s Webinar:   Clear and efficient! -Dirk B.   I've watched several webinars on film financing and this has been by far my favorite. Thank you for the practical, straightforward advice, and for presenting the info in a way that is not too overwhelming to take in. -Rose M.   Grounded and Practical -Jennifer S.   This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you! -Brian D.

How To Be a Power Producer In Today's Market

The director and actors may get the lion’s share of the credit, and the writer might be the one who thought up the story in the first place, but it’s the producer who actually puts a film together and who turns ideas into reality, all the way from conception through distribution and beyond. The role of a producer can be enigmatic, though. It’s not as straightforward of a job as, say, an actor or a DP, and with so many different types of producers (Line producer? Associate producer? Executive producer? Co-Executive Producer?) it’s a hard concept for people to wrap their heads around. But if you’re interested in being a producer yourself and in leading the charge in creating great content that people want to watch, it’s important you better understand the role and find ways you can separate yourself from the pack and excel. There are a lot of producers out there, a lot of people working to create content. 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Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee has had more than 25 years’ experience working as a hands-on producer on projects of all shapes and sizes and knows what I takes to thrive in this role. She’s excited to share that with you. Aimee will give you a soup-to-nuts overview of what it takes to produce a film of any level and how to position yourself for success not only on your current project, but for your career moving forward. She will begin by teaching you the different types of producers on a film and what each person’s responsibility is. She’ll then give you strategies of how to choose your own path as a producer, including what it means to be an independent producer. She’ll walk you through how to find partners, collaborators, and mentors in this industry and will discuss the crucial but tricky task of finding and selecting material to produce. She’ll also break down whether a producer should focus on just one project at a time or multi-task. Aimee will illustrate what exactly a day in the life of a producer actually looks like. Aimee will then focus on relationship building, one of the biggest parts of a producer’s job. She’ll break down how to form and maintain relationships with agents and managers, actors, casting directors, and fellow producers, among others. She’ll then discuss the best practices for networking to build your connections, including how to work film festivals and markets to meet new and exciting potential partners or friends. Next, Aimee will delve into how best to source IP as opposed to working with original stories. She’ll go over the balance between holding your relationships close and expanding your network and how a good producer budgets their time when working on multiple projects. Aimee will also give you tips on how you can produce a science fiction film, even on a budget. Then, Aimee will give an honest and realistic breakdown of what a film’s timeline actually looks like—how long it actually takes to make a film and how you can stay motivated along the way. Aimee will use examples and case studies from her own past films, including projects made from existing IP, to further break down the role of a producer.   Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send your script to Aimee and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.     Praise for Aimee’s Webinar   “I loved this! Aimee knows so much about the subject. I really learned a lot” -Cheryl B.   “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.   “This was great! Thank you!” -Joanne D.   “I feel ready and inspired to set out on my own and make some great movies after listening to Aimee!” -Hannah W.

Hollywood Resume & Cover Letter Workshop - How To Get Your Foot In The Door

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The Domestic and Foreign Distribution Market: How Filmmakers and Producers Can Navigate

The landscape of distribution has shifted dramatically, forcing filmmakers, producers and foreign sales agents to adapt to those changes. With the rise of streaming, there are more ways than ever to get your project out to the viewing public, whether in theaters or right in their home. In the time of quarantine, more distributors are looking to acquire films to put in the marketplace, but how does the pricing look and how will that shift over time? We will examine the current distribution marketplace and how to best take advantage of the multiple avenues of distribution both domestically and internationally. While there are more places than ever to go to for distribution, there’s also more competition for your project to be noticed by distributors and, once distributed, for viewers to decide to watch your film over the other thousands at their fingertips. It can be difficult for filmmakers and producers to know what different distributors and paths of distribution are best for each project, and which deals are more likely to garner a profit. But with a working knowledge of both the domestic and the foreign distribution market, you can find the best home for your feature. Tiffany Boyle is the President of Packaging and Sales for Ramo Law. Tiffany has helped hundreds of films, TV shows and documentaries come to fruition. Tiffany served as a Co-Executive Producer and brought in financing for films SOMETHING ELSE (Tribeca 2019) and ARKANSAS starring Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn. She led the sales and packaging for TRAGEDY GIRLS (SXSW 2017) and FREAKS (Toronto IFF 2018), she brought foreign financing to ASHES IN THE SNOW (Los Angeles FF 2018) starring Bel Powley, and she sold an autobiography to Hulu for development into a limited television series. Tiffany will go over different distribution avenues - theatrical, VOD, DVD, etc. and what distributors are looking for in general. She'll break down the difference between distributors and sales agents and what types of projects will fit their slate. You'll get a complete overview of the marketplace - both domestic and foreign and understand what it will take to get your film to the right distributor. You'll learn to harness the power of festival screenings, social media and other campaigns to put your film in the best position. You'll also learn how to make the deal in terms of territory, term, delivery, fees, rights, licensing vs. reserved and more. You'll also get insight into recoupment and profit. This is the most up-to-date guide on today's film and TV domestic and foreign distribution marketplace jammed packed with actionable information you can utilize right now.   Praise for Tiffany's previous Stage 32 webinars: "Excellent discussion by Tiffany! It shows that she's right in the middle of the film business and understands what's happening now. Refreshing not to hear the same old basic information you hear everywhere. This was detailed and very much of the now." - Michael H.    "Excellent presentation by a clearly passionate expert. More, more, more." - Alexis D.   "Very clear and helpful - so much detail!" - Sil V.   "Tiffany was gracious and helpful with good energy. Plus she offered so much encouragement, practical advice and incredible energy." - Cynthia D.  

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Ever heard an exec say something like: "I'm looking for a grounded, high-concept genre film"? Join Stage 32's Allen Roughton and learn to decipher what execs are actually saying when they tell you what they're looking for!   As the Stage 32 Writing Services Coordinator, I spend most of my time talking to execs about the kind of material they want, specialize in, or think is the next big thing. And I have to admit that sometimes it feels like I need a translator. High-concept? Grounded? Smart? Supernatural... but not horror? A Ten-by-ten? What the heck are these people talking about? Luckily, I've googled my hear out, asked a ton of questions, immersed myself in the script development world, and learned their language so you don't have to! Now I'm here to put it all together in a FREE Webinar breaking down the lingo of Screenwriting Development! Live Wednesday, May 2nd at 1pm PST, I'll become your translator and help you understand the world of development as I break down the lingo so you can make sure you're sending the right project to the right exec.   Have a question for Allen?   Join Allen live and participate in the Q&A at the end of the webinar! or    

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