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

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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.
 
 
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

This webinar will be using Zoom conferencing. You will just need to click this link at class time and it will download the Zoom software (takes 10 seconds). You will be able to be seen on camera (unless you don't want to be) and will be able to mute and unmute yourself.

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A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.

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How To Be a Power Producer In Today's Market

When choosing what to produce, you first must be passionate about the subject matter. What is interesting to you? What is interesting to others? Any story you are making into a film will take a long time - much longer than you think - so you must believe in the story. A great original story is always exciting to watch, but today’s marketplace is relying heavily on stories based on underlying properties in order for you, as a filmmaker, to get the greenlight. Articles, books, graphic novels, podcasts are more important than ever to get a project to the finish line. A great script and cast are essential, but having a built in audience is crucial these days. Your host, Aimee Schoof has adopted this strategy and has become a power producer making over 35 films and having 9 films premiere at Sundance, 4 at Tribeca and 3 at SXSW.  Aimee will give examples of films that have been made from underlying IP, and she’ll go over some personal experiences from films she’s made that are based on real people and their stories, as well as graphic novels/comic book properties.

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