Posts Tagged ‘Reach Film Fellowship’

A post by Courtney Hope

A post by Courtney Hope

My father is the king of coupons. If there’s a deal, he’s there. If there’s a sale, a sample, a miniature bottle of shampoo left unattended on a cart in a hotel, he is thrilled. So, being my father’s daughter, I too am tickled pink at the thought of discounts and free stuff. And the best way to obtain these wonderful free things? Well, make a movie, of course.

As someone with years of practice convincing people to hand over their goods, I thought I’d share some tips for how to get your artistic little hands on as many free things as possible. So, from the girl who learned from the very best:

1. Have something tangible. Print some postcards, or fancy looking business cards or make a prospectus (remember, you can acquire some of these things for free too). Having something to show for your project means a. it’s real, b. you’re serious, and c. they can’t forget about you.

2. Pick targets wisely. Do a little research and find out who donates to other films, arts organizations, groups related to the topic of your film, etc. Or find out if your parents/rich uncle/roommate’s cousin/lead actress knows the guy who owns (fill in the blank). And go to places you frequent, places you make the products you LOVE. It’s easier to ask for something when you can faun all over it. Businesses want to keep their most loyal fans the happiest, so keep that in mind. And another word of advice: try to avoid giant corporations because they already give a percentage of their profits to someone else. And you’re an indie filmmaker, so find other indie people to help you out. They will understand what you’re trying to do and are more likely to be supportive because of it. If you’re filming in a location outside of New York City or LA, find places that are local and proud of it. If you sell your film as something good for the community, they’re more likely to get onboard with free things and word of mouth. So, once you have your list of places to hit up…

3. Pick your times wisely. You’re going to want to speak with the manager or owner. If you waste your pitch on the hostess, you’ll feel foolish when she tells you she’s “going to find the manager,” but really you hear her laughing about you to her friend in the kitchen. So, figure out when the person in charge will be in. What time is that? Probably before the “dinner rush.” That being said, don’t prance yourself into a restaurant at 8:30pm on Saturday night and expect anyone to listen to you. If the place looks crazy busy, go back another time. Same for if the place is empty. You don’t want to ask for free things when the place isn’t making any cash. And it’s more awkward to walk out with a rejection when you’re the only one there too.

4. Know what you want and what they get in exchange. If you want a meal for fifteen people Friday afternoon, tell them (but make sure you’re asking for things at least three weeks in advance!). If they ask how they can help and you don’t have an answer, a. you look pretty lame, b. they’re quickly losing interest, and c. you feel like a fool. Start your pitch telling them you’re looking for donations, but give them the chance to ask what exactly that means. This engages them in a conversation. Much easier to trap them this way. But also know what they’re getting in return. Credit on your awesome film that will be distributed to millions of people the world over and your crew will just LOVE their product and buy it all the time. And you LOVE their product and will continue to be a diehard fan, especially if they give you boxes of their treats for nothing. And you’ll add their company’s name to your website. It’s a win-win! You feed/house/dress/impress your crew and they have a new marketing outlet that costs them next-to-nothing.

5. Practice your pitch. Even if you’re only practicing with yourself in the mirror or to your goldfish, it’s good to be prepared. It’s scary to ask a stranger for a hand out (remember asking the scary neighbors on the corner with the big German Sheppard to buy cookies and popcorn for Boy/Girl Scouts?) Just remember, you don’t have a huge organization behind you this time, so you really have to sell yourself and your film. Now, once your pitch is perfected, you’re good to go.

6. Dress the part. It’s okay to look like a bum on set, but no one’s going to want to hand over free things to you if you don’t look professional. Their donation is an investment. They are marketing their product through your film, both in your credits and on set to your crew. If you haven’t showered, they won’t expect that you’re going anywhere with your film or career and they’ll assume your crewmembers probably smell too.

7. Remember the name of the person you spoke with. Write it down when you leave. Even if the manager/owner wasn’t in, know who talked to you. This way, you can call/email the person in charge and say, “Yes, I spoke with Emily at your (insert store name) on Sunday and she told me I should contact you about…” It makes it more personal, proves you actually went to the store and you can make it sound like you and Emily are best buds. And why wouldn’t you want to donate to your best worker’s filmmaker friend. It’s just a couple baked goods, right? (wink wink).

8. Don’t be shocked by rejection. Have something to say if they tell you “no.” Don’t cry, don’t pout, don’t tell them to go to hell. Just tell them very nicely that you understand, and it’s no big deal. Then ask if you could just put some postcards out on the counter. Most likely, they’ll let you lay out some postcards. You get some free advertising space and it won’t be so awkward leaving, because you still got something out of it. And, you can always boycott them for the rest of your life, too… (just kidding… or am I?)

9. Follow up. Even if the person you spoke with told you that the whole premise of your film sucks, email them anyway. Thank them for taking the time to meet with you. You can always hit them up again next year when you make a film, or send them a nice little update when your film wins the Academy Award. (Remember, living well is the best revenge.) If the person did offer you something, thank them in the email/phone call and reiterate what you think the agreement was. It’s important you’re both on the same page so a. they don’t think you’re ungrateful and b. you can plan accordingly. Give them a date that you’re going to call/email them again to check in. If you don’t remind them about the meal they’re donating, don’t expect it ready when your PA shows up in a month and a half. Show some respect – they’ve got more to worry about than your movie (I know, it’s shocking) and while they’re happy to help, they’ll appreciate a reminder and think you’re uber-professional.

10. Give them the credit they deserve. If someone donates to your film, whether it’s cash or props or locations or food, etc. send a thank you note. Try to plan ahead and have some thank you notes on set so your cast and crew can all sign it. Not only does it make you look really thoughtful, but it’s more likely to end up on the wall of the restaurant/café/main lobby, etc. This means more free publicity for your film! Then make sure to email an update about the film during post-production. People who don’t work in film don’t understand how fricken long post can be. They’ll assume you forgot about them and tear down your awesome thank you note and light it on fire. Well, maybe nothing that extreme, but you’ll look rude. Remember, they helped make your film possible; the least you can do is keep them in the loop. Let them know when the film will be ready. Then invite them to the premiere, screening at your mom’s place or send them a DVD. Everyone loves seeing their name in the credits. And if your film – I’m sorry, WHEN you’re film plays in festivals or finds a distributor, let them know. Remember, they want people to see their logo or name. If your film plays to sold out audiences the world over, they’re not only happy for you, but they a. now have some bragging rights and will tell their friends (who might just buy a DVD!) and b. they know they’re getting free advertising. This way, when you make your next film, they might give you five cases of soda instead of two.

By following the ten steps/rules above, I have acquired donated things for my film Wild Birds from: Comfort Suites, Pop Chips, A-Treat Beverages, Wild Flower Café, XL Graphics, Boylan’s Bottling, Company, Chipotle, Hub Wilson Photography, Yocco’s, Cold Stone, The Goosey Gander Restaurant, Civic Theatre of Allentown, Sal’s Pizzeria, Foo Joy and Gallery Bar. You can visit the “Thank You Page” on the Wild Birds site with links to these awesome people’s websites.

These methods are tried and true and the above donations not only make my film possible, but they also make my father, the Coupon King, proud. Remember, the best things in life are free!

RFF 2010 Fellow Courtney Hope recently graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Film & Television. While a student at NYU, she wrote and directed several short films. Hope’s thesis film Sex & German Grammar, which was awarded the prize for Best Cinematography at NYU’s Fusion Film Festival, also screened at the Southside Film Festival and the Palm Springs Shortfest. Hope has also shown films at the London Super Short Film Festival and the Reed Media Festival, and took home a prize at the 2007 Southside Image Over Words competition. Hope recently completed her first independent short, Another First.

A post by Courtney Hope

A post by Courtney Hope

Here I stand outside a building in the West Village, staring at a door without a knob. I look up at the building. How am I supposed to get in? Fortunately, someone’s leaving the building as I stand looking perplexedly at the door.

“First time here?” he asks.

“Yeah…”

The Man holds the door open and I slowly step into the building. Now what? The Man holding the door notices my confusion – or awkwardness – and asks whom I’m there to see, as if I’d just stepped into a doctor’s office.

“Jeremy.” Should I give his last names too? Who is this guy anyway?

“He’s upstairs.”

I don’t see any stairs. What a strange place I’ve just walked into. Must be some sort of trap.

“The stairs. They’re through there. Just go straight back and they’re on your right.” This guy must think I’m an idiot

“Thanks.” I follow the stranger’s directions and walk down a hall covered in movie posters. Aha! Stairs! I climb the staircase until I reach an open door. Is this it? I step through, my boots stomping into the room. No one. Great. It was a trap. Where am I? I peak around the corner and see a woman. She, like everyone else apparently, can tell I have no idea what I’m doing or where I am.

“Hi. Who are you looking for?”

“Jeremy?” Ugh. I should just go home.

“Oh.” She gestures to a half-wall from which Jeremy pops up. We shake hands.

“Yeah, I didn’t even hear you come in.”

Great, now he thinks I’m some creep who slithered into the building.

“Well, you have a very confusing entrance…” Oh boy. Why am I so awkward?

I follow Jeremy into what looks like a living room in the office and sit. Maybe I should have brought coffee so I’d have something to do or hold or just to give the general sense of importance. Too late. No coffee. No prop. Just me in this chair with a copy of my script, which I pull out of my bag only to find the edges have begun to curl. Great.

“First of all, congratulations on the grant. It’s really a great program.”

“Thank you,” I try to muster my confidence.

“So, tell me about your film.”

Oh no. Pitching. That’s the worst.

“Well, my film is about two little girls who run away into the woods from an abusive home to be wild.” I wonder if it sounds convincing anymore. I must have said this exact sentence about a thousand times by now.

Jeremy asks where the story came from, how I envision the film looking, and some basic production questions. The standard questions, for which I have my well rehearsed answers.

“So tell me about the gun in your script.”

“Oh, well, what about it exactly…” Uh oh.

“Why is it there?” Never a good sign.

I explain that the gun is an extension of the father, that it represents that you can never really escape your upbringing, but it’s how you use what you’ve lived through that tells who you are, blah blahblah.

“It seems that you don’t really need it.”

Um… What? That’s what the whole movie’s about… I’m not really sure how to respond to this.

Jeremy explains that he could show me at least 40 student films with a gun. Ouch. Well, this isn’t a student film, so… Then he asks me again what the film is about.

“Two little girls who run away into the woods from an abusive home to be wild.” Same thing I said before.

“If that’s what the film is about, then you need to focus on that. The gun’s kind of distracting.”

“Oh. I guess…” I am thoroughly impressed. This guy’s good.

“Maybe they take something else from their dad that they can fight over, but there are other ways to show their relationship, I think.”

Jeremy gives me some suggestions about what other props might come from the sort of home the girls come from that are a bit more neutral than a gun. He casually mentions that raining night exteriors are probably also unnecessary. This also being a large part of the draft, it takes a minute to digest all this.

To make an already long story short, Jeremy wanted me to rewrite most of the script, but without losing what the film was really about. And he understood the film as a story about sisters who are pushed to do something drastic. So, as I left the office (much easier to exit than enter), I wasn’t sure how I really felt about this Jeremy character. I agreed that the film needed some simplification, but his suggestions seemed a bit extreme.

While thinking about the notes Jeremy gave me, I started scratching some notes on my crinkled copy of the script. After replacing the gun with a lighter, transforming the father into a mother, and turning night into day, I realized that maybe he had a point. The film is character driven, and inherently dramatic without all the extras I’d written in.

The most important thing I took away from my meeting with Jeremy wasn’t anything he said, or even how to open a door without a knob, but rather, I realized that the only way to make a film is to surround yourself with people who really care about it enough to tell you when it sucks. When Jeremy forced me rethink my script, I realized that the notes from my producer and editor and production designer all were crucial to making the film. If others aren’t invested in the script, no one will invest in the finished film either. One of the most important things for any filmmaker to do is to listen, take advice, and adjust the script instead of simply explaining away the problems that exist. There’s no such thing as a finished script until it’s picture locked.

RFF 2010 Fellow Courtney Hope (mentored by Jeremy Kipp Walker) recently graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Film & Television. While a student at NYU, she wrote and directed several short films. Hope’s thesis film Sex & German Grammar, was awarded the prize for Best Cinematography at NYU’s Fusion Film Festival and screened at the Southside Film Festival and the Palm Springs Shortfest. Hope has also shown films at the London Super Short Film Festival and the Reed Media Festival, and took home a prize at the 2007 Southside Image Over Words competition. Hope recently completed her first independent short, Another First. Courtney’s RFF Film, Wild Birds, is about two young sisters who enter the woods determined to be “wild.” As the story unfolds, we begin to understand what they are running from, and see the power dynamic between them shift as the younger sister develops second thoughts about their plans.

A post by Gabriel Long

A post by Gabriel Long

At the start of the Reach Film Fellowship, there were two important aspects of my film, Brothers, I was hoping to get help with. First, I didn’t feel confident about how I would handle casting and directing young actors (my two main characters are children). I know that getting a natural performance from a child, one that doesn’t feel self-conscious, is going to be key to my film. Second, I felt that my script could be improved, but couldn’t decide what to change.

Casting and Directing Child Actors
During our re
cent advising workshop with Writer/Director Tze Chun (Children of Invention), there were some very useful takeaways related to casting and working with children.

More from his workshop will be posted on this blog soon, I think, but one piece of advice he gave was particularly useful to me. Tze said that when casting a role, it’s critical to keep in mind the specific demands of the part. A very natural young actor who doesn’t have a great deal of acting ability can work well for a role that doesn’t contain many highly emotional scenes. If the character needs to display a great deal of strong emotion, however, more acting ability is necessary even if this means sacrificing naturalness to some degree.

Directing Child Actors Workshop with Tze Chun

Directing Child Actors Workshop with Tze Chun

When I entered the casting process and had to begin making decisions, I took Tze’s advice and looked for the right balance of acting ability versus naturalness.  We auditioned 20 actors for the two open roles and had four, two actors per character, come in for callbacks.

At callbacks, I was careful to go over the most emotionally subtle parts of the script several times to see what each actor could bring to the moments. In this script there are no highly emotional scenes that call for crying, or throwing a tantrum, so I decided I could err on the side of naturalness over acting experience, while making sure that the actors were skilled enough to understated and convey the emotions of the scenes.

Also critical to me, was looking at the chemistry between each pair of actors. My two actors will be playing brothers and the story hinges on the subtle interactions that make up their relationship.

Now that my film is cast, I am looking ahead at how I will work with my actors in rehearsal and on set. In my discussions with my mentor, Laurie Collyer (Sherrybaby), Laurie has really emphasized using improvisation as a lead-in to scripted scenes in order to get a more natural performance from child actors. Tze also advised that I give my young actors a set of actions to execute whenever possible, rather than a single action, in order to keep them from over-emphasizing each one. I’ll definitely be employing these tactics.

Refining My Script
There were a lot of things I liked about my script going into this process, but in some ways I felt like I wanted to make it better. The story didn’t feel as compelling or engaging as I wanted it to. It was tight, but a bit predictable.

In terms of re-writing, however, I felt I was at a bit of a dead end. I felt that every element of my script was so connected to the whole piece that unless I overhauled it, it would be difficult to improve.

During my second meeting with Laurie, we analyzed my script in depth. Based on her advice, I did a complete re-write of the script, viewing it as an exercise rather than an attempt to come up with a different story. She thought it might free me up to continue improving on what I had.

The idea of writing an “exercise” script was very freeing and allowed me to get past my attachment to the interconnectedness of the previous draft. The resulting draft wound up involving the same location, characters, and subject matter, but was very different and significantly better. I allowed myself to completely re-imagine scenes with the knowledge that if they didn’t work I didn’t need to use them in the final version.

Rather than taking the best elements of the exercise script and melding them into the older draft, I did the reverse. I ended up taking the moments in the older draft that I thought held the essence of the story and constructed a new narrative around them. The end result was a more natural and compelling story.

RFF 2010 Fellow Gabriel Long (mentored by Laurie Collyer) has done extensive work in both narrative and documentary film. Two of his documentary projects were nationally broadcast by Current TV. Swimming New York City documents a swimming race around Governor’s Island, and The Art of Sticks offers a portrait of outdoor sculptor Patrick Doherty. He has also completed seven narrative short films, most recently Adán, which follows a schoolteacher as he travels from his home in Ecuador to New York City, trying to find a friend in the wake of a school shooting. Long recently moved to New York City where he works as an assistant director, editor, and writer. Gabriel’s RFF Film, Brothers, is about two young boys living in the shadow of a hot-tempered father. As the younger brother grapples with his sexual identity and the other becomes his unlikely protector.

A post by Courtney Hope

A post by Courtney Hope

To be perfectly honest, I’m not a big fan of nature. I grew up in Pennsylvania, in a county with the most parks per capita ratio in the country. I went to a private school with trees and lawns and a rose garden. My parents forced me to go to camp and sleep in a cabin – for which I may never forgive them. But when the time came for me to choose my own setting, I chose the bleakest landscape of all – New York City. And I’ve managed to avoid the great outdoors ever since.

So why then would I chose to set my RFF Film, Wild Birds, entirely in the woods – in the middle of November – in the hometown where all those trees once suffocated the city girl in me? I was asking myself some of these same questions as I dragged my key crew into the heart of the forest that sometimes haunts my nightmares.

My DP, Carole has the exact opposite opinion of woods than I do. She can’t get enough trees and berries and acorns – and other strange things she picks up as we walk.

“You sure that’s edible?” I ask as she sinks her teeth into something she found on the ground.

She explains that the acorns she’s chomping on can be made into flour if you can gather enough of them. I can’t help but to roll my eyes. Why would anyone ever do that?

My Production Designer Emmeline, also has an affinity for the woods. But she’s from Vermont, where that sort of attitude is mandatory. She collects leaves and twigs and seed to flatten into the notebook she’s brought with her. I really don’t fit in with these woods enthusiasts.

So here I am, wandering off trails in the woods searching for the strangest looking trees we can find. And there really are some crazy-looking spots in these woods.

“This place is like an evil Disney forest,” Carole notices.

An illustration from the Wild Birds team

An illustration from the Wild Birds team

“Yeah, I know. Woods are terrifying,” which leads us into a discussion of what kind of woods the characters try to hide in. Are they nice woods that are easy to live in, mean woods that hurt the girls, uncaring woods that watch the girls struggle without offering any guidance? We decide that the woods are like their mother (who is omnipresent, though we never meet her on screen), somewhat cruel, but unintentionally so. They’re just wild unsympathetic woods, but they wouldn’t go out of their way to harm the girls. So it’s settled, abusive-mother-woods. That’s what we’re after. This changes how we analyze each attractive patch of nature we come across.

Emmeline smashes some berries into her notebook. “Look at all these bruise colors. These are great.”

Carole points out some poison ivy. “Let’s not shoot in poison ivy. That’s the last thing we need is itchy actors.”

“Wait, this yellow leaf? Did I touch it? Did anyone notice if I touched this poison ivy?” No one’s noticed. Great. Now I’m going to have poison ivy. How did I grow up in Pennsylvania and never learn what poison ivy was. I was a girl scout… for a year…

Wild Birds location scout photo

Wild Birds location scout photo

Then we come upon my favorite place in these woods, a strange start of a building that was never finished. It’s just a corner of bricks that stick up under a tree. We decide this is our first choice for the dead bird scene. It has the right sort of half-warmth of home and half-empty and uncaring feel to it.

Then we find other strange pipes and old wells sticking out of the ground throughout the place. These woods are picture ready!

At the suggestion of a local film enthusiast, my crew and I drive to an abandoned amusement park in Easton, PA. We were told it flooded in the 90s and was never repaired. On the way there, Emmeline spots an empty birds nest near the side of the road. She demands we pull over so she can pick it up. I take this nest as a good omen.

When we arrive at the amusement park, the gates are locked. But it looks like the sort of place teenagers would have a way into, and after a quick search, we find a place where we can sneak through the fence. This place is definitely a popular trespassing zone, with trash everywhere.

We walk through this abandoned amusement park and all we can talk about is the horror film we should shoot there one day. What kind of creepy things go on here at night? I don’t want to think about it. I’m already afraid of everything.

I loudly try to focus the conversation off serial killing clowns and back on the film we’re actually shooting.

We decide that most of the amusement park is unusable because it’s too obvious – placing abused children in a dilapidated place that represents childhood would feel clichéd. But in the back of the park are a few shed-like structures that seem to be falling apart. “Does this look like it could be in the woods?”

“We could use it for the beginning,” Carole chimes in.

“Or a rain location.” I make a face. Please, don’t let it rain!

“Oh right, rain locations…”

And with that in mind, we walked quickly out of the haunted park back to the safety of our cars.

We found some great locations, took a ton of photos, and survived a few hours in the woods without anyone succumbing to poison ivy. It was a good day and a good scout, even if it did take place outside.

RFF 2010 Fellow Courtney Hope (mentored by Jeremy Kipp Walker) recently graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Film & Television. While a student at NYU, she wrote and directed several short films. Hope’s thesis film Sex & German Grammar, was awarded the prize for Best Cinematography at NYU’s Fusion Film Festival and screened at the Southside Film Festival and the Palm Springs Shortfest. Hope has also shown films at the London Super Short Film Festival and the Reed Media Festival, and took home a prize at the 2007 Southside Image Over Words competition. Hope recently completed her first independent short, Another First. Courtney’s RFF Film, Wild Birds, is about two young sisters who enter the woods determined to be “wild.” As the story unfolds, we begin to understand what they are running from, and see the power dynamic between them shift as the younger sister develops second thoughts about their plans.

Courntey_Hope

Courtney Hope (RFF Fellow, 2010)

Read the article about Courtney and Wild Birds that appeared in The Morning Call of Allentown, PA  here. Please note that the article gives the wrong url for the film’s web site. The actual site is wildbirdsfilm.com.

Congratulations Courtney, the site looks fantastic!

Each month MediaRights.org (part of Cinereach sister organization Arts Engine) selects a video clip from a social-issue piece of media and presents it to visitors to watch, comment-on and forward to peers. This new staple of their site, called 90-Second Cinema, will feature Clips that are no longer than ninety seconds and, for each one, highlight how a creative or artful approach was employed to tell a story with impact. 90-Second Cinema is a quick and instructive way to collect tips on the art and craft of socially relevant storytelling.

This month, the site features a clip from The Devil Came on Horseback, and notes how several different types of source material were used in one sequence to powerful effect. Annie Sundberg (who made the film along with Ricki Stern) is a mentor of RFF 2010 Fellow Nadia Hallgren and has been advising Nadia on the craft of socially relevant storytelling as it relates to Nadia’s film, Love Lockdown.

THE REACH FILM FELLOWSHIP (RFF)
SEEKS CREW MEMBERS
FOR FOUR FELLOWSHIP FILMS

WHAT: An informal networking event to fill open crew positions on RFF Films

WHEN: Monday, September 28th @ 6 PM

WHERE: A TBD Manhattan location (attendees will be notified by email)

MORE INFO: The Reach Film Fellowship – a prestigious program through which Cinereach offers emerging filmmakers a grant, mentorship and industry exposure – is hosting an informal gathering to help its 2010 Reach Filmmakers fill open crew positions for their short fiction and nonfiction films. Some of the positions we are looking to fill include: gaffers, ADs, sound mixers, editors among many others. The films shoot in the coming weeks/months. Compensation for all crew positions depends on level of experience.

THE REACH FILM FELLOWSHIP (RFF): A program of Cinereach, RFF is a rigorous, annual program in which four filmmakers complete a short film with a socially relevant theme. Each receives a $5,000 grant, production resources, workshops, industry exposure, and personalized mentorship. Past mentors and advisors have included: So Yong Kim, Edet Belzberg, Ellen Kuras, Nicole Kassell, Albert Maysles, Rachel Grady, Jeremy Kipp Walker, and others. Annie Waldman, a 2008 Fellow, premiered her RFF short at Sundance 2009 and it airs on PBS this month. Nicholas Bruckman’s RFF film screened at Rooftop Films, and his follow-up feature “La Americana” went to over 30 festivals, winning 7 awards.

Send your resume right away to [email protected] Please put “RFF CREW EVENT” as the subject, and let us know your areas of interest/expertise. If there’s a potential match for an open position, we’ll get back to you with details on attending the 9/28 event to meet the fellows and learn about their projects.

CINEREACH LTD: Cinereach (cinereach.org) was created in 2006 by young filmmakers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs to champion vital stories artfully told. Cinereach facilitates the creation of films that challenge, excite, innovate, offer new perspectives and inspire action through three key initiatives: Grants & Awards, The Reach Film Fellowship and Productions. Cinereach has awarded over $2 million in grants and achievement awards to over 30 projects since its inception.

Brendon McQueen, Reach Film Fellow 08/09

Brendon McQueen, Reach Film Fellow 08/09

Congratulations to Brendon McQueen 08/09 Reach Film Fellow whose film Skip Rocks will screen at the 2009 Sun Valley Spiritual Film Festival , taking place September 18th-20th in Sun Valley, Idaho.

This year will be the 5th Annual Sun Valley Spiritual Festival, whose mission is to “present films that explore spiritual traditions from around the world, as well as films that cherish the human spirit.” Brendon’s film certainly falls under this category, chronicling an elderly woman at the onset of Alzheimer’s sharing a childhood memory with her granddaughter. View the trailer here.

Passes to the festival can be purchased for $80 and the price for individual screenings is just $8. You can buy tickets here.

A tip to share from RFF Mentor Renee Bishop:

Renee suggests that short filmmakers take their films to their local PBS Stations and offer them for broadcast. Local stations do have a need for content and might be open to submissions. If a film airs, the filmmakers can then submit for a regional Emmy via the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences web site.

Sometimes the Stations will submit on the filmmakers’ behalf as well. Regions have their own submission guidelines and fees run between $30 and $50.

Thanks for the tip Renee!

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