With Addicted to Sheep, our first UK Indie feature documentary in post-production, it was great timing to join the inaugural webinar by Debra Zimmerman of Women Make Movies (WMM) on How to Navigate the International Festival Circuit.
Two and a half hours later, and armed with a follow-up email package, we’ve saved weeks of research and sleepless nights all from the comfort of my lap-top and armchair!
To summarize, here’s ten key takeaways from NAMAC and WMM’s Film Festival webinar:
1. Define your Goals
Every film-maker and film are intrinsically connected. Research the market and do your best for both in order to grow a profile, reach an audience and develop the relationships that will allow your film and career to sustain.
2. Create your Strategy
Create a watch list of festivals. Great resources include Festival Focus and Indiewire. Start with the A+++ festivals like Sundance and track back to create your own wish list. Premiere status is important so make sure you start with World, then International and Regional. It’s hard to do it in reverse.
3. Research is Queen
Look at genres, categories and types of festivals that best suit your film. Dig deep and read the Programmers’ and Jury profiles. Get specific and knowledgeable and try find the perfect fit. Look at what has been successful before and track the journey of similar films.
4. Timing is everything
You have 18 months to maximize your launch options. About two thirds of Festival programmes are filled before submissions are reviewed. Start early or better still, get someone to recommend your film on your behalf.
5. Get the right mix
Premiere status matters, it’s your launch pad so don’t give it away. Check the guidelines and prioritize submissions in the order and status of your best ‘fit’ preference.
6. Slow burn or a bird in the hand?
If you are approached to screen your film locally – call it a ‘sneak’ preview rather than a premiere. Otherwise take your time and work through your strategy.
7. Watch and Learn
Get to know programmers and successful films and track their journey and see what works. Ask for advice, support and recommendations along the way. Treat it as an opportunity to develop support and connections for the long-term.
8. Ask what a Festival can do for you?
It’s a two way process so be selective and make sure you get what you need to reach your goals. If you aren’t selected ask for feedback to trusted contacts and make adjustments to your approach.
9. Making a submission
Prepare quality marketing materials – photos or graphics that capture the story and catch your eye go in the catalogue. See Festival catalogues and tailor submissions for the end user.
10. Make it easy to promote
Once you are successful other festivals are likely to invite you to screen. Make sure your online content is up-to-date and everything you need in terms of press pack, trailer, poster (vertical is best) and a good Facebook page is ready to go.
So, finding the right fit between film and marketplace is key. A blanket approach won’t work.
It’s #woolweek here in the UK and so we thought while people were celebrating the product, we’d celebrate the hard working farmers who look after the sheep all year round. Watch Tom and his clipping partner John on their first day of the shearing season at Belsay in Northumberland. It’s hot hard work but they make it look easy.
Visit our new website and please sign up for occasional updates at www.addictedtosheep.com
Find out why wool is such a sustainable material on the Campaign for Wool website.
We’ve been very busy co-producing our first indie feature length documentary and are now starting to let people know a little bit more about it while we are in post-production.
Directed and filmed by Magali Pettier it’s been a labour of love and all our team have gradually become hooked, as the title suggests. It’s a beautifully shot, heart warming film that allows you to view a world you don’t normally get to see up close.
Addicted to Sheep is an intimate portrait of a year in the life of a tenant farming family who live 1300 feet above sea level in Upper Teesdale. Nothing about their lives seems easy, but with passion and dedication Tom, Kay and their 3 young children (Jack, Esme and Hetty) aspire to succeed in this beautiful, but also harsh landscape.
Although sometimes life may seem like the survival of the fittest, with the parent’s positive approach to life and the children’s maturity, we learn to reconnect with the people behind the landscape and value the importance of small communities and family life.
Visit our new website and please sign up for occasional updates at www.addictedtosheep.com
Now enjoy a sneak preview of what’s to come and please share it with others too.
We love great British craftsmanship and know that in a digital world there’s something special about producing handcrafted products. It’s also great to see skills in manufacturing being passed down to the next generation too.
Thanks to Kate Hills who shared our last blog on her website which champions all things British.
There are recurring themes about great heritage brands. Some or all of the following adjectives usually apply.
Prestigious, expertise, quality, attention to detail, craftsmanship, bespoke, family run and owned, innovative, tremendous knowledge base, exceptional service, proud British heritage, international reputation, design excellence.
All of these qualities were clearly on display at the Coronation Festival with over 200 Royal Warrant holders present. With a passion for heritage brands, Tin Man Films and Provenance Films went along to capture the atmosphere and here we share our diary of some of the brands we most enjoyed meeting at the Palace.
Floris were awarded one of the first 17 Royal Warrants in 1800 and have continued to provide high quality perfume until the present day. All Floris’s products are created in Devon, but they continue to use the original Perfumery at 89 Jermyn Street for trade; the site where the company was founded in 1730. The eighth and ninth generation decendents are still running the business today.
Henry Poole & Co Ltd, who were granted a Royal Warrant by HM Queen Victoria in 1869 as court tailors, showcased their hand made bespoke suits, entirely cut and made on their premises at 15/16 Savile Row. Apprentice pattern cutter Tom explained it takes about 90 hours to make a suit with 3 fittings.
Royal gunmakers since 1835 Holland & Holland is a brand that focuses on authenticity, heritage and style. With Shooting Grounds and a range of exclusive shooting clothing and accessories, Holland & Holland offer the complete package for the discerning shooter with over 70% of its products being made in Britain.
The manufacture of the very finest craft-made guns are still made at the original 1898 factory on Harrow Road near Paddington Station. The tall windows and high ceilings make maximum use of natural light. It takes between 650 and 1000 hours to make the finest craft-made guns.
Bookbinders to Her Majesty the Queen Blissetts are a 4th generation family run business employing 50 staff led by a father and son team. They offer a wide range of services including yearbooks, photobooks, thesis binding, wedding albums, design & print as well as fine binding and restoration.
Heritage brands are distinct in that they are about both history and history in the making. However, managing the past, present and future in a seamless interwoven story is not always easy.
No one did it better than Bentley who curated a storyboard full of textures and iconography whilst providing visitors with a rare opportunity to ‘experience’ the brand. Bentley’s craftsmen and designers offered live displays of some of the skills that provide every car that leaves the Crewe factory with a hand-built, bespoke feel. The ‘open air workshop’ revealed the skill and craftsmanship needed to create Bentley’s luxury car models.
Brand heritage is an often unrecognised and frequently undertapped corporate asset. With a passion for heritage brands, telling great stories about the people and processes behind some of the ‘Best of British’ is part of our mission. For more information about Tin Man Films /Provenance Films collaborations please contact www.tinmanfilms.co.uk
A 400 seat raised catwalk surrounded by a bed of flowers was the location for a series of unique fashion shows at the Coronation Festival. They each told the story of British fashion and iconic style over the past sixty years, showcasing companies that have been awarded the prestigious Royal Warrant of Appointment. Themes included Uniforms, Suited and Booted, Hunting, Shooting & Fishing, Balmoral and James Bond.
The trees were wonderful and made for a magical setting accompanied by great British music ranging from The Clash ‘London’s Calling’ to Noel Coward ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’, Moby, the Beatles and Mumford and Sons. A wonderful show produced like a piece of art by Lindsey Hunt and Claire Ginzler. It made you feel proud to be from a country that accommodates so many styles and attitudes to life whilst respecting design heritage.
To be a successful brand over decades, innovation and creativity is all part of the process. For the Reinvention catwalk show stylist and designer Joey Bevan created unique, elegant and stylish garments based on the Coronation Festival themes of Home & Garden, Style, Pursuit and Past times and Food and Drink using materials and products supplied by various Royal Warrant Holders
There was also a nod to sustainability and recycling. Tea, Coffee, Carpets, Curtains, Royal Mail stamps, paper and logos were all part of the rich mix.
Given the nod to sustainability, the magical setting of the Buckingham Palace Gardens, natural canopy of ancient trees with dappled light shimmering through the leaves made it an even more stunning location.
The National Youth Ballet entertained us at the Coronation Festival with performances from a variety of its ballet productions. Scenes from Alice in Wonderland, Toad and Dolls House Fantasia were magical in the Gardens of Buckingham Palace. The performances were wonderful and the costumes stunning.
The showcase in and around the gardens also featured excerpts from ‘The Alice Polka’ (From the NYB Ballet ‘The Dolls’ House Fantasia’) choreographed by Anna Meadmore, a piece originally commissioned by Queen Victoria to celebrate her daughter Alice’s 6th birthday which originally premiered at Buckingham Palace; as well as the Pas de Deux from The Old Man of Lochnagar, a piece choreographed by Drew McOnie and inspired by the children’s book by HRH The Prince of Wales. Specially commissioned score composed by Nigel Hess.
Find out more about the National Youth Ballet’s performances by visiting their website