Virtual Film Festivals Don’t Have to Suck: Filmocracy Proves it with New Festival for All: FILMOCRACY FEST 2020
- Digital Distribution Platform Launches Its Own Festival Under Direction of Veteran Festival Executive Jon Fitzgerald.
- Virtual Event Unspools December 3-6 in Los Angeles and WorldwideIncludes Panels, Q&A’s, Mentorship and Digital Networking Opportunities
- Fifteen Documentaries, Five Narratives Vie for Jury PrizesAlong with Four Special Presentations https://festival.filmocracy.com/filmfest
Filmocracy, the world’s premier digital screening, distribution, and experience platform, has announced a unique Festival for these challenging times: The First Annual Filmocracy Fest. The juried festival begins on December 3rd and ends on December 6th.
For its inaugural festival, Filmocracy presents a robust slate of 44 films from a dozen countries; numerous panels featuring industry professionals; a mentorship program from 25 festival ambassadors; live performances; script readings; cause-related partners; and dozens of virtual conversations with directors and industry talent. The all-digital festival kicks off with a special sneak preview screening of WHEN TODAY ENDS, directed by Michael Leoni, on December 3rd. Filmocracy will present films both as scheduled virtual screenings and as on-demand viewing.
The last nine months have turned the film festival community inside-out. Many festivals postponed or canceled, and others moved clumsily to off-the-shelf online platforms ill-served to their audiences and stakeholders, while the pressure grew to utilize film festivals as de facto distribution platforms.
All this while, technology company Filmocracy has honed the sophistication of its delivery platform, in essence creating virtual, navigable worlds for festival-goers to experience in a unique, content-rich, entertaining way, coining the motto as they went along: Virtual Festivals Don’t Have to Suck. Festivals and markets including San Diego, Louisville, Paris, and most recently, AFM have adopted Filmocracy’s platform for their festivals. Filmocracy also has a library of titles for streaming that is constantly evolving and rotating with 2600 titles currently available.
When Filmocracy co-founder and CEO Paul Jun met veteran festival programmer, producer, and executive Jon Fitzgerald, they decided to merge their platform with Fitzgerald’s innovative, inclusive, and inspired “four-pillared” programming concept consisting of Mentorship, Discovery, Networking, and Experience.
Jun says, “After hosting a number of large film events like the San Diego International Film Festival and the American Film Market, we’re extremely excited to use this platform for our homegrown festival. Filmocracy is all about helping filmmakers reach wider audiences through unique gamification and prizes while showcasing the most interesting film festivals in the world. Filmocracy Fest will be the crown jewel of our annual festival lineup.”
Filmocracy Fest represents the merging of a robust, innovative delivery platform that makes the absolute most of a three-dimensional digital experience with carefully curated film programming and interactive conversations with filmmakers, industry leaders, educators, and more. Virtual Q&A’s and conversations with select filmmakers follow each screening, and Filmocracy has assembled a group of 25 ambassadors, including Dan Harlow, Brian Newman, Mark Litwak, Jasper Grey, and Nick Reed to lead presentations.
AMBASSADORS: Filmocracy’s event schedule is built on the credentials of the more than 40 (and counting) members of its Ambassador Program. They include filmmakers, financiers, technologists, and industry executives from around the world, who will lead, share, teach, and entertain festivalgoers. We’ve summarized them (list in formation in alphabetical order as of November 27, 2020).
See full bios here:
• Zack Book: Manager and producer, All Trades Content
•Tiffany Boyle: Financier, packager, attorney
• Jeff Dowd: Producer, consultant, “The Dude.”
• Jon Fitzgerald: Festival Director, consultant, and executive, iGEMS.tv
• Jasper Grey: Manager and producer, Vendetta Group
• Rob Hardy: Writer, filmmaker, and entrepreneur Filmmaker Freedom
• Daniel Harlow: Technologist and marketer, Bunker 15 Films
• Bobby Hoppey: Independent producer and consultant, Everlast Pictures and Complementary Colors
• Tana Jamieson: Senior Vice President, A+E Studios
• Paul Jun: Founder and CEO, Filmocracy
• Carmen Knox: Literary manager, producer, and entrepreneur, In Dreams
• Michael Kuehnert: Director of Acquisitions and Sales for The Video Project
• Mark Litwak: USC Adjunct Professor and Entertainment Attorney
• Jason Lubi: Manager/producer, First Story Entertainment
• Lela Meadow-Conner: Director, Film Festival Alliance and founder of non-profit www.mama.film
• Brian Newman: Brand consultant, Sub-Genre
• Erik Pence: Karma Media holdings and Walla
• John Hilary Shepherd: Writer/producer
• Christiana Santos: Distribution executive, MGM, and Annapurna
• Daniel Schnider: Head of Originals, Vix (neé Pongalo)
• Julian Silver: Actor/Producer
• Josh Spector: SVP Acquisitions, Vertical Entertainment
• Lee Stobby: literary manager and producer, Lee Stobby Entertainment
• Nathan Sutton: Actor/Filmmaker
• Jeffrey Winter: The Film Collaborative
• Viviana Zarragoitia: Film financier, Three Point Capital
Highlights of the festival include: five juried narrative and fifteen feature documentary features, including two world premieres and several award winners from other festivals; four special presentations (three of which are sneak previews) comprising two documentaries: ROCK CAMP, by Douglas Blush, and JOSÉ FELICIANO: BEHIND THIS GUITAR, by Frank Licari & Helen Murphy (featuring a live performance by Felciano himself), and two narratives, IZZY LION, THE UNSPUN HERO by Dan Lanigan and WHEN TODAY ENDS, by Michael Leoni; and five themed shorts programs—Futuristic Societies; Broken Pieces; Youth and Consequences; Diversity and Inclusion; and Inner Demons—44 films in all.
The full selection of films is here:
Because it’s a three-dimensional digital presentation, a pass holder can visit Filmocracy Fest at almost any time and be sure of finding something going on. In addition to scheduled screenings and films on demand, there are daily breakfasts, happy hours in the “saloon” and an “Impact Expo” to experience and explore impact-related filmmaking and their related causes, a subject near to Fitgzerald’s heart. He says, “As the film festival world continues this dramatic shift, we look forward to bringing together an amazing slate of films, a distinctive roster of Ambassadors and unique networking opportunities that will create memorable and productive experiences for all participants. I thank Filmocracy and Paul Jun for providing the platform to put forward an event of this mission and scope.” The festival will announce its full slate of panels, educational programs, and other elements shortly.
Tickets are on sale now with multiple pass options. The All-Access VIP Pass costs $99.00 and includes entry to all festival screenings, events, panels, and mentorship. Other ticketing options include the Industry Pass for $45 and Day Passes at $25 per day.
For Festival Director Jon Fitzgerald, Filmocracy Fest is the latest episode in a professional anthology that includes co-founding Slamdance, directing Santa Barbara, Naples, and AFI Festivals, with director/producer credits THE MILKY WAY, THE HIGHEST PASS and WARRIOR ONE, and authoring Filmmaking for Change.
Fitzgerald concludes, “Filmocracy Fest lives at the intersection of storytelling, committed to connecting creative talent, industry professionals, and film fans in a brave new world. Founded on the basis of four key pillars (Discovery, Mentorship, Networking, Experience), the Festival will create opportunities for industry professionals and audiences to discover new voices.
FILMOCRACYLAND: Filmocracy passholders, audience members and filmmakers will have an opportunity to engage and explore at the Talent Summit in Filmocracyland, a virtual village the festival organizers have engineered to promote networking and mentorship. In addition to the scheduled industry programs, festival audiences can join filmmakers for the Q&A’s at the Virtual Summit.
Panel Discussions: From the early stages of movie ideas to script development, from production to distribution, the festival will present seven or more panels, allowing time for audience participation in each. Current panels scheduled are:
Advancing Your Career through Representation
How do you know when you’re “ready” for representation? What does a representative do? What’s the difference between a manager, an agent, and a creative producer? What do reps look for in clients? We’ll discuss these topics and more.
Thursday December 3, 11:30am
● Zach Book
● Carmen Knox
● Jason Lubin
● Lee Stobby
Moderator: Jasper Grey
Development & Packaging
It starts with an idea, and then other elements come together, from writers and directors, to production partners and actors. This panel explores the early stages of the process, in many cases, before a first draft has even been completed.
Thursday December 3rd, 10:00am
● Tiffany Boyle
● Bobby Hoppey
● John Hillary Shepherd
● Viviana Zarragoitia
Moderator: Jasper Grey
Marketing to your Audience
Often overlooked by independent filmmakers, it’s the marketing strategy that will make or break the success of any project or brand. From key art and festival initiatives to social media and grassroots niche campaigns, entrepreneurial strategies are now more important than ever.
Friday December 4, 2:30pm
● Rob Hardy
● Justin Giddings
● Dan Harlow
● Lucy Rendler-Kaplan
Moderator: Brian Newman
What Writers and Directors Look For
Saturday December 5, 10:00am
● Sunny Vascher
● Julian Silver
● Nathan Sutton
● Leilani Downing
Moderator: Vinay Bhagat
The Microbudget Road to Distribution
Thursday December 3, 2:30pm
● Sean Kenealy (In Action)
● Eric Silvera (In Action)
● Scott Vickers (Matriarch made for 35k and sold to Lions Gate)
Moderator: Paul Jun
Festivals in the New Era
Sunday December 6th, 10:00am
● Lela Conners-Meadow
● Justin Giddings
● Chris Gore
● Jon Fitzgerald
Moderator: Paul Jun
Coffee Time & Happy Hours: Passholders, ambassadors and festival filmmakers will have an opportunity to network, share ideas and explore future collaborations, during am Coffee Time in the Filmmaker Pavilion, taking place daily December 3-6 8:00-10:00am and during Happy Hours taking place daily from 5:00-7:00pm in the Saloon.
Q&A’s: Live online Q&A’s with filmmakers before the public will follow the scheduled presentations of as many of the films as possible. See film schedule for dates and times. They will also be archived for audiences to play in the VOD Theatre.
Credentialed Media: Media are welcome at all festival screenings, events, panels, happy hours and coffees; the works. Accredited media will also have an opportunity to schedule interviews with filmmakers over the course of the Festival, with virtual meeting rooms available in Studio A, B and in Bergman Hall. Please apply for credentials HERE or contact this office.
A schedule of industry roundtables and keynotes is in formation. Happy Thanksgiving!
The full festival programming guide is here:
“We will combine online screenings and Q&As with unique digital experiences, script readings, and networking opportunities. As the modern film festival experience is being reinvented, Filmocracy Fest endeavors to create an exciting and productive experience for filmmakers, industry, and audiences alike.”
Filmocracy is a film and festival streaming platform that rewards users for discovering amazing independent films. Users earn virtual popcorn for watching and rating movies, which can be spent in their shop to earn movie tickets, redeem gift cards, or attend virtual film festivals the host from around the world. Bringing a powerful combination of technologies together to enhance the virtual cinema and conference experience for filmmakers, industry professionals and audiences around the world. Filmocracy’s mission is to help all independent filmmakers reach wider audiences and grow their communities through storytelling.