Artist Services Workshop Heads to Oaxaca, Mexico

Sundance Institute

Oaxaca FilmFest announced today details of the Sundance Institute Artist Services Workshops highlighting the New Industry section during Oaxaca FilmFest 6. The workshops, which will feature unique conversations with industry experts from Kickstarter, Indiegogo and VHX, are designed to give filmmakers the necessary skills and tools to understand new and emerging trends in the ever-changing digital landscape.

The Workshops will be held October 12–14, 2015, and led by Sundance Institute Director of Digital Initiatives Joseph Beyer and Artist Services Manager Missy Laney. For more information about Oaxaca FilmFest visit: or write: contact@oaxacafilmfest

How to Crowdfund Your Film
Kickstarter’s Liz Cook and Indiegogo’s Marc Hofstatter will lead keynote presentations on how to utilize major global crowdfunding platforms to fund independent films.

Digital Distribution: What You Need to Know
Forest Conner, a Data Scientist at leading digital distribution platform VHX will provide insight into effective models of distribution for independent films.

Independent Marketing: Detropia Case Study
Led by Academy-Award nominee Heidi Ewing, this workshop will focus on the obstacles and opportunities, successes and failures that come from promoting your film release. This session is about what it takes to get your film seen in an overcrowded marketplace by using the best marketing practices.



Liz Cook grew up in Washington, D.C., and received a dual degree at Miami of Ohio for Art History and Journalism. She has worked in France with the U.S. State Department, in India with A.R. Rahman, composer and musician, and in NYC with the digital distributor for film, SnagFilms. She is currently a film community manager at Kickstarter in Brooklyn.


Marc Hofstatter leads film for global crowd funding platform, Indiegogo. Originally from New York, he began his career at Bingham Ray’s indie film label, October Films. Hofstatter later transitioned to Los Angeles, moving to the William Morris Agency. He went on to serve as a production executive on both the Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox lots. He has worked on over a dozen feature films, including helping overseeing production on such projects as Peter Sollett’s Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Tom Ford’s A Single Man. Prior to coming to Indiegogo he served as an independent producer developing content for film, TV and digital platforms.


Forest Conner graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006 with a dual-degree in Computer Science and Psychology, specializing in Artificial Intelligence Research. He subsequently worked in the fast-paced world of software development in Silicon Valley for the networking giant Cisco Systems, Inc. until his entry into the dual MBA/MFA program at NYU Tisch School of the Art and Stern school of business.

Through the dual-degree program, he focused his study on independent film production and entrepreneurship in the film industry. He had produced numerous award-winning short films and web series, most notably Double Crossed, a branded web series produced for Subway Sandwiches that debuted at South By Southwest in 2013. He is also a 2014 fellow at NYU’s Cinema Research Institute where he researched the connections between film and audience through a system of defining personality types for each.

Forest currently works at the digital distribution company VHX as a Data Scientist where he analyzes various sets of information to create insights into effective models of distribution for independent films.


Co-owner of New York’s Loki Films, Heidi Ewing is a documentary filmmaker that shines lights on the myriad of unseen worlds in our midst. She is the co-director of Jesus Camp (2007 Oscar nominee), The Boys of Baraka (2005, Emmy nominee) 12th & Delaware (2010, Peabody winner) and DETROPIA (2012, Sundance Film Festival and Emmy winner). She is currently at work on The Arrivals, an innovative scripted/documentary hybrid about two successful gay immigrants in Brooklyn searching for a path to legalization. Heidi is a member of the Directors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Missy Laney is the Artist Services Manager at Sundance Institute, overseeing the program’s creative funding initiative and manages creative distribution efforts. Missy has guided over 250+ artists through successful Kickstarter campaigns totaling ​over ​$13 million dollars since joining Sundance Institute in 2012, including Sean and Andrea Fine’s Oscar Award Winner Innocente and Adam Nimoy’s latest documentary, For the Love Of Spock, and David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg’s Bill Nye Documentary, which is the largest documentary to be funded on Kickstarter to date. As digital distribution manager for Artist Services, Laney strategizes with filmmakers leading up to their digital premieres and specializes in organizing their marketing efforts to maximize success including titles such as Upstream Color and Particle Fever. During her tenure, she has presented salons, panels, and workshops, working with collaborators such as Sundance Film Festival, Knight Foundation, San Francisco Film Society, IFP, and South by Southwest.


Joseph Beyer currently works as Director of Digital Initiatives for Sundance Institute where he managed the development team and launch of the  Sundance Institute Artist Services  Initiative under the direction of Executive Director Keri Putnam and the Board of Trustees. Artist Services provides exclusive creative funding, distribution, marketing and theatrical support to 6,000+ Sundance Institute alumni artists. Filmmakers are eligible for innovative universal and pre-negotiated deals to self-distribute their work to top digital retailers – all while retaining and controlling their creative rights and release plans.

Beyer led the team that developed the first-ever collaboration with crowd funding leader Kickstarter to provide Institute alumni exclusive training and promotional support in creative funding. 300+ projects totaling over $13 million dollars have been successfully raised through the partnership since launching in January 2011. He has been with Sundance Institute for 13 years.


About Sundance Institute Artist Services
The Artist Services program empowers filmmakers navigating the changing business of independent film. Through online resources, live workshops, and a network of allied organizations, the program provides support and insights on creative funding, marketing, and distribution. For Institute alumni, Artist Services offers a wide array of digital distribution opportunities, promotion and consultation for Kickstarter campaigns, and strategies for audience engagement.


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