Sundance Institute and Festival Internacional de Cine en Morelia have announced an international workshop collaboration designed to give emerging independent filmmakers and producers a chance to interact and learn from industry experts in creative funding, digital distribution and marketing of their work
“We’re honored and excited to be collaborating with Morelia, a magnet for creators from all parts of the world, to bring our Artist Services workshop to Mexico and we’re looking forward to exploring these new models of creative control for producers and filmmakers with their generous support,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute.
Highlights of the program include interviews, presentations and keynotes from SXSW Film Director Janet Pierson, two-time Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Winner Ondi Timoner, Kickstarter Head of Film Dan Schoenbrun, Vimeo Director of VOD Peter Gerard, Marco de la Cruz from Cinepolis Klic, Yissel Ibarra from FilmInLatino, FICM Outreach Director Paula Amor and the first-ever international demonstration of Quiver Digital (a distribution dashboard) by Paul O’Neill.
The workshop will be held October 26, 2015 and led by Sundance Institute Director of Digital Initiatives Joseph Beyer and Artist Services Manager Missy Laney alongside FICM Host Andrea Stavenhagen.
Festival Internacional de Cine en Morelia (FICM) was founded in 2003 as a way of promoting new trends in Mexican cinema, with the city of Morelia as its main venue. The FICM’s mission is to promote new talents in Mexican cinema, to increase the offer of quality cinema and to contribute to the cultural and touristic activities in the state of Michoacán. Sundance Institute recently announced that FICM President Alejandro Ramírez Magaña had joined the Institute as a Board of Trustees member, strengthening the creative collaborations between the organizations.
Janet Pierson is responsible for the vision, programming and execution of SXSW Film Conference and Festival. Before joining SXSW in April 2008, she spent over 30 years championing independent films and filmmakers in a variety of roles – often in conjunction with her husband, author John Pierson – including exhibitor, producer’s rep, executive producer, and segment director of the IFC cable TV series Split Screen. She appears on-camera in the Steve James documentary Reel Paradise and Andrew Bujaski’s Beeswax. She loved curating In The Dark: Filmmakers Illuminate Stories from the Film World for The Moth Radio Hour on June 22, 2001.
On the 2010 Guardian’s Film Power 100 and 2013’s Indiewire Influencers List, Pierson regularly serves on panels, festival juries and for agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Independent Television Service (ITVS), British Film Institute (BFI) and Creative Capital. She’s currently a member of the Austin Film Society Advisory Board and the University of Texas Press Advisory Council.
Peter Gerard grew up in Missouri, where as a teenager he made his first award-winning documentary and created and ran the Bargain Basement Film Festival for several years.
He then founded Accidental Media and relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he finished the feature documentary Just to Get a Rep for international television distribution. Running Accidental Media for more than ten years, Peter produced and directed a range of documentaries, music videos, and short films, and picked up many awards, including a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award. Peter also built award-winning websites and is webmaster for The D-Word, the premiere online community portal for documentary professionals.
In 2010, Peter founded Distrify to pioneer “direct-to-fan” digital film sales by inventing a shareable movie trailer that included a built-in buy-button and the easiest affiliate rewards system ever. In 2013 Peter won the British Council’s Creative Enterpreneur Award and was named in the h.Club 100 list by The Hospital and The Guardian Culture Professionals Network. As a thought leader in digital distribution and marketing, Peter is regularly invited to speak at film festivals (Cannes, Sundance, Amsterdam, London, etc.) and to teach workshops for film producers.
In 2014, Peter moved to New York to join the team at Vimeo as Director of VOD. In his role, Peter oversees the marketing, distribution and promotions of the Vimeo On Demand catalog as well as Vimeo’s Original Series.
Ondi Timoner has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival twice – for her 2004 documentary, DIG!, about the collision of art & commerce through the star-crossed rivalry between two bands, and her 2009 top prize-winner, We Live In Public, about Internet visionary Josh Harris. Both films were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for their permanent collection. Her other award-winning features include The Nature of the Beast (1994), Join Us (2007), and COOL IT (2010).
Timoner’s newest feature doc BRAND: A Second Coming, following comedian/author/activist Russell Brand’s transformation from drug/sex/fame addict to unexpected political disruptor, premiered as the Opening Night film at SXSW 2015. BRAND has since won the No Limits Award from the Ashland Film Festival, and the Dramatic Storytelling in Documentary Award from the Sarasota Film Festival. It will have a US theatrical release in October 2015 through the Ignite Channel, a UK theatrical release through Metrodome, and an Australian Theatrical Release through Village Roadshow.
Ondi is the founder/CEA (Chief Executive Artist) of the award-winning production company, Interloper Films, and A TOTAL DISRUPTION, a network for entrepreneurs and artists documenting the top thought-leaders driving the greatest revolution in the history of mankind with technology. ATD is best known for a distinguished series of theatrical shorts designed to empower artists to redefine the rules of engagement using digital technology: OBEY THE ARTIST follows world-renowned graphic artist, Shepard Fairey, and premiered at SXSW ‘14. AMANDA F—ING PALMER ON THE ROCKS about musician and Kickstarter record-breaker, Amanda Palmer, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Short Documentary at Sheffield Doc/Fest ‘14. RUSSELL BRANDS THE BIRD about comedian/actor, Russell Brand’s trip to Twitter HQ, premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest ‘14. In 2014, Ondi delivered a popular TEDx talk, “When Genius and Insanity Hold Hands,” tracing the characteristics of the “impossible visionaries” she’s documented in hopes of unlocking the innovators inside all of us. AT SXSW 2015, Timoner unveiled a new short film THE LAST MILE (which A TOTAL DISRUPTION co-produced with WIRED) following a tech incubator founded inside San Quentin Prison, where inmates are learning to become entrepreneurs despite having no access to the internet or computers.
Ondi produces and hosts BYOD (Bring Your Own Doc) for thelip.tv, the only documentary talk show in the world, with over 200 episodes covering more than 300 of the greatest films in studio and over 25 festivals since 2011. Ondi also created, produced and directed the original VH-1 series Sound Affects, was nominated for a Grammy for a short film she created about the band, Fastball, and has directed music videos for The Pixies, The Jonas Brothers, The Vines, DMC, Lucinda Williams, the Dandy Warhols and OK GO among others. She’s directed commercials and shorts for President Bill Clinton, Honda’s “Dream the Impossible” series, CNN Heroes, State Farm, and Ford. She is a member of the the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the Director’s Guild of America since 2006, where she serves on the National Board.
Paul O’Neill works in Business Development at Premiere Digital. He is very involved with Premiere’s online indie filmmaker distribution portal Quiver, which enables filmmakers to self distribute onto digital platforms while maintaining control of their rights. In his 3 plus years, Paul has helped many global partners to successfully launch over 1500 films and hundreds of TV seasons into digital marketplaces. Paul prior to working at Premiere held a variety of roles at Paramount Pictures, assisted on projects for 2929 Entertainment and is a graduate of Emerson College.
Dan Schoenbrun currently resides in Brooklyn, where he works as the Film Partnerships Lead at Kickstarter. Prior to joining the Kickstarter team, Dan was the Associate Director of Programming at the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) and the Associate Editor of FILMMAKER Magazine. Dan has served on programming committees and juries for festivals including the Hamptons, Nantucket, and Slamdance, and has been a panelist at SXSW.
Andrea Stavenhagen, holds a Degree in History from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. She began her professional career in the field of film promotion and dissemination collaborating in the Directing of Short Film Production at IMCINE. She went on to become Deputy Director of Research and Dissemination at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica. At the Guadalajara International Film Festival she was head of the Ibero-American Co-production Meeting. She was the Director of Industry with the FICG until August 2013. She also co-directed the Morelia Lab Workshop for Young Producers in Latin America at the Morelia Film Festival. She is currently Industry Coordinator at the Morelia Film Festival and delegate for Latin America for the San Sebastian Film Festival.
Yissel Ibarra, has worked in film production since 1998. She is a founding member of AltaVista Films. Her first independent production was God Only Knows, directed by Carlos Bolado . She produced the feature documentary Presumed Guilty, directed by Roberto Hernandez and award-winning director Geoffrey Smith (The English Surgeon, 2008). She is Associate Producer of the documentary Back to Life, directed by Carlos Hagerman. She is currently responsible for Strategic Projects of the Mexican Film Institute (IMCINE), where she works with Jorge Sanchez developing and operating new projects. She also serves as Coordinator of the new digital platform FilminLatino created in partnership between FilminSpain and IMCINE.
Paula Amor studied Communications and lives in Mexico City. Since 2010, she is the Coordinator of Institutional and Media Relations at the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM). Throughout the entire year she develops, with her team, the festival’s communication strategy, the content, the alliances, the relationship with cultural institutions, the websites, the mobile apps and the festival’s social media. Before her job at FICM, she had the opportunity of working for three years at the editorial group Expansión. She also worked at Burson-Marsteller, a global Public Relations and Communications company.
With over six years of experience in the entertainment industry and extensive expertise in electronic platforms, mobile apps and digital content distribution, Marco de la Cruz is now the head of Cinepolis Klic, where he faces the challenge of consolidating the platform as the best VOD experience of Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems from Tecnológico de Monterrey, a Dual Degree of Master of Science in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon and ITESM; He is currently pursuing an Executive MBA degree (MEDEX program) at IPADE Business School.
Christine Davila is the Director of Ambulante California, a 501c3 nonprofit and traveling documentary film festival founded by Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, Pablo Cruz and Elena Fortes. She has been a Programming Associate at the Sundance Film Festival since 2008, and is the Programmer of Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Yellow Robin Award Competition, dedicated to promoting emerging Caribbean filmmakers. Davila tracks Latino films and the festival scene on her blog chicanafromchicago.com, and is a regular contributor to Indiewire’s Latinobuzz.
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.