Cheree Dillion, Kristin McCracken, Gary Hustwit, Roz Murphy, Marisa Vitale, Angela Tucker, Elisabeth Holme, and Jorge Rivera.
The power of social media in independent film is undeniable. Which is why filmmakers want to know how can social media can increase their film’s visibility and audience reach.
Held on November 21, Create the Buzz, Audience Will Follow was the second installment of NYWIFT’s DIY Series and focused on engaging and connecting with your audience. I was thrilled to moderate the talented panel, which featured Elisabeth Holme (producer, Welcome to Pine Hill), social media consultant Kristin McCracken, Gary Hustwit (director, Helvetica), Jorge Rivera (writer, Lenox Avenue), and Angela Tucker (producer, AfroPop, The New Black).
With diverse experience in film, TV, and web series as well as with Kickstarter campaigns, the panelists offered tips on leveraging social media to promote your project:
- Building your audience before production begins is a key part of successful distribution. Interact with fans/audience members. They are your advocates as well as your audience
- A social media plan can help build an audience that will watch and share your film
- Start wherever you currently have an online presence and build from there
- Utilize social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram not just to promote films but also to cast, staff, and fund projects
- Drive sales and viewers for your film by building a social community where filmmakers can reach out directly to the audience
- Storytelling is vital to successful social engagement. Social media allows you to extend your reach
- Create content that entertains and educates
- Post/update consistently
- Support your peers’ projects
The speakers discussed their storytelling campaigns. Tucker talked about engaging her fan base across multiple social media channels. While, Hustwit shared the importance providing interesting content and engaging with followers. Holme, who is Kickstarter’s film program director, encouraged filmmakers to use social media to not only raise funds but also build an audience community.
Welcome to NYWIFT, Aisha Amin! Aisha is an NYC-based writer and director. As a director, her work expands across narrative, documentary, and experimental forms to tell authentic stories built from real experiences. Her past film projects have explored and highlighted overlooked communities particularly in New York City, including formerly incarcerated mothers and communities struggling with the presence of gentrification in their neighborhoods. Amongst her directing, Aisha is an emerging screenwriting and was selected to participate in Cine Qua Non’s 2022 Screenwriting Lab. She is a 2022 recipient of NYFA’s Tomorrowland Grant and a 2021 recipient of the NYFA Women's Fund grant. She was a recipient of the 2019-2020 Sally Burns Shenkman Woman Filmmaker Fellowship at the Jacob Burns Film Center where she directed two short documentaries. She is also a recipient of The Shed's Open Call Fellowship where she expanded her film practice to installation art. Aisha spoke to us about her favorite styles of storytelling, the intersection of narrative and documentary, and her latest projects.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Lorena R. Valenica! Lorena R. Valencia is a Mexican writer-director based in New York. Her directorial debut and MFA thesis film, Cuanacaquilitl (Dandelion), received the 2022 National Board of Review Student Award and is an Official Selection in several international film festivals, including the Morelia International Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, the New York Latino Film Festival, and the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival. Lorena is passionate about both narrative and documentary storytelling and is interested in addressing issues such as reproductive rights, identity, and belonging. Currently, she is directing Mi Ranchito, a documentary short film that explores resilience and love for the land, while she is developing her debut feature film, Mayahuel. Lorena spoke to us about inspiring empathy through storytelling, the overlap of narrative and documentary filmmaking, and her latest projects.READ MORE
Congratulations to NYWIFT Board Member Joyce Pierpoline, Executive Producer of Mediha, which just took home the U.S. Competition Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC! In this immensely collaborative film, a Yazidi teen once held captive by ISIS takes us into her world of grief, pain, and hope. We spoke to Pierpoline (prior to the exciting win) about her involvement in this important film.READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Eileen Wolter! After working as a motion picture lit assistant at CAA, working on the Universal lot, and writing lots of coverage in LA, Eileen brings her creativity to us in New York! She holds a BA in Art History & Film from Vassar College, studied acting as The Atlantic Theater Company and The Actors Studio/The New School, and studied writing at UCLA, NYU, Sundance Collab, Stowe Story Labs, and NJ Play Lab. Eileen tells us about her fascinating family history, covering Fashion Week for Comedy Central in 1993, and attending SNL dress rehearsals.READ MORE