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.
NYWIFT Member Panayiota Pagoulatos shares memories from her trip to Cannes 2022 - her first time back on a plane since 2019! She met with WIFTI leaders from all over the world and shared this sage advice: "If you find yourself at an international market or film festival—whether it’s the first or the fiftieth time—look for your people. Whether a business partnership comes out of it or not, staying connected, sharing your experiences, and hopefully learning a thing or two, that’s the pulse that will help keep you going in this tough-as-nails industry."READ MORE
Cynthia Lowen’s latest documentary "Battleground" offers an eye-opening window into the anti-choice movement, featuring three women from varying walks of life who have dedicated themselves to rendering abortion illegal. Per the Tribeca website: “Told with restraint and balance, director Cynthia Lowen seeks to clarify rather than condemn, and presents a new point of entry for this challenging topic.” While the film itself clearly aligns with progressive pro-choice advocates (who also appear throughout) it offers a fascinating perspective on the sheer systemic power of the anti-abortion movement and the perilous future, felt painfully today, of Roe v. Wade. "Battleground" was Executive Produced by NYWIFT member Ruth Ann Harnisch and co-produced by member Steffie van Rhee, who sat down with us to discuss the premiere and how this film – from this particular perspective – came to fruition.READ MORE
Violet Du Feng’s "Hidden Letters" tells the story of Chinese women trying to balance their lives as independent women in modern China while confronting the traditional identity that defines but also oppresses them. Connected through their love for Nushu—a centuries-old secret text shared amongst women—each of them transforms through a pivotal period of their lives and takes a step closer to becoming the individuals they know they can be. Hot off her 2022 Tribeca Festival premiere, Director Violet Du Feng, an Emmy-award winning documentarian, spoke to us about Nushu, modern-day China, women’s equality, and her filmmaking process.READ MORE
Signe Baumane’s "My Love Affair With Marriage" is a brilliant animated film for a decidedly adult audience. It’s a semi-autobiographical musical exploration of love, sex, romance, and gender as viewed through the lens of neurochemistry – not your average animated love story! New York Women in Film & Television was proud to present Baumane with a NYWIFT Ravenal Foundation Feature Film Grant for the film, and even prouder to then see it premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Festival! We sat down with Signe to discuss her wildly inventive, intelligent, and very fun film.READ MORE