The Independent Filmmaker Project has been named custodian of New York City’s ambitious new independent-film and storytelling initiative, the “Made in New York” Media Center in Brooklyn. With media and entertainment commissioner Katherine Oliver, NYC Economic Development Corporation president Seth Pinsky and IFP executive director Joana Vicente in attendance, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg made the announcement Thursday afternoon at a press conference on Jay Street in DUMBO, where the center will reside.
Scheduled to open officially in the spring, the Media Center is designed as a “Silicon Alley” hub that brings together the best minds in advertising, tech, film, new media, financing, mobile apps, video games and more to create innovative content and new jobs. In a very competitive environment, the non-profit IFP was selected by the city to develop, market and manage the new space as well as choose the participants and projects that will utilize it.
“New York City stands at the forefront of the media and entertainment industries,” said Bloomberg at the press conference. “The ‘Made in New York’ Media Center will allow us to continue to evolve and meet new challenges in the changing media landscape. By providing affordable workspace, networking events and educational seminars, New Yorkers will be primed to compete for new jobs emerging from this field.”
The media center will be housed in an 18,000 square foot building that will include a screening room, a café, workspaces, small start-ups, new digital technology and a host of educational and training programs. IFP has partnered with General Assembly, an education company, to provide classes and workshops in technology, entrepreneurship and design tools, all open to the public. IFP will also continue to bring its expertise in creative development and connecting media creators and filmmakers with mentors, investors and distributors.
Among the innovative aspects of the media center will be a Transmedia Incubator for multimedia professionals, a Cross-Media Lab for aspiring digital marketing producers and a Digital Agency Academy think tank to solve marketing challenges. The media center also has formed an advisory board that will be led by former AOL and News Corp executive Jon Miller.
“The New Media Center will be an incubator for great stories and a showcase for new works whether they’re told through film, digital, games or apps,” said Vicente. “Regardless of what tools are used, we’ll be doing what we’ve done for 30 years: curating stories, supporting artists, and connecting storytellers to resources, investors and audiences. Our vision for the Made in New York Media Center is to become the hub for digital storytellers of all kinds, using what only New York City has to offer: Madison Avenue, Wall Street, the publishing world, Silicone Alley, the film industry and now the great mix of artists and entrepreneurs that is the creative community of Dumbo. Our goal is to nurture talent, create new businesses and jobs, and foster innovation and technology.”
Since its creation more than 30 years ago, IFP has supported the work of filmmakers such as Todd Haynes, Mira Nair, Joel and Ethan Coen, Debra Granik and Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden. The hope is that the new media center will help filmmakers and other storytellers adapt to the multi-platform possibilities of the new media landscape.