Following an announcement earlier this month about its upcoming digital distribution lab A2E: Artist to Entrepreneur, the San Francisco Film Society revealed exclusively to Indiewire that Vimeo would serve as the presenting partner of the event, which is scheduled to take place during the second weekend of the San Francisco International Film Festival early next month. In addition to Vimeo's involvement, A2E will additionally offer filmmakers with the opportunity to meet with 22 more companies in the lab, including Gravitas Enterprises and Indiewire parent company SnagFilms.
The 12 filmmakers invited to participate in the lab will be provided with Vimeo Pro accounts, providing them with the opportunity to engage in direct distribution through the company if they so desire. For SFFS Executive Director Ted Hope, that's the dominant mentality that the lab is designed to encourage. "There is a desperate need that's out there in the industry to help tech solutions connect with the creators," Hope told Indiewire. "For filmmakers to put their work into the pipeline, they need to be adequately prepared to engage with their community. That's one of the missing pieces in our infrastructure now. The tools are there but no one's prepared to use them."
As Indiewire previously announced, A2E: Artist to Entrepreneur will take place May 2 - 5 in two parts: A lab focused on direct distribution called OnRamp and a series of networking sessions entitled LaunchPad. The participating filmmakers will be revealed later this week.
The full release and list of participating partners can be found below.
San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Film Society today announced the diverse group of tech companies participating in the inaugural A2E: Artist to Entrepreneur programs at the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 25–May 9). Presenting partner Vimeo tops the list of leading thinkers in the areas of direct distribution, crowd-sourcing, outreach and audience engagement that will team up with A2E filmmakers to break new ground in forging best entrepreneurial practices for storytellers in a project-specific manner for the digital age. Running May 2–5, A2E is the San Francisco Film Society’s signature program addressing filmmakers’ challenges head on, by creating an environment where moving-image artistry and entrepreneurial culture mutually flourish. A2E’s debut filmmaker participants will be announced in the coming weeks.
“There has never been a better time for filmmakers to seize the entrepreneurial mission and take greater responsibility for their work,” said SFFS Executive Director Ted Hope. “But they can’t do it alone. Vimeo understood this right away and leapt on board to make A2E the place to get direct distribution really moving. With the help of these innovative companies who are revolutionizing the way the film industry functions for artists and audiences alike, we are confident that we will take serious steps towards forging a new model—personally hand-crafted for each unique program—here at A2E.”
“Vimeo was thrilled to partner with San Francisco Film Society's innovative new A2E program,” said Jeremy Boxer, Vimeo Creative Director, film + video. “Filmmakers need new entrepreneurial tools and skills to make filmmaking a sustainable practice again, and it has been our mission to create those tools, such as the Vimeo On Demand platform. There are so many options for filmmakers to reach their audiences these days, it is easy to get lost before finding the best route for your project. Filmmakers should now consider direct distribution a Plan A.”
Alongside Vimeo, many more forward-thinking enterprises will lend their expertise and collaborate with participating A2E filmmakers to confront the challenges facing artists today in getting their work seen, connecting with audiences and building community. Tech participants are divided between A2E’s two primary programs. OnRamp (the Direct Distribution Lab, May 2–5) will invite 12 select filmmakers to engage in an “open source” collaboration with the developers of new digital tools to determine if direct distribution would be a successful financial and creative option for their projects. These sessions will produce tangible results in the form of case studies and project-specific business plans. A2E LaunchPad (May 3–4) is a forum for entrepreneurs in the film and media space to connect significantly with filmmakers and funders, and inspire them to begin to implement the latest in cutting-edge technology into their creative and entrepreneurial processes.
COMPLETE LIST OF A2E: ARTIST TO ENTREPRENEUR TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS
A2E ONRAMP DIRECT DISTRIBUTION LAB PARTNERS
Deliver Your Audience
A2E LAUNCHPAD PARTNERS
The Harmony Institute
Seed & Spark