Though it’s still called Independent Film Week, a more apt term for IFP’s annual week of conferences and panels would be Storytelling Week, since the focus is no longer solely on independent filmmakers, but on storytellers from a variety of disciplines.
As Vicente pointed out when she spoke to Indiewire recently, this marks the first Independent Film Week since IFP opened The Made in NY Media Center by IFP last October.
Here are other highlights from our conversation…
The Made in NY Media Center has had an impact on how IFP sees its role.
“It’s not just the Media Center has had an impact on how we see things at IFP, but we almost see it as a trend. It’s so interesting even the way that filmmakers are identifying themselves. They’re not just filmmakers. Everyone is multi-hyphenated artists and doing work across various disciplines which is echoing the themes of the media center. So we try to address that by having the spotlight on web series and also while still very much addressing our base of filmmakers, the conference is not just about traditionally how to get your film made and how to get it financed, produced and packaged and distributed. It’s really looking at different models, how people are creating content and distributing content, how people need to be entrepreneurial to create their own brand so they’re not just building audiences for one film.”
There’s a new emphasis on international co-productions.
“Another thing we’re doing this year — we have No Borders, which is the international co-production market with partners coming from all over the world, for us, it’s important. There’s an opportunity to really support the emerging Latino market and Latino content — Latino filmmakers as well as Latino stories and stories that come from Central and South America. It’s a market that’s really going to explode. We made an effort to go out and create new partnerships with Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Chile.”
There’s a new focus on various types of storytelling.
“When we built the overall conference, we tried to speak to an audience of creators who are not just working in film, but also branded content, TV, working in games and apps, across disciplines. Also, traditionally IFP has been supporting feature filmmakers with feature-length docs and narrative, now we’re a little more fluid, not just staying within the tradition 90-minute structure. People are working on web series and TV and short content. As always, we have practical tips and career advice at the same time that we’re doing these bigger trend conversations.”
Curation is increasingly important.
“Career sustainability is super important. Curation is super important. There are too many films out there. At some point, there are only so many feature films one can see a year. Are there other ways to tell stories and other ways that people can use their storytelling skills to make money and build on their career at the same time they continue to build their own brand and build an audience who will appreciate the content they create? It’s becoming more medium-agnostic. Not all stories need to be huge novels, maybe some should be novels, some should be novellas and some should be a short essay.”