Commentary on Movies and TV by Brian Holcomb

Saturday, January 12, 2008

AWESOME Indie Festival Announced

Lance Weiler, the self-distribution pioneer and director of The Last Broadcast and Head Trauma(Read my Review and Interview with Lance for, has teamed up with colleagues M. dot Strange(We are the Strange and Arin Crumley(Four Eyed Monsters) to create a new online film festival that's designed specifically to find outlets for distribution. It's called FROM HERE TO AWESOME and it certainly sounds like an awesome opportunity for filmmakers. Weiler states that, "We’ve been working on a new social experiment for the last six months and this coming Thursday it will take its first steps. From Here to Awesome is a discovery and distribution festival. The hope is that by bringing together audiences, films, promotional partners and distribution outlets, FHTA can create opportunities for filmmakers that enable them to control their own rights and receive a direct financial return from their work. The festival will screen films in theaters, living rooms, online and via mobile devices starting in April.

We’ve tried to bring our collective DIY experiences and resources into the mix. Myself, Arin Crumley (Four Eyed Monsters) and M dot Strange (We Are the Strange) built FHTA as an outlet that encourages filmmakers and audiences to interact directly. In a sense the festival assists filmmakers in building audiences and in the process turns audiences onto new films. FHTA has attracted a number of excellent promotional and distribution outlets. There are NO submission fees and we don’t take a percentage of anything. All sales and deals are handled directly between the filmmaker and the distribution outlet.

The driving force behind the fest is to experiment with how work finds audiences, ways to distribute films directly and how to sustain as a filmmaker in a rapidly changing industry.

We need your help to make this social open source film festival work.

WANTED: films, panelists, keynote speakers, panel topic suggestions, volunteers, comments and suggestions on how to better improve FHTA."

What I really like about this idea besides the obvious benefits of media exposure is that it makes use of existing systems to control the floodgates. Initial submissions are uploaded to YOUTUBE and/or MYSPACE for the general public to view and vote before making it into the festival. This is very smart thinking and a perfect example of turning the web's outlets to your personal advantage. Of course the fact that there are NO submission fees is fantastic. The only excuse I have for not submitting my feature is that I, of course, am not finished the damn thing. Maybe next year.

For more details on the festival visit FROMHERETOAWESOME.COM

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