Changes at IFP


At Filmmakers Workshop last night we were visited by Milton Tabbot, Senior Director of Programming at IFP (Independent Feature Project). We were first to hear about some exciting changes in the IFP Market as it approaches its 30th year. These changes will be officially announced in March, when applications for this September's Market go online. Some of them include:

  • only 60-75 documentary films will be accepted (with a roughly equal number of narrative works), continuing IFP's push to be more helpful to filmmakers and industry professionals and less of a "circus"
  • documentaries will only be accepted as works-in-progress, and narrative films only at the script stage

We really appreciate Milton making a special trip to Boston to meet with our thriving filmmaker community - thank you, Milton, and keep up the great work!

A New Model for Online Media Distribution

Last night at Filmmakers Workshop (the salon I co-organize for Boston’s independent mediamakers), two visitors spoke about online distribution for independent film work. It was fascinating to hear from Brian Newman, Executive Director of Renew Media in New York, about their very ambitious REFRAME project to digitize and make accessible vast quantities of media arts from independent filmmakers, artists, distributors, archives and other sources of independent and alternative media.

REFRAME is funded largely by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and has the refreshing non-commercial goal of furthering “the dissemination of important media arts and the preservation and accessibility of our visual heritage.” Contracts with artists, archives, distributors, and other partners will be non-exclusive, include free or low-cost digitization, and allow media partners to set their own purchase and rental prices. According to Newman this will all be delivered via a polished website with robust searching and browsing features. Launch is scheduled for the coming months, and it will be very exciting to see what happens! You can read more at their website or on David Tamés’s Kino-Eye blog.

Joe Zina, Executive Director of the Coolidge Corner Theater, also spoke about the Coolidge Internet Theater – an exciting new section of their website where conversations begun in the theater can continue, students and young filmmakers can gain exposure, and independent mediamakers can fundraise or get the word out about their work. It’s an interesting way to use the power of the Internet to build local community. Congratulations, Coolidge!