How It Worked For Director Jennifer Arnold on A Small Act
Director Jennifer Arnold and producer Patti Lee’s first meeting with Lisa Heller from HBO Documentaries at Independent Film Week 2009 evolved into a series of conversations that put the film on a fast track of consideration by HBO, with Arnold supplying an updated cut of the film within a couple of months. Acquired by HBO, the documentary premiered in July 2010. “The week really changed this film. We got HBO on board. We got some grant attention, and we signed a foreign sales agent (Louise Rosen) – all this from that week. We got a lot of momentum from Spotlight on Docs; we started making pre-sales which allowed us to finish our budget. We wanted the film to be theatrically released, but we also wanted maximum eyes on the project – we got both!”
Early Deadline: May 3rd
Written application must be submitted online by midnight on the deadline, and DVDs must be postmarked by the deadline (May 3rd Early / May 24th Late Deadline).
Late Deadline: May 24th
Who Can Apply
Filmmakers in production or post-production seeking financing partners, broadcast/distribution, and festival invitations.
Criteria & Selection Process
Spotlight on Documentaries is for feature-length (>50 minutes) U.S. projects in any stage of production, as long as some footage has been shot, and the film is not complete. The program accepts approximately 60 projects. Projects must submit compelling assembled material to be considered for this competitive program.
What to Expect Prior to Independent Film Week:
Upon acceptance in mid-July, filmmakers receive guidelines for preparing for the week. IFP staff will schedule individual check-in calls with all selected projects during August to answer specific questions regarding preparations and goals for the week’s activities and meetings.
During Independent Film Week
* Pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings with potential financing and distribution partners. All meetings are at attending buyers’ requests based on information provided in Spotlight on Documentaries Online Project Dossier.
* Presentation of a work sample pitch screening to attending filmmakers and buyers; inclusion of up to a 20-minute sample in the Online Project Dossier and on-site Industry Video Library.
* speed-dating meetings with festival programmers.
* Invitation to private doc social events with buyers and programmers.
* Access to Independent Filmmaker Conference programming, including workshops, case studies and conversations with cutting-edge leaders in independent film and media
Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s After Tiller; Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer; Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall’s Call Me Kuchu; Dawn Porter’s Gideon’s Army; Lauren Greenfield’s The Queen of Versailles; Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman’s If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front; Ashley Sabin and David Redmon’s Girl Model; Katie Dellamaggiore’s Brooklyn Castle; Bess Kargman’s First Position; Jay Bulger’s Beware of Mr. Baker; Marie Losier’s The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye; Julia Meltzer and Laura Nix’ The Light in Her Eyes; Michael Collins’ Give Up Tomorrow; Laura Poitras’ The Oath, Jennifer Arnold’s A Small Act, Rebecca Richman Cohen’s War Don Don, Julia Bacha’s Budrus, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine’s Inocente; Rick Goldsmith and Judith Ehrlich’s The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Aron Gaudet’s The Way We Get By
Select Industry Attendees
Agents & Sales Agents: CAA, Cat&Docs, Cinetic Media, Celluloid Dreams, Cinetic Media, The Film Sales Company, Films Transit, Fortissimo, The Gersh Agency, ICM, Louise Rosen, Ltd., Match Factory GmbH, MK2, Paradigm, Rezo, Ro*Co Films International, Submarine Entertainment, UTA, WME, Untitled Entertainment, Visit Films, Wild Bunch
Distributors/Sales Companies: Cinema Guild, D Squared Films, eOne Entertainment; EPIX, Focus Features, IFC Films/Sundance Selects, Indiepix Films, Magnolia Pictures, Paladin, Passion River Films, Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Seventh Art Releasing Showtime, Sony Pictures Classics, Strand Releasing, Variance Films, The Weinstein Company
Documentary: A&E IndieFilms, American Documentary/POV, ARTE, BBC Storyville, CBC News Network, Channel 4, DR TV, ESPN Original Entertainment, HBO Documentary Films, Independent Lens, Investigation Discovery, ITVS, Meredith Viera Productions, MSNBC, New Video/Docurama, Ovation, PBS Distribution, YLE
Financiers & Funders: Chicken & Egg Pictures, Cinereach, The Fledgling Fund, IM Global, Impact Partners, Naked Edge Films, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, Tribeca Film Institute, United States Artists
Film Festivals: American Black Film Festival, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes, Florida Film Festival, Frameline, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, IDFA, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary, Nantucket Film Festival, NewFest, Rooftop Films, Sarasota Film Festival, Silverdocs, Slamdance Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Sydney Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, True/False Film Festival, Woods Hole Film Festival
Production Companies: 4th Row Films, AK Worldwide, Andrew Lauren Productions, ATO Pictures, Belladonna, Big Beach Films, Cine Mosaic, Crossroads Films, Curious Pictures, Duly Noted, Elixir Films, Gigantic Pictures. Goldcrest Films, Greyshack Films, The Group Entertainment, Hunting Lane, Indian Paintbrush, Insurgent Media, Journeyman Films, Killer Films, Likely Story, Motto Pictures, Original Media, Participant Productions, Passion Pictures, Pretty Pictures, Protozoa, Reason Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions, Sidetrack Films, The 7th Floor, Tribeca Productions, Entertainment, Washington Square Films, Werc Werk Works; Worldview Entertainment