Micheál O’Mahony reports from the “Emerge”, “Fund” and “Incubate” conferences at the recent Cork Film Festival, each of which provided its audience with an insight into different aspects of the filmmaking environment and equipped them with the skills and knowledge to further develop their film careers.
This year’s 59th Cork Film Festival encouraged filmmakers to finance and market their films more innovatively. As part of the festival, three talent development events were delivered; Fund, Incubate and Emerge, over three days. Speaking about the talent development events was James Mullighan, creative director of Cork Film Festival, “We are very pleased. We are growing and the event has doubled in participation since this time last year.”
The first programme, Fund, explored how filmmakers can get finance to produce and market their films. Leading figures from RTE, BAI (Broadcasting Authority Ireland), Filmbase and Fundit, spoke at the seminar. Funding is one of the major struggles which aspiring filmmakers have, as they do not have the financial resources like Martin Scorsese or Steven Spielberg, speakers said. Filmmakers were advised to use certain tools such as crowdfunding, grant applications and social media to generate funding for their film projects.
Emerge, a filmmaking marketing programme, was delivered on the second day of the event. Speakers included filmmakers, technologists, producers and artists from companies such as media giant VICE and Dublin based animation firm, Brown Bag Films. Innovative and creative ways were outlined, in how filmmakers could create and build an audience for their films. It stressed the importance for filmmakers to know what their audiences wanted and emphasised the power of using various social media platforms to connect with them.
Event speaker, Brian Newman, founder and CEO of Sub-Genre Media, says that filmmakers need to have their film “on as many platforms as possible, so that consumers can find them.” VICE Media, Executive Producer, Vida Tombs said that the key to creating a great film is to be “authentic, bold and audacious”
Day three of the talent development programme, Incubate, taught participants the business of being an independent filmmaker. Speakers included leaders from the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, Irish Film New York, Paris Silhouette Festival, Irish Film Festival Boston and Screen Producers Ireland. Various channels in how to sell, market and distribute films were discussed at the seminar and a menu of approaches and tools, such as film festival strategies and developing a social media presence were explored.
James Mullighan, the festival creative director says the future for filmmakers is for them to become their own marketeers with online social media platforms.