On November 17, 2021 Picture Motion attended a day long workshop at DocNYC - AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT AND DISTRIBUTION DAY. Featuring a range of audience engagement experts and independent filmmakers, the programming produced four diverse panels targeted at filmmakers and producers who want to better understand the importance of building community beyond just one film, examples of how to navigate and unpack the elusive nature of success within the landscape of distribution post-COVID & what considerations to make when vetting partnerships for their non-fiction films.
During these four panels, attendees were able to ask questions and essentially receive advice on their own work from some of the best experts in the business. One filmmaker in particular, Nattalyee Randall, co-directed the documentary which made its world premiere at DOC NYC. This film illustrates one woman’s story of how she transformed “Running while Black” into an act of protest in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Ms. Randall did not miss a beat throughout these four panels, amplifying her work while also setting the pace for the day by asking vital questions that helped create a narrative that resonates with Picture Motion: Finding your film's "tribe" and pathways to engage those audiences across multiple films.
Nattalyee Randall is a filmmaker who is not just trying to make a film, but create a movement using the medium of non fiction filmmaking. She inspired us that day. Her questions inspired other filmmakers to do the same. So in an effort to highlight The Race Against Race here are some tips and tactics gained from these four panels. specifically in response to Ms. Randall's questions.
Q1: Nattalyee Randall asked how to maintain the audience built from The Race Against Race across other film projects that she has in the works — especially when subject matter and story defer.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE FROM SCRATCH
Jim Hu, EVP of Audience at leading media company Participant Media shared some vital and necessary tips on what audience means and specially to answer Nattalyee’s question of continued engagement. Two words really seemed to stand out from Jim’s response: community engagement. Who are you targeting? How can you reach the people that are impacted the most by the subject matter of your film? Especially to maintain your audience across several projects, Jim made it very clear that you need to do the following:
Q2: Nattalyee Randall asked which distribution choices / avenues should she be thinking about following The Race Against Race's world premiere?
NUTS & BOLTS OF DISTRIBUTION
Feat. expert distribution consultants: Mia Bruno (Fourth Act Film) and Alece Oxendine (Film Distribution Consultant and Director of Industry Outreach at Columbia University)
Written by Eden Sapir, Campaign & Grassroots Partnerships Manager