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Blue Earth Alliance

Panel: The Distribution Dilemma - Collaborations for Cause 2014

Congratulations, you just wrapped post-production on a new short film! Now what? Should you post it on YouTube and hope for overnight viral success? Should you charge for online views? Will film festivals be interested in a project completed for a nonprofit client? This panel explores distribution strategies for both independent producers and organizations and why traditional media outlets are starting to invest in short-form film.

Panelists:

Hilary Sparrow manages the production, outreach & impact initiatives and evaluation of Vulcan Productions' film and television projects. Her most recent work includes the award-winning feature length documentary, Girl Rising and the feature length documentary, Pandora’s Promise, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Other projects completed at Vulcan Productions include the three-part six-hour PBS series, This Emotional Life and the web-based toolkit for middle school educators, Success at the Core. Prior to joining Vulcan Productions documentary team in 2008, Hilary was Director of Production for a Washington, D.C. based independent film company where she oversaw projects for clients such as National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, Ultra HD, Gallery HD and The Smithsonian Channel. Previously, she worked at National Geographic Television & Film where she managed productions in nearly every corner of the globe including stints in Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica and Nicaragua where she put both of her majors (Journalism & Spanish) to use. Other highlights include managing films that documented first ascents with some of the world's top climbers, filming rare archeological finds in Egypt, and sending Sebastian Junger and photographer Reza to Afghanistan to travel with resistance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud just months before his assassination. Hilary also served as Associate Producer for "The Urban Elephant" for WNET/Nature with Producer/Director, Allison Argo. The film garnered two News & Documentary Emmys for Outstanding Cultural & Informational Documentary and Best Director. A native Tar Heel, Hilary holds a BA in Journalism and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

David Holbrooke is the festival director of Mountainfilm in Telluride, a (mostly) documentary film festival that takes place every Memorial Day weekend (mountainfilm.org). He is responsible for the programming of the festival, which is as much focused on art and ideas as it is on film. It's primary themes are the environment, the outdoors as well as human rights. Besides screenings and art exhibits, the festival presents a symposium (in 2015, it will be about Afghanistan) and other speakers about thematic topics. Holbrooke is also a filmmaker himself, currently editing The Diplomat, which is about his father, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke who helped shape American foreign policy for more than five decades. The film will be released in 2015, which is the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia.

Scilla Andreen is an award-winning filmmaker, Emmy-nominated costume designer, and tireless champion of independent film. Scilla is a popular speaker on the festival circuit and is known as a disruptor and pioneer in the film industry. She is relentless in her mission to help filmmakers translate their artistic vision into commercial success. Frustrated by complicated and one-sided distribution deals, Scilla co-founded IndieFlix in 2005 and over the years it has become one of the most meaningful, global, online streaming platforms in the industry. Her latest innovation, the RPM model (Royalty Pool Minutes), jettisons antiquated and complicated payment systems in favor of refreshing and transparent, simplicity: for every minute watched, a filmmaker gets paid. Scilla sits on the board of The Film School and The Seattle Interactive Conference. Her favorite past-times are photography, sailing, dinner parties and games. She collects big necklaces and loves ball gown skirts but lives in shorts. Her friends call her fortune cookie. She resides with her two children and dogs in Seattle WA.

Sam Price-Waldman is a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer who specializes in short online documentary. His work has taken him around the world, tackling subjects from illegal gold mining in Ghana to tree-sitting in northern California. Sam's work has screened on PBS, Outside Television, and has been recognized with four Vimeo staff picks. Sam currently lives in Washington, DC, where he produces, shoots, and edits online documentaries for The Atlantic.

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