What Strategies Work Best When Marketing Independent Films for VOD?
This panel will discuss which marketing strategies and which niches lend themselves to the most success, which digital platforms are best set up for placement, and who is best to spearhead what work. Is it the distributor/aggregator? The filmmaker? Or an outside service? And what expectations should a filmmaker have as they work with partners to bring their film to VOD? A distributor, an aggregator, and three professional marketing strategists will answer these questions, and more, in a panel moderated by The Film Collaborative. We will attempt to go beyond cherry-picked successes to show not only what works, but what doesn’t.
David Averbach, Creative Director, The Film Collaborative
Ryan Davis, Co-Founder, Smarthouse Creative
Jitin Hingorani, Founder and Principle, Jingo Media
Emma Manfredi, Manager, Content Acquisitions, Giant Pictures
Heidi Millay, Director of Marketing, Cinedigm
Charles Rice, Social Media & Digital Marketing Manager of the Strategy & Transformation Department, Rogers & Cowan
presented in partnership with The Film Collaborative
Charles Rice Social Medial & Digital Marketing Manager of the Strategy and Transformation Department, Rogers & CowanCharles RiceSocial Medial & Digital Marketing Manager of the Strategy and Transformation Department, Rogers & Cowan
David AverbachCreative Director, The Film Collaborative
David directs TFC’s digital distribution initiatives and regularly advises filmmakers on D.I.Y. distribution. He has spoken on film festival and film market panels, such as DOC NYC, Tacoma Film festival and the FilmBazaar in Goa, India, and has participated in industry markets, such as IFP Week, Sheffield Doc/Fest, InsideOut Toronto, the Jeonju International Film Festival, Busan Asian Contents & Film, and DOC NYC, and as a panelist on documentary pitch sessions, such as the EBS International Documentary Festival and Dhaka Doc Lab.
In addition, as Creative Director, David handles all internal print and web design and branding collateral for the company. David is also in charge of technical and editorial development of many of TFC’s suite of educational tools, which includes the Digital Distribution Guide (digitaldistributionguide.com), Case Studies (thefilmcollaborative.org/casestudies) and TFC Blog (thefilmcollaborative.org/blog).
Lastly, David serves as technical director for TFC’s Festival Distribution and Community Conversation programs.
Emma ManfrediManager, Content Acquisitions, Giant Pictures
Emma leads content acquisitions at Giant Pictures, a digital distribution label, releasing around 40 features annually.
Prior to Giant, Emma was a Manager of Film Distribution at 1091 Pictures.
Emma is passionate about storytelling and assisting indie filmmakers through the full lifecycle of movie campaigns and releases.
Heidi MillayDirector of Marketing, Cinedigm
Heidi (she/her) is a marketing strategist with over fifteen years of experience in independent film distribution.
As Director of Marketing at Cinedigm, Heidi shepherds films (and filmmakers) through the entire content lifecycle, including release strategy and windowing, forecasting and budgeting, creative asset development, and performance analysis. She is enthusiastic about all manner of marketing initiatives, from grassroots outreach to social media campaigns to digital ad buys, with a particular fondness for connecting niche films with niche audiences.
Heidi held previous positions at First Run Features and Predictive Media. She graduated from Wellesley College and also holds a master’s degree in Cinema Studies from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her favorite films include Sunrise (1927) and Danny Deckchair (2003).
Jitin HingoraniFounder & Principle, Jingo Media
Jitin Hingorani is the Founder and Festivals Director of TWO prominent South Asian Film Festivals in the United States – Dallas/Fort Worth SAFF & New York City SAFF. He also serves as the Principal/CEO of JINGO Media, a boutique PR, marketing and events management firm focused on film, arts, entertainment and fashion. His clients have included Toyota USA, Wells Fargo, AARP, Hotstar, United
Breweries Group, The Times of Money Group, New York Indian Film Festival, I-View World Film Festival, Sikh International Film Festival, Indo-American Arts Council, Fashion Designers Sabyasachi, Anita Dongre and Masaba, Celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna and Jewelry Designer Amrita Singh.
Jitin is also the Senior Entertainment Reporter/Anchor for Asian Variety Show (AVS), the longest running Bollywood entertainment program in the U.S., with a viewership of 66 million households in 120 countries. In his television career, Jitin has covered and/or managed more than 100 celebrity red carpets and interviewed the likes of Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Hilary Swank, Ewan McGregor, Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Deepak Chopra, just to name a few.
He received his degrees in Broadcast Journalism and English Literature from The University of Texas at Austin and Oxford University in the U.K. In his spare time, Jitin enjoys watching British crime dramas and reviewing global independent cinema.
Ryan DavisCo-Founder, Smarthouse Creative
Ryan Davis (she/her//@teamsmarthouse) is a film publicist and communications professional with over fifteen years experience in the film industry and arts marketing.
She is co-founder and principal at Smarthouse Creative. Named by Media Inc. as one of Washington State’s most influential women in film, TV, and media, Ryan has worked in almost every aspect of the film business–from production and festivals to distribution and exhibition. As a publicist, she has worked with outlets ranging from CNN and The New York Times, to community newspapers and local radio.
Ryan worked for Arab Film Distribution/Typecast Films where she was part of the production and release of the Academy Award-nominated Iraq in Fragments. She has worked for a variety of nonprofit arts groups and organizations, including heading the marketing departments for Northwest Film Forum and Northwest Folklife, and was the assistant director of Couch Fest Films from 2010-2014.
Ryan currently sits on the board of The Grand Cinema in Tacoma, WA.