Industry Insights: Maximizing Distribution Through Crowdfunding
By Peter Broderick
My Reincarnation shows how a well-executed crowdfunding campaign can be used to maximize distribution. In addition to enabling the funding of the theatrical rollout, the campaign increased awareness among core audiences, generated substantial press coverage, and facilitated partnerships.
I've known and admired the film's director Jennifer Fox for many years, and consulted with her on the distribution of her remarkable series, Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman. As tenacious as she is talented, Jennifer has learned, during more than 30 years of independent filmmaking, that it's "change or die." After exhausting every familiar fundraising route from grants to pre-sales for My Reincarnation, she tried crowdfunding as a last resort.
Filmed over twenty years, My Reincarnation is a documentary about her teacher, the Tibetan-trained Buddhist master Choegyal Namkhai Norbu and "his Italian born son who refuses to accept the destiny he inherited from birth." Although the film was technically completed and being shown at international festivals, Jennifer still needed $100,000 to pay the bills she'd amassed finishing the film after a producer defaulted on that amount.
My Reincarnation became a crowdfunding milestone. Through a 90-day campaign, Jennifer and her team raised $150,456, three times the official goal of $50,000. 518 backers gave an average donation of $290, more than any film had ever averaged on her crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. The average was so high for two reasons. The film attracted two associate producers at $10,000 each (one of which was a group of 50 people living in China). The campaign also offered valuable one-of-a-kind rewards, such as a hand-painted Tibetan chest and a unique statue of the deity Vajrapan, which were available to contributors who gave between $2,500 and $7,500. Contributions were received from 32 countries and more than two-thirds of the money came from abroad.
Latinos and the Mainstream Media
By Gabriel Reyes. Watch a video of this report online at The TV News.
A few weeks ago, NBC News announced the creation of NBCLatino.com, a new English-language site that will leverage NBC Universal's resources to target U.S. Hispanics, the nation's largest and fastest-growing "minority" group.
Univision has already launched a similar site and Fox News and The Huffington Post, both launched separate "Latino" sites last year.
We're gratified that these news and media companies are waking up to the power and influence of the Latino population and taking advantage of the growing numbers. However, we foresee that the majority of people visiting these sites will be Latino and Hispanics will remain a class apart and removed from the mainstream media conversation.
The image and perception of Latinos in the mainstream media is mainly a negative one. It is in mainstream media arena where we need more qualified Hispanic executives, editors, reporters telling our stories to the general population in order to quell the pervasive negative perception of Hispanics held by so many. For starters, there could be a Latina on The View, more Latinos as part of the morning, late night and Sunday talk shows. Perhaps the Kennedy Center will finally honor a Hispanic American icon of the Arts! We want a place at the main table.
About Gabriel Reyes: Gabriel Reyes is considered one of the pioneers of Hispanic marketing in the Entertainment Industry. He recently won the Digital Campaign of the Year from the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) and has been featured on CNNl's Latino in America as well as as one of the "50 Most Powerful Latinos in Hollywood" by The Hollywood Reporter as well as The "100 Most Influential Latinos" by Hispanic Business Magazine.
Reyes is President and Founder of Reyes Entertainment, one of the premier marketing and public relations firms focused on the bilingual media markets. Founded in 1997, Reyes Entertainment has worked with many Hollywood studios, networks and Latino stars promoting major film releases, network and cable TV series, DVD launches, concert and special event publicity as well as corporate communications.
Reyes Entertainment currently serves a roster of clients highlighted by The NY Intl. Latino Film Festival, Coca-Cola, PBS Networks, Warner Bros. Pictures and WWE, among others. Reyes is also a Lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin, teaching Integrated Communications in Latino Entertainment.
Deadline Approaching: Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza
The Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza (BHLIFE) extended submission deadline is January 18, 2012.
The Boyle Heights Latina Independent Film Extravaganza (BHLIFE) will re-launch its festival this year on March 2nd-4th. In celebration of International Woman's Day. BHLIFE is a celebration of Latinas, their voices and their visions. The mission of the festival is to build a network of Latina filmmakers that will draw attention to the growing number of Latinas working behind the camera. BHLIFE was founded by Josefina Lopez, writer of Real Women Have Curves, among many other plays and novels. Josefina is also the founder of Casa0101 (theater space) in Boyle Heights, which is the new home for BHLIFE.
To request a SUBMISSION FORM for the 2012 Festival please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hollywood's Irrational Allergy to 'Black' Films
By Roland Martin, CNN
Who knew that 70 years after African-American pilots had to work hard to overcome the prejudices of whites in the U.S. armed services, and the nation having its first black commander-in-chief, the men known as the Tuskegee Airmen would still be doing battle with an entrenched institution of white power brokers, all based on the color of their skin.
Many of you may have seen the flashy commercials advertising "Red Tails," the major motion picture that chronicles the amazing and true story of true American heroes: black pilots who went overseas in World War II to fight for the freedom and democracy that they could not enjoy at home.
The film opens January 20 in theaters nationwide, and for its producer, George Lucas, it has been a 23-year odyssey.
You would think that someone considered one of the most powerful players in Hollywood, a man who has made billions with blockbusters such as the "Indiana Jones" and "Star Wars" franchises, would have been able to get "Red Tails" approved without any hesitation. Yet many African-Americans have long known that in Tinseltown, the color of your skin -- or that of the people in the story you want to tell -- often falls victim to racial pigeonholing.