Sunday event to help local filmmakers get their work into festivals

For anyone who’s made a movie but isn’t sure what to do with it now, help is on the way.

The Valley Film Festival is sponsoring a free event Sunday at the New York Film Academy in Burbank called “Meet the Programmers.” Panelists from half a dozen local film festivals will be there to explain the dos and don’ts of how to get your independent movie considered for inclusion in their programs.

In its second year, the event is the brainchild of VFF founder Tracey Adlai and the festival’s co-producer, David Krouse. It grew out of what they were recognizing as a necessity.

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“We kept getting a lot of submissions that were incomplete or we had people accepted to the festival that didn’t understand certain expectations like they should attend their own screenings,” Krouse explained.

“There were just multiple issues. So we sat down and we said, we’ve got to educate a lot of these filmmakers. So we put together a panel and as programmers, we basically just dialogue with whoever shows up and we stream it live on Facebook so more people can see it. We just explain what it’s like from our end.”

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Beside the Valley Film Festival, which will mark its 18th year from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, 2018 at Laemmle’s NoHo Theatres in North Hollywood, programmers from the just-completed Dances with Films, next month’s Outfest, New Filmmakers L.A., Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival, 168 Film Fest Project and the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival will be on hand to provide insights, answer questions and network with.

There should be some free pizza too. The afternoon event, which runs from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, is also no cost to whomever rsvps at Eventbrite while there’s still room to accommodate them:

Crickett Rumley, festivals advisor and liaison for the local branch of the multi-campus New York Film Academy filmmaking and media school, is more than pleased to host this year’s Meet the Programmers.

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“With over 5,000 film festivals in the world — and over 50 in L.A. County alone – filmmakers can get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possibilities,” Rumley said in an email, in which she also described the program as a tremendous gift to local filmmakers. “It’s challenging to navigate festival descriptions on Film Freeway and Without A Box (the online platforms that most festivals use to receive submissions) in order to create a solid festival strategy. Since Tracey and David have put together an impressive panel of programmers representing a diverse range of festivals, I’m excited to hear them demystify the process and offer tips for a successful festival run.”

As one of the heads of something called the Valley Film Festival, Krouse naturally emphasizes the local nature of Sunday’s event.

“It’s important for the Valley because we’re getting programmers from all over Los Angeles to come and talk to filmmakers here,” he said. “It’s the only event right now, that I’m aware of, like that that’s accessible to Valley filmmakers. It’s important for those filmmakers because it gives them a chance to fill in the blanks and learn things that they’re not getting at film school: to get more of an understanding about what content people are looking for, how it’s being looked at and evaluated – and if they have great content, to learn how to submit it and who to talk to.

“It’s a chance for them to go and just ask in person.”


  • WHAT: Meet the Programmers
  • WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday
  • WHERE: New York Film Academy, 3300 West Riverside Drive, Burbank
  • INFORMATION: No cost, but you need to register through Eventbrite.

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