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As pandemic restrictions lift, the film industry is crafting new ways for filmmakers and movie lovers to watch new, independent flicks. Don't miss this event!

Must-attend event for the post-COVID film festival age

Filmocracy, the world’s premiere digital screening, distribution and experience platform, recently announced a new film industry summit: FestDance. Held in Los Angeles, September 22nd-23rd, this two-day experience offers a uniquely comprehensive yet compact schedule of panel discussions and workshops along two tracks: film festivals and filmmakers. 

Alongside these professional gatherings, FestDance will offer networking opportunities like coffee talks and happy hours. The hybrid program also includes live in-person film screenings that will take place each evening, with audiences having the opportunity to participate virtually. Those attending in-person will have quite a treat though, as the event takes place at the “Withinn,” a jungle-themed hideaway in Los Feliz in Los Angeles.

While most festivals continue to offer virtual programming either before or concurrently with their in-person events, Filmocracy’s fusion system allows physical and virtual audiences to simultaneously enjoy the same content with cross interactivity. 

“The last year has seen wholesale upheaval of the festival universe, and FestDance will help both film festival administrators and programmers, along with their partners in the filmmaking community and even students or film fans, explore the film industry while celebrating the new era of digital festivals and cinema, and emerging technologies,” says FestDance co-founder Jon Fitzgerald. 

“We will show where we’ve been, what we’ve done and what’s to come. Together, we’ll chart a path for the future.”

Filmocracy is well-suited to this endeavor as a film and festival streaming platform that rewards users for discovering amazing independent films. With a library of more than 3500 titles that are constantly evolving and rotating, users earn virtual popcorn for watching and rating movies. 

This can be spent in their shop to earn movie tickets, redeem gift cards, or attend virtual film festivals they host from around the world. According to Filmocracy CEO and FestDance co-founder Paul Jun, 

Filmocracy’s mission is to help all independent filmmakers reach wider audiences and grow their communities through storytelling. Bringing a powerful combination of technologies together to enhance the virtual cinema and conference experience for filmmakers, industry professionals and audiences around the world.

Filmocracy built the first true immersive and branded film festival experience platform, which has been used by festivals from Aspen Shortsfest to San Diego International Film Festival, as well as the American Film Market to deliver a superior digital exhibition and community experience for festivals. 

It has executed one-off live streaming events for both high-profile films like RZA’s Cut Throat City and indie fare like Diogo Pinto’s Deconstructing Val that have drawn thousands of viewers. 

Last December, Filmocracy staged the First Annual Filmocracy Fest, one of the first juried film festivals designed from the ground up as all-digital, with a 2021 edition already slated for December 9th-12th. Filmocracy Fest presented a slate of 44 films from a dozen countries; panels; mentorship programs; live performances; script readings; cause-related partners; and dozens of virtual conversations with directors and industry talent. 

While serving as Executive Director for Filmocracy Fest, festival veteran (Slamdance, AFI, Santa Barbara) Fitzgerald published an extensive survey of film festivals outlining the benefits and challenges of a digital film festival universe. 

“Among the findings,” IndieWire reported at the time, “filmmakers want more revenue-sharing, networking opportunities, and data from online festivals, while rifts between festivals, distributors, and filmmakers adjusting to this new normal present opportunities for all parties to rethink how their relationships work.”

“I think FestDance is an opportunity for the festival and filmmaker community to take stock, absorb all the last eighteen months, and collaborate to share best practices and make for a more robust, impactful, profitable film festival ecosystem,” says Jun. “We’re going to use our own platform to deliver an informative, exciting and content-rich experience while fusing the digital and in-person audiences.” 

“FestDance is an opportunity to continue that conversation in a hybrid world,” Fitzgerald adds. “Digital presentation is here to stay.”

FestDance delegates will have an opportunity to share ideas and explore future collaborations during morning coffee talks in the Filmmaker Pavilion and happy hours with surprise guests in the Saloon, both taking place daily (Filmocracy Fest featured beer tastings from local Boomtown Brewery). 

Live and interactive workshops will allow festivals to explore new revenue models, and how technology is reshaping the landscape. In addition, filmmakers will have an opportunity to work with an experienced team on developing custom festival strategies to suit their projects.

Media are welcome at all festival events, panels, screenings, happy hours and coffees. Accredited media will also have an opportunity to schedule interviews with festival staff and filmmakers over the course of the festival. The full programming schedule is in formation.

Registration is open at www.filmocracy.com/festdance and offers a full two-day digital or in-person pass for $100; individual events are $10. The All-Access VIP Pass includes entry to all FestDance panels, coffee and happy hours, and screening. Other ticketing options include the student pass at $75. 

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Liquid Media Group Ltd (NASDAQ: YVR) announced early last month its intention to acquire both Filmocracy and Jon Fitzgerald’s iGEMStv as part of its growing network of tech and media properties, pending final due diligence. 

Liquid Media Group is a business solutions company for the entertainment world, and its network of partners and acquisitions is quickly becoming an accessible one-stop destination for creatives and IP owners to take an idea, bring it to life, and then ensure its delivery to the biggest possible audience, with the most comprehensive monetization.

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