Manhattan Film Festival

MFF Announces Monthly Film Series

The Manhattan Film Festival will be now hosting a monthly film series. We have launched this program in conjunction with our Filmmaker Revenue Sharing Program. It is a way to provide year round programming while providing filmmakers the opportunity to raise revenue for new projects, cover submission fees, marketing, etc. Like our revenue sharing program, filmmakers will earn 50% of every ticket sold using their affiliate accounts. As part of this program we will also book cast & crew as well as press screenings. In these instances we would use an alternative to ticket sales to protect premiere status. There will be no submission fees or selection process. For more information about this program simply email us with the subject “Monthly Film...

What Does the JOBS Act Mean to the Future of the Film Industry?

Many filmmakers have turned to popular crowdfunding platforms to raise money to help launch their production. In exchange for a contribution the contributor receives a perk such as a signed movie poster or a t-shirt. In the beginning it was just independent filmmakers reaching out to friends and family but now even some celebrities and established filmmakers have turned to these platforms for funding. A number of critics have questioned if it is ethical for celebrities to solicit funding from their fans. In the near future there may no longer be that question. Established stars will be able to partner with their fans. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was signed into law on April 5th, 2012. The act was in part written to let people use crowdfunding as a vehicle to offer an investment opportunity to the general public rather than just cheap perks. The new regulations are still being written by the SEC but when they are finished and fully implemented could be a game-changer for the film industry. It has the possibility to level the playing by bringing new and established talent together. Writers and independent filmmakers often envision a certain actor that would be a perfect fit for one of their characters. Unfortunately with a lack of funding the match is most often not made. The JOBS Act can change this. Established talent, like everyone else, have to look for work. That’s what agents are for. Filmmakers will now have at least a shot booking established talent by offering an investment opportunity. The general public would be much more intrigued to invest in a film featuring their favorite Hollywood star rather than contributing to a campaign in exchange for a thank you...

Will Revenue Sharing Change what a Film Festival Means to a Filmmaker?

In the past the hope of every filmmaker was to get accepted into a festival and land a distribution deal. While that hope has not changed, the odds have. Since the advent of digital filmmaking the number of films produced every year has increased exponentially. This has made the odds of being accepted into an established festival much less. Even the filmmakers accepted into these festivals are not landing the coveted distribution deals they once did. Digital filmmaking has changed the industry. Luckily for the better. New festivals have emerged to address the increase in the number of films produced and modern technology has created new revenue streams giving filmmakers an opportunity to make their own breaks. There is no longer that need to be “picked up” in order to succeed. Does this change what a film festival means to a filmmaker? We believe in some ways it does. Festivals are still extremely important to the marketing efforts of filmmakers. With an increased number of independent films available to consumers getting your film reviewed to go along with festival laurels will help it stand out from the crowd. The networking opportunities festivals offer are also important and it is great to celebrate your achievement. So how do we feel the role has changed? While filmmaking is an art your completed film is an investment and a business. As a business you need to identify sources of revenue. We mentioned earlier modern technology has created new revenue streams for filmmakers. One of these are digital revenue sharing platforms such as the YouTube Partner Program or iTunes. Revenue sharing has been a game changer for independent content producers and we believe it is a game changer for the festival circuit. We launched our Filmmaker Revenue Sharing Program in 2011 to stunning results. The program generated thousands of dollars that went directly back to the filmmakers and our attendance increased by 700%. We feel when filmmakers promote their screening they are also promoting our festival and should be compensated. The revenue earned is technically sent out as affiliate marketing payments which avoids any contractual complications. We have found this added revenue has helped filmmakers launch new productions,...

“On The Radioman” an MFF Exclusive Interview

“Buffalo Boys” Director Debuts First Feature Film

By: Alyssa Zauderer Not everyone gets second chances in life. Sometimes even if you’ve received a second chance, the consequences will still follow. This concept is one that Ray Guarnieri kept close while directing his first feature film “Buffalo Boys.” So originally you were an actor, how did you make the transition over to director? I got into this business through acting. I graduated from the Academy of Dramatic Arts. I worked for about 2 years trying to get started as an actor. I got into acting to do theater originally. After I graduated I wasn’t getting cast in any plays. I was freelancing with an agency and I kept getting cast in indie films, short films and student films. I spent so much time on film sets with indie productions. If you have the right attitude you can learn a lot about the whole film making process and that’s what I did. I spoke with my friends Matt Tester and Mckenzie Trent who are two of the producers on Buffalo Boys. They’re also fellow actors and we would talk about not getting cast in the type of roles we would like to play…typical actors trying to make it in New York talk. So we decided we would start our own production company, buy some camera equipment and create our own roles with characters we wanted to explore. And the film was inspired by a true story? I was friends with this kid who the main character is inspired by in middle school. When we made that switch to high school we started to grow apart. It was those high school years that he started to go down the wrong path. He and this other boy get sucked into this plan to murder an old woman to collect her life insurance policy. So it’s a bit of a crime drama but it also has very strong family drama elements. Because this was someone you knew, what were you looking for when you casting Ian. What was the most important thing for you to capture this person? It’s funny; I was very stubborn during the casting process. For Ian I wanted someone that was going...