Interview Links + Description
One of my tasks as part of the programming team was to organize interviews/Q&A’s with selected filmmakers whose film screened in our festival. This was a really exciting process which I very much enjoyed organizing and hosting.
We initially intended to hold the interviews live during the festival so we could engage with the audience and answer questions but considering clashes with international time zones and the overall orchestration of streaming it live we decided to pre-record the interviews.
I have included three links to the Media Factory Vimeo. The first is to an interview I held with director Mishka Kornai, all the way from Berlin. We talked about his film Pocket, which screened in our program, his time in lockdown, and what he will be working on next.
The second link is to my interview with Abbie Pobjoy, an Australian film and documentary maker who I got in touch with via the facebook group ‘Women In Telly’. I wanted to make sure we were pushing for an equal spread of female and male directors so I was very happy to hold this interview in which we spoke about her film Backing Up Bilitis, which we screened on our final night, as well as her upcoming documentary which is being executive-produced by Sue Maslin.
The third link is to Chloe Delos Santos interview with Danny Griffioen, another interview held during the festival.
Website (Front & back end) & Email Support
As I am in the operations team, we deal with a lot of IT technicalities along the way. Hence, I focused more on how the team can better communicate our brand and name using the various methods of IT like email and a website.
I am responsible for updating the website whenever needed like schedule, contact information and submission information. Every team member has a personalised ‘@nenormaliff.com’ email to their name – this will bring up a notch to our proffesionalism. I first started looking for a suitable web and email hosting company to suit our needs and discussed the budget with the team. We eventually went with ‘Hostinger.com’, one of the most reliable and cost efficient hosting companies. As we move forward in our progress, we faced many challenges such as logging in errors, a corrupted website (We got hacked!). I am glad my previous events and experiences in this particular area have helped with assisting the team with their IT needs.
I have also learnt new things such as the corrupted website scenario – lots of research had to be done online to get it back up. It was a crucial period as we were a week into showtime and hence the website needs to be back live as soon as possible.
I did three layouts for the booklet each with varying changes from the first design was the skeleton of the booklet to show the rough look of it.
The second one was more fleshed out with information on what was going to be shown but it lacked in consistency with what would be shown on what night as it was crammed together and for the team photos they were just black boxes.
The last and finale design spread the contents out on what would be played and the underlying themes of the night and their pictures as landscape for more uniformity and for the team page layout was changed to have the names of the members more spread out and all the graphic for the front and back cover have been made and I did not make the front and back cover that was done by some else.
In regards to media coverage of the New Normal International Film Festival, we received multiple event listings/articles published, two radio interviews, and an abundance of social media followers and engagements. To achieve this, I sent out about 40 emails of the press release. I also worked very hard on the social media platforms, as well as personally submitting our event to websites such as Eventfinda, Art News Portal and Only Melbourne. Weekend Notes took great interest in my pitch of the festival to them and was keen to view the press release and then publish an article following this.
Links to articles/listings
Only New Zealand:
We also secured two interviews. One being with Triple R radio on Monday June 1, featuring on The Primal Screen show. Amelia from the programming team and Jaie from the operations team took part in this interview, along with Cerise.
The second interview was secured with SYN radio. This interview took place on Wednesday June 3, the day before the film festival premieres. Amelia and Chloe from the programming team took part in this interview.
I would love to have seen even more media coverage as a response to the press release. Although I am also very satisfied with my efforts as it is the first time I have done something like this and I am very excited to learn even more in the future in regards to marketing and publicity.
Sourcing films and Contacting Filmmakers
An essential part of programming was having to source films ourselves, and pursue in contacting the filmmakers once we all agreed on the same films.
To do this, we created a Google Sheet with the basic details of the films, alongside the link to watch it and the filmmaker’s email, and created keys in order to signal our progression.
We began our journey in finding films from other festivals that have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as My Darling Quarantine Short Film Festival, alongside other film festivals, both local (Setting Sun Short Film Festival) and international (Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Palm Springs International ShortFest). We also looked at film websites, including ShortoftheWeek , Atlasshorts and the Directors Library,
To finalise the filmmakers we wanted to contact, we would have a Zoom call and start highlighting in the sheets which ones we liked. To make it easier on us, we created email templates that we could copy and paste and tweak when needed. It was fairly easy finding the details of the filmmakers; it would either be in the catalogue, on their Vimeo account or on their website.
Each of the films were rated unclassified 15+ or unclassified 18+. 15+ meant that children under 15 years of age should have been accompanied by a guardian, 18+ meant that only people 18 years or older should have been watching our stream. I made the ‘Program’ tab of the website and made sure to include the ratings under each film. I then sent this to Andrew to include in the programme booklet with the wording, ‘This film is rated unclassified [15+/18+]. We also made the recommended age document provided by the Classification Board available on the website. There was also a mature content warning when you opened the Twitch window, however we didn’t have a way to officially enforce age restrictions.
I changed my mind a few times when I was trying to classify the films, especially because the government guidelines are quite vague. The main thing that I learnt about film classification, though, is that it can be good to be overly cautious. I was, however, glad that we had one 18+ night, while the other two nights were open to a wider audience.
I have included:
- two screenshots showing the rating on the Program page of the website (below) and link to page (above)
- The document I provided to the classification board which includes a synopsis of each film and my proposed ratings (New Normal Intl Film Festival recommended ages)
- The recommended age document provided by the classification board, which we made available on the program page of the NNIFF website for audience members (RMIT – Films and Audience Age Restrictions)
- The event decision letter provided by the classification board which explains their decision, and the rules that we needed to comply with, e.g. that we needed to make the classifications clear on the website. (TNNFF 2020 – 6H Exemption – Decision Letter)
- The event registration summary provided by the classification board which outlines the age restrictions for all of the films and all requirements, e.g. that access will be restricted for films rated 18+(Event Registration Summary)
Audience Choice Award
We wanted to create an Audience Choice Award so that we could have an award to give to one of the filmmakers who participated in the festival, and also so that we could add another level of engagement, participation and liveness for our audience.
I used a Google Form for the NNIFF Audience Choice Award, and created a page on the festival website so that audience members could access the form and we could advertise the prize. There were three optional questions:
And one required question: ‘Please Select your favourite film(s). You may choose up to three (3) responses.’
I wanted to allow audience members to choose up to three films so that there could be more overlap if we received a small number of responses.
The audience prize was a $300 voucher for The FingerFood People, which was available to anyone who entered a 3*** postcode. The prize for the winning film was the Audience Choice Award certificate and laurel.
In total, there were 12 responses, with a total of 26 votes. The winning film was Deserted Streets of Amsterdam by Danny Griffioen. Of those 12 responses, 3 were from our class, and 5 of the remaining 9 provided a Victorian postcode. I randomised these five names to choose the winner.
Streaming via Streamlabs OBS
During this festival I was placed into the Operations team. It became apparent later that I would be focusing heavily on the streaming platforms and how to go about presenting this festival during restrictions due to the covid-19 crisis.
Being personally interested in streaming platforms, I was naturally drawn to this particular area of the project. Having some idea of streaming in my own experience, I sought to widen the possibilities of the particular method of presentation. However in further research, it became clear that twitch was the most appropriate way of approaching this particular task.
The ability to actively vision switch and having control over the pacing of the streams was a mixture of stress and reward. It felt kind of like spinning plates while trying my best to limit the amount of possible errors that could occur. Of course each night had its trials, however I was quickly able to adapt to make things smoother to ensure that each successive night was easier than the last. I had created a number of overlays and media attachments to use, however we felt that the full overlay was a little intrusive and opted to use just the sponsors names with a clear background.
Jiabao Xie (Kebby)
Email Templates & Release Form
We made three templates which are for sourced films, rejected films, and selected films. In the first template, we want to invite films that we think are good to participate in our film festival. These filmmaker may not know our film festival, so we firstly introduce our team and introduce our film festival, the festival date and live streaming platforms. Considering our budget, we don’t have much money to pay the appearance fee, so we mentioned that we are a non-profit film festival, but we will provide the fee for a single screening.The second template is rejection email. We try to use euphemism to reject films which don’t meet the requirements. The third template is for selected film. We firstly tell the filmmakers to be selected for our film festival and invite filmmakers to pre-record a video about the story and background of the film. We also invite filmmakers to participate in our Q & A session.
We also wrote an email template for film course of other universities in order to get more submissions. I sent the emails to several universities’s film course coordinators, which hope them convey the submission information to the film students.
In order to confirm that the filmmakers are willing to screen their films at our film festival or participate in our Q&A session, we have created a release form to regulate our film festival and avoid copyright issues.
For this program, I am in charge of sponsorship package.
In order to make possible sponsors more interesting to our event. I add variety of sponsor types. Besides financial sponsors, we have media sponsors and in-kind sponsors available for choice. To hold a successful film festival, sponsors can be an essential part of it. We have two kinds of financial sponsors – the presenting sponsor and the supporting sponsor. They have difference on how much we payback according to how much money they offered us. The media sponsor needs to provide us with a great platform to promote our event. The in-kind sponsor gives us other kinds of sponsor about what else we need such as the prize and the streaming etc. Here is the link of the sponsorship package.
I did two trailers for NNIFF.
The first trailer is addressing information about the festival and how can people submit their work and the dates its screening. The hosts introduce themselves to the audience and ask to join them for the festival.
The second trailer is the combination of films that have been submitted and picked out by the festival to be screened at the online event. The trailer does not include spoilers or copyright music. However, it contains footage of the films and the festival information.
Hero Image & Laurel
I am responsible for hero images, festival laurel and the advertising pictures posted on Instagram design during the film festival. Hero images, as the content that the audience will notice at the first sight after entering the webpage, must be sufficiently eye-catching. The color scheme used in hero images is the same as that in the poster: dark blue and yellow. The text also needs to be sufficiently obvious and easy to read, the name and date of our film festival need to be clearly marked.
The design of laurel is based on the reference to laurel of many other film festivals. It should be noted that the film festival laurel has similar layout and design, so do not blindly typeset or change the style of laurel. Another point to note is to ensure that the file should saved as .png format, so that it can be better distributed and used in different files or web pages.
The biggest feature of Instagram’s advertising image is that it divides a complete poster background image into 9 square pictures. As long as it is published in order, a complete advertising picture will be displayed on the Instagram page. This design can be more eye-catching, and the text content inside will be more prominent, in order to achieve a better publicity effect.
Ziyu Xue (Wanda)
Logo & poster & booklet cover and back
First of all, we are very happy that our film festival has ended! I am responsible for the film festival logo, poster and booklet cover, and back.
This is the logo I designed. I took the movie projector as the main body and changed it to the shape of a house, which is to contain our theme —new normal. The second part of the design is to use the light emitted by the projector Come to reflect the name of the film festival, which not only conforms to the actual principle of the projector but also adds a better sense of design.
This is a poster I designed, or I am still following the logo design concept. I set the main body to stay home. I want to give you a kind of self-isolation at home, but we also attend our film festival in a warm environment. Not a boring thing. The role of this beam of light on the house is to hope to catch people’s attention for the first time and enhance the overall design feeling through the contrast of colors.
This is the cover and back of the booklet I designed. The design of the cover is a state of participating in NNIFF at the moment. Everyone is lying comfortably at home to participate in our film festival. And the design on the back is a vision for the future, I hope the epidemic will end soon so that we movie fans can get together in the cinema, so I wrote see u soon on the big screen.
Zihao Wang (Jason)
Q&A with the production team of NNIFF (Marketing Strategy)
I created a questionnaire using Google Forms which includes ten questions, tried to briefly introduce each team member to the public by making posts on Facebook, this kind of media outreach delivered a feeling of knowing people behind the film festival so that the audience can engage with the festival a bit more due to sense of identity.