By Hipolito Munoz, Managing Editor/Publisher
There is something to say about the folks you will meet during the Sundance Film Festival, even though this year we were not accredited because we did not fulfill their criteria for press, we will be here to network, to attend conferences and to meet the folks that will help us with our own opportunities. Also, to try and promote some of the artists and films that would otherwise be ignored by the popular press who needs to have a larger audience to get advertisements. Here you will always find relevant folks who are veteran filmmakers and story tellers that are just trying to find their path.
As every other year that we have been here, we see folks wondering around without real purpose other than watching films, as far as our plan, we tend to try and go to the panels and gatherings to meet those folks that we would not otherwise to meet them. We prepare an opening comment and question depending on the title or work of the person we are approaching. We make an effort to approach those folks we have already met and just continue the conversation we last had. So we make notes and if we have met some of the folks at another event, we also continue to see if these are just collegial conversations or if there is an opportunity to collaborate.
As one maneuvers through these networking opportunities, there is a need to know what is it that you can offer other folks in the industry you work in. Is it your skillset, your network, or other opportunities that will help them move their projects along if they collaborate with you. You must be seen as an asset. There is no question that all of us have something to offer to those in any industry, but what is that an can it be articulated properly.
For us at events such as a film festival we try and support those underrepresented filmmakers who need publicity to support their efforts, that means that we have to produce short interviews that can live online and can go viral and that those artists can use as part of their EPK’s (electronic press kits.) We also use our network to try and introduce them to the missing folks who they may need for their project, either through our productions company, Open Perspective Media, or just connecting them individually to others that can be more appropriate.
So being out at those events, what is your purpose? Can you speak intelligibly about your projects/products and confidently about your skillset. In any environment, there are those that will deride anyone that is beginning or share experiences that would stop anyone else that would pursue the same opportunities; whatever happened to them, is their cross to bear, always listen to their stories, but remember that you are not them and you may be the person that finds those partners and partnerships that will help you get to your goal; just make sure that the goal you have in mind, is the goal that you need to pursue.