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Independent Film Week, the first day.

Clearly I should have gotten more sleep last night. But to be honest, the insomnia wasn’t my fault. I was indeed in bed by 10pm but the Sandman refused to pay a visit so after a few hours of work, you can’t blame me for joining my fellow Transatlantic Partners for a nightcap in the hospitality suite. The morning came quickly as my flight from Halifax to Newark was at 8am. Unfortunately the flight was delayed two hours and I had to go directly to Manhattan for IFP industry meetings upon arrival.

I’d arranged to meet with my writer/director of Salvage, Ari Issler, to exchange business cards and one pagers for our project for use in industry meetings within IFP’s Emerging Narrative program. I also met with Lanre Olabisi and Nick Huston, the writer/director and fellow producer of Highway to Nowhere to touch base for our day’s meetings.

My first meeting in the No Borders program (a program within IFP Week) was with Bankside Films. We had extensive talks last year about joining forces on Gun Hill Road but ultimately did not close a deal. Hilary Davis and I had conversed via email in the past and she scheduled the meeting so that we could finally meet in person. The meeting was fruitful and we discussed a number of projects after she expressed an interest in H2N.

Next was the San Francisco Film Society (which screened my first film Night Catches Us). I’d not met the reps before and I found the team personable, professional and very interested in supporting indie filmmakers financially! They will fund at multiple stages of the production from script through post. The only caveat to receiving these grant funds is that the project has Bay Area connection at the time of the application (writer, crew or location). Also, they prefer that the projects have a social justice theme. We will be applying for this grant money that is between $5k and $7.5k per funding cycle.

Rachel Chanoff and Michelle Satter of Sundance. Michelle has been a supporter of Highway to Nowhere for some time and has given very helpful feedback on the script. This meeting was introduce Michelle and Rachel to both my Nick and Lanre. The meeting went very well as all concerned were able to share our mutual enthusiasm for the project and identify the next step of having Rachel read the next draft if the script due from Lanre next month. We plan to apply to Sundance’s Screenwriter’s lab with the project.

At 3pm the H2N team met with Cordelia Stephens of Belladonna Productions and David Kaplan of Cinetic Media (the sales, rep and development firm). The reps requested the meetings to get to know us as producers and filmmakers. This was a successful set of networking meetings with opportunities to partner with companies to either help make the film and/or rep the film when it’s in the can.

In between the various meetings, I reconnected with many friends, producers, directors and writers all in the mix to get support to for our mission to make indie films.

I was planning to attend the cocktail reception for No Borders but I’d completely run out of steam and still had to return home to NJ to unpack, repack and head back into manhattan to prep for the next day’s meetings.

I collapsed in my hotel room at 12:30am after many hours of airplanes, airports, ferries, trains and walking but felt good about the prospects introduced throughout the day.

Thank you IFP.

It was a good business day with good future options for helping make this film.

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