Reports

Release the Tiger, but stay involved

Monday’s presentation of Tiger Release resulted in an on stage workshop, focusing on the possibilities and challenges for filmmakers that will make use of Tiger Release as an online launching platform. Lot Piscaer reports

Tiger Release, a partnership between IFFR and tech company Infostrada, will give rights-holders the opportunity to show their films on global VOD platforms. It is a 'slow burner', festival director Rutger Wolfson commented. "We are taking it slow: it’s a new thing, people have to get used to the idea. But we are totally committed to this." 

The novelty aspect certainly didn’t scare off filmmakers Anna Sofie Hartmann (Limbo) and Edmund Yeo (River of Exploding Durians). They were the first to sign up for Tiger Release, and brave enough have their cases analysed by a panel of experts, moderated by Michael Gubbins. Five other filmmakers already expressed strong interest in releasing their films through Tiger Release (Aditya Vikram Sengupta with Labour of Love, Benjamin Crotty’s Fort Buchanan, Georg Tiller’s White Coal, Damian Marcano with God Loves the Fighter, and Liew Seng Tat’s Men Who Save the World). 

And why shouldn’t they? Wolfson sums up: "There are no risks here, only opportunities." There’s also no need to worry over TVOD or FVOD models, DCPs, IMFs, metadata and megadata or other dizzying terms. Infostrada executive Evert Larooi eased filmmakers’ concerns: Tiger Release will take care of all this for you. 

Filmmakers are not, however, expected to rest on their laurels once their film is on the platforms. They need to get noticed among the thousands of other titles. IFFR will play a role in marketing the films, but filmmakers themselves should also be a part of this, it was stressed. The industry experts made this pretty clear, offering advice on marketing and publicity strategies to the filmmakers involved. 

Some first findings: Finding an audience in a very early stage is key; crowdfunding can also work as a marketing and promotion tool. Share your experiences and learn from each other: read case studies, find a mentor. Places like Rotterdam offer a great network. Adapt your promotional materials to online formats and possibilities. Take care of your film – be a responsible parent to your baby. On the other hand, like in parenting, you don’t have to do it all by yourself. Find a budget and get some help from the experts. 

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The industry expert panel featured Amy Dotson (Independent Feature Project), Jon Reiss (Hybrid Cinema), Sheri Candler (KCETLinkTV), Laurin Dietrich (Wolf Consultants) and Miranda Fleming (Indiegogo). 

Photo: Janneke Staarink, Edmund Yeo, Anna Sofie Hartmann and moderator Michael Gubbins.