Company aims to build global network of licensees screening its quarterly short film programmes; features could be added in future.
Short-film and event-film specialist Future Shorts has launched a new scheme to let anyone set up their own screenings of the company’s packages of short films.
Future Shorts is calling the initiative “the first ever global pop-up film festival.”
“The goal is that anyone, anywhere in the world can see the same films as we do as professionals at festivals from Cannes to Sundance,” Future Shorts founder and director Fabien Riggall told Screen. “So if you’re in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Poland, or Virginia, you can become a screening partner. Your little town becomes a same part of the festival experience, there’s no difference between any of the screenings.”
He continued: “We’ve built the infrastructure to make it easy for people. It’s as simple as, ‘Do you want to run your own film festival? Then click here.’”
Interested parties will buy a licence for a one-off screening of that quarter’s shorts programme, organise the screening (and promote it using materials approved by Future Shorts HQ), and then they can charge for entry and keep any profits [or offer free admission with help from a sponsor or supporter]. Future Shorts supplies the programme on secure DVD under terms of a contract. Licence fees will vary by territory and size of screening. For example in the UK, a small screening of up to 75 people will cost £75, a large screening over 200 people will cost £250.
Future Shorts HQ will also promote the local events on its website and community (the company has a mailing list of nearly 150,000 people).
Riggall added: “I don’t think that traditional distribution is working for current audiences. We want to create this network of event-led distribution and we could eventually also screen features.”
He also noted that filmmakers will benefit from being able to access direct feedback from the local screenings.
Currently, Future Shorts licenses shorts from filmmakers and offers a new programme every month that is shown in more than 50 cities in 17 countries (the company also distributes shorts through other channels such as TV and digital releases.)
Going forward, the shorts programme will be offered quarterly, not monthly, with the number of screenings set to increase and spread to new places around the world.
“We’re looking to hopefully get about 100 screening partners in the first quarter,” Riggall told Screen. There are already 20 partners who have signed up in the past two days.
The company already has its ‘pro partners’ in place in Russia, Finland, Poland, Spain and Australia, so licensees in those countries will work through the pro partner. New screening partners will be able to graduate to pro partners as events continue.
Some of the licensees will be cinemas, but others will be alternative venues such as music halls, theatres, galleries, restaurants, pubs, clubs, warehouses or even private homes or gardens. Educational institutions have a different fee structure.
“We’re very excited about it, it builds on the work we’ve done with Future Shorts and Secret Cinema, it gets real people involved,” Riggall added. [Future Shorts is the short film company that produces, distributes and creates shorts events. Future Cinema is the live cinema events company that produces Secret Cinema as well as campaigns for brands, such as the work with Stella Artois at Cannes 2011.]
The first quarterly programme that will be offered for screenings from Nov 1-Jan 31 includes Oscar winner God of Love by Luke Matheny, Bafta winner The Eagleman Stag by Michael Please, Sundance winner Deeper Than Yesterday by Ariel Kleinman, Berlinale winner Incident By A Bank by Ruben Ostlund, The External World by David O’Reilly, and Luminaris by Juan Pablo Zaramella.
For full details of the new initiative, visit futureshorts.com/festival.