For all of you unfamiliar with the term indie films, it is simply independent movies. Independent films are usually made with considerably low budgets and outside the major film studio system.They are produced by independent film makers, and presented and distributed by independent entertainment agencies at the independent cinemas.
Lift-Off Global Network, is an organization that supports the talented independent artists in many different ways. First of all by showcasing their work globally, but also introduce them to sales and talent agents, to commercial opportunities, connect them with distributors worldwide, introduce them to audience through independent cinemas, and a lot of more.
Lift-Off Global Network is placed at the very famous Pinewood Studio in the UK. It is an enthusiastic, young and devoted team, focused on changing the film industry and introducing new and unique work of the independent artists from around the world.
It all started 2009 in London, with the initiative of James Bradley and Ben Pohlman who are founders of the Lift-Off Global Network. Even it started small, in London, they move in Liverpool as well to make a kind of cultural exchange between the north and south of England. But for the Liverpool showcase they received a lot of submissions from independent film makers of Los Angeles, so they decided to go to Los Angeles and Las Vegas as well. It was a connection similar to the London – Liverpool connection, and it went very well.
The network start to grow , then they went to Tokyo, Vancouver, Amsterdam, Singapore, Sidney, New York, Seoul, Paris and so on. This is how the Lift-Off Global Network became one big community and multi-city film festival network.
What they actually do is, to review all the submissions, from artists. Then, choose the best and showcase their work through film festival events that they organize in the different cities every year.
In 2016 they started to accept submissions of films that are a work-in-progress and rough cuts too.This way, organizers are able to recognize exciting projects before they expose themselves to the wider market. This enables Lift- Off Global Network and its partners to help plan projects route into the market place. They guide filmmakers with technicalities, insurances, contracts, and of course global showcases.
Every year Lift-Off Global Network grows by excepting more films, showing more work, and helping the indie film industry itself to progress and move forward. But as James Bradley and Ben Pohlman said in one of their interviews “It is all about the filmmakers and to give them an inspiration, helping them to understand the market place and really make them believe that they can move forward and generate their professional life within film and to have great success”.
In every showcase, review cards are handed to the audience members. On these cards audience members are able to rate each film on a scale of 1 to 10 for: creativity, direction, writing, cinematography, performance, structure, a final overall score, and any additional comments. After the film screenings, volunteers collect the feedback cards and these cards are eventually sent to the filmmakers. Founders of the Lift-Off Global Network believe that audience responses are vital in helping the filmmakers to understand how their work sits on its own merit.
Filmmakers and script writers may submit their work via Lift-Off Global Network official website. At the end of every respective Lift-Off season they hold a big awards show at Pinewood Studios. Then the jury votes across all disciplines within independent film and announce the winners of the year. In the six years they have been around, they have an Oscar winner among their participants! It is a great opportunity for the independent filmmakers to make money and to build their career.
If you are interested in experiencing and attending one of the Lift-Off Global Network film festivals or to submit your own work and to get your film in front of the audience, then check their website. As fast as they are growing it is always a possibility that this festival may come to your city soon.
I collaborated with organizers this year in Amsterdam and it was an amazing experience. I also saw a lot of great films and met a lot of interesting and talented people.
In Amsterdam this year Lift-off film festival is taking place at the:
LAB111 Film & Food , Arie Biemondstraat 111, 1054 PD Amsterdam Netherlands.
From Wednesday, 4 October 2017 until Saturday, 7 October 2017.
The photos in the article are from Lift-Off Film Festival day one and two in Amsterdam.
I tried to catch the emotions from the festival visitors and participants with my lens, so you can at least take a glimpse of the first day’s atmosphere yourself.
If you find this event interesting and you live somewhere near Amsterdam, you still have a chance to visit and to see some amazing independent films.
On the first day’s short films program, I can definitely say that they were interesting and valuable. You can check detailed information about all the shorts and features at the Lift- Off website.