The ITVS team just wrapped up a great week of sessions, film screenings, and networking with fellow storytellers and filmmakers at the annual SxSW Festival in Austin, Texas. While we were there, in conjunction with a panel that ITVS’s own Karim Ahmad, Senior Digital Content Strategist, participated in called “Who’s Going To Fund Your Web Series,” we made a big announcement about our new digital open call.
This newly launched initiative is designed to help film and media makers develop new indie web series projects with funding support and distribution on public media’s digital platforms. Proposals may include web series of any genre, both nonfiction and fiction, episodic or anthology, and selected applicants will receive $10k - $50k in R&D funding to develop a web series pilot over a six-month term. Pilots will then be considered for production funding, with the eventual goal of distribution on digital platforms such as PBS.org, Independent Lens platforms, PBS-related YouTube channels, or other digital partnerships currently in development. In addition to announcing this new digital open call, Karim’s panel was a lively discussion with a host of other influencers and thought leaders who have broad experience working in the web series space.
Other panelists included Amy Dotson (Deputy Director & Head of Programming at IFP), Jay Bushman (Founder of the Horizon Factory and producer of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries), and Marc Hofstatter (Head of Film for Indiegogo). Each offered their unique insights to a room full of aspiring web series producers on how to get their ideas off the ground. From discussions on how to use multiple channels and platforms to tell a story, to the importance of building communities around projects, to knowing your audience and how to reach them, to why you have to be committed to a project before you look into crowd-funding, each panelist brought a unique perspective as to how to get a project up and running. More info on our digital open call and how to apply can be found at itvs.org/funding.
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