LINCS Film Funding: Q&A with Panelist

Posted on September 15, 2009

Linking Independents and Co-Producing Stations (LINCS) provides matching funds (up to $100,000) to partnerships between public television stations and independent producers. For the past two days, the LINCS panel––made up of peers in the independent film and television community––has been convening to recommend eight to ten projects for ITVS funding from a slate of 30 finalists. The identities of readers and panelists are not disclosed for each initiative, but below is a Q&A with one of our current LINCS panelist.

In serving on the LINCS panel, what is the principal challenge for you? 
LINCS Panelist: The biggest challenge is deciding which of the 30 proposals best fit the LINCS objectives. This initiative was created to bring indies and public television stations together, and it has been a very successful. So I’m always challenged to look beyond the projects that appeal to me personally and to project which have the potential to make the greatest impact with broadcast and community outreach. Fortunately, these criteria often intersect. 

What do you enjoy most about serving on the LINCS panel? 
LP: I watch a lot of programs in my daily life but serving on the panel is special because I get the opportunity to meet fascinating filmmakers and public television programmers and to hear other points of view about a wide range to ideas. It’s amazing that no matter how diverse our real life experiences are, we always end up agreeing on the top projects. We may not rank them quite the same but we generally agree on why each indie-station partnership proposal will make good television. 

What makes a great panelist? 
LP: A great panelist is someone with strong opinions about what he/she likes and dislikes and why––but who isn’t bound by an ideological passion that shuts down the discussion. For the filmmakers on the panel, this is an inside peek on how public television programmers think and respond to programs, and for programmers, it is very insightful to hear why filmmakers are so driven to make films.

Describe a trend that you’ve noticed with this year’s LINCS finalists. 
LP: A lot of proposals reflect the issues in the news. So we’re seeing programs about immigration, race, civil rights and economic issues as they affect country and particular communities. 

What words of advice would you give to a LINCS finalist? 
LP: This is a tight competition and so little things really matter. Get to the point and tell us why you want to make this film and what each of the players brings to project. Try to anticipate the questions that panel will be asking and remember that we can all Google. And I cannot emphasize enough how important the video component is. I’ve seen programs totally turn around in the ranking because of what’s seen. 

Find more information about LINCS funding >>

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