Independent Filmmaker Project
Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is the name for a series of membership-based, not-for-profit organizations that produce programs that assist independent filmmakers in connecting with film-industry professionals and, ultimately, audiences. It was founded in 1979 by independent filmmakers. Under the IFP umbrella, the New York City organization has over 5,000 members. Affiliated regional organizations are based in Chicago, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Phoenix, and Seattle. The IFP's executive director is Joana Vicente.
Among the major programs and initiatives are the following:
Independent Film Week
Produced by IFP, this is a four-day promotional campaign to help draw new audiences to independent film and independent theaters in New York City. It includes a first-of-its-kind reduced-price ticket promotion of $6 for all shows Monday–Thursday. Participating theaters in 2006 included Landmark's Sunshine Cinema in the East Village and Brooklyn's BAM Rose Cinemas.
Founded in 1979, the IFP Market is a five-day showcase, held each autumn in New York, for new independent projects. It is unique in the U.S. for providing a forum for independent screenwriters, directors, and producers with projects in various stages of development to present their work directly to industry executives. To facilitate business opportunities, IFP schedules more than 1,800 one-on-one meetings annually for filmmakers with participating projects and high-level industry executives. Sections include emerging narrative, spotlight on documentaries, and the no borders international co-production market. In total, approximately 200 projects are invited to participate annually. The IFP Market takes place during Independent Film Week.
Filmmaker is the leading publication (print, on-line, and through its blog) providing an insider's perspective into all areas of the American independent filmmaking experience, which include articles covering the creative process, business, and technology. It is written by filmmakers for filmmakers and film lovers. Its editorial direction is governed by Sundance Award-winning producer Scott Macaulay, the magazine's editor since 1992. The magazine is published quarterly and available as a benefit of IFP membership or through direct subscription, and at retail chains and newsstands internationally.
Content producers and those trying to reach them converge for five days in New York for over 40 panels, workshops, and networking. The focus is on the business of filmmaking with a dedication to exploring new trends in technological applications as well as financing and distribution structures. With more than 3,000 in attendance, the Conference venues include a ballroom that can accommodate 400, a gallery workshop space for 100, and a Liquid Lounge that serves by day as a lounge for informal meetings over coffee and transitions nightly into a venue to kick back and enjoy a live music performance. The Filmmaker Conference takes place in September during Independent Film Week.
A mentorship that nurtures diverse voices from across the country, which supports low-budget, independently produced films by emerging filmmakers. These are just a few of the objectives of IFP's Lab program. Since the program's inception in 2005, 27 films directed by first-time feature directors have taken part in these three-day intensive workshops, which focus on the final stage of film completion and readiness for the film festival circuit. More than 50% of these dramatic features and feature-length documentaries have women, LGBT, and people of color in key creative positions. Films from the Labs have premiered at major national and international festivals such as Rotterdam (Inner Circle Line), LA Film Festival (Undoing), Slamdance Film Festival (The Guatemalan Handshake), and SXSW (Jumping off Bridges) and have garnered prestigious awards and industry recognition.
This umbrella initiative connects U.S. independent filmmakers at festivals and markets in Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes, and Pusan. Programs such as IFP Producers Fellowships for mid-career producers to receive modest travel stipends to attend these festivals, markets, and promotion through IFP's marketing campaign at events such as American Directors at Cannes Press Conference, participation in the Cannes Producers Network, IFP Booth in Berlin, and other events during the Berlin Film Festival and European Film Market.
IFP's Sneak Peek Screening Series
Provides members with monthly preview screenings followed by Q&As with the filmmakers.
IFP's Gotham Awards
This event celebrates the authentic voices behind and in front of the camera in films made each year. By recognizing that the best films come from a place that is more firmly rooted in the grasp of filmmakers—and not made by committee—the Gotham Awards salute the innovative films and filmmakers whose passion and vision make their way onto the screen year after year. Tributes and six juried awards that include best feature, best documentary, breakthrough actor, breakthrough director, best ensemble cast, and best film not playing at a theater near you.
Monthly workshops designed to enhance professional development and provide networking opportunities among members. Topics range from financing, production, post-production, sales, distribution, and marketing with industry experts.
Because many individuals, foundations, corporations, or governmental organizations restrict funding of independent projects to tax-exempt organizations, IFP's Fiscal Sponsorship program is a legal mechanism by which financial, administrative, and mentorship services are provided to selected projects, thereby allowing them to offer potential donors the incentive of a charitable deduction for income tax purposes they could not otherwise offer.