This week’s dose of inspiration comes from Berlin-based creators, Lara Celenza and Natalie MacMahon.
They work together in the filmmakers’ sphere, manage a brand new film agency called Highlights Film Distribution and also curate Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin!
Let’s get to know them through their answers to our 5 Creator Questions this week:
Who are you and what do you do?
I am a film director and screenwriter, and together with my lovely “partner-in-crime” and friend Natalie MacMahon, I run my own film company, Kalifilm Productions. We specialise in feature films and documentaries, but we also produce commissioned works such as music videos and commercials. In addition to that, we curate Female Filmmakers Festival Berlin and manage a brand new film agency called Highlights Film Distribution.
How did you get started?
We launched Highlights earlier this year to meet the demands of our fellow filmmakers who asked us for help with distributing their film to the festival circuit. We have plenty of experience, and therefore, we decided to create a boutique agency that creates tailor-made strategies for a selected catalogue of films.
What sets you apart?
With us, it’s quality over quantity. Most agencies make batch submissions, so they basically send their entire catalogue to everyone and their dog and see what comes back. We only pick the films we genuinely think can be successful and the festivals that are more likely to resonate with your film, and we give you feedback throughout the process.
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
Right now, our biggest challenge is demystifying film distribution and making people aware of what is it exactly that we do. Basically, we are to films what a casting agency is to actors. Educating our clients is our top priority, but we feel confident because we have started other film businesses before, and the process is quite similar.
Do you have any tips for other creators?
First and foremost, tell memorable stories in a unique way. Second, budget for distribution. Prepare an informative press kit, talk to distributors, keep length and format in mind, don’t forget to subtitle, and be aware of your target audience. Having a great film that doesn’t get seen is like buying a Porsche and keeping it locked in your garage.
Take Lara’s and Natalie’s examples and follow your passion!
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