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SXSW 2021

Rising from the ashes: indie film in a COVID world

If independent filmmakers have one skill, it's pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. They wear many hats to bring stories to life, and despite challenges presented by COVID, are in the unique and privileged position of being able to capitalize on the inherent DIY nature of indie production. The time to shine is now, as high-budget projects requiring massive crews and heavy infrastructure are largely infeasible in our socially distanced world. Productions that only require skeleton crews can take their pick of seasoned professionals. A creative single location means minimal travel and contact with others. And while a content shortage is looming, audience appetites are more robust than ever. This panel will explore how indie filmmakers can best take advantage of today's limitations.

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  1. Capitalize on your indie roots while the appetite for DIY production is strong, and safety concerns render large-budget projects impossible.
  2. There is an inherent low investment / high return opportunity with COVID-era film, as the limited availability of new content makes it more valuable.
  3. The democratization of indie film spurred by technology has accelerated in this new environment, giving real talent the chance to rise to the top.



Ariana Assaf, Director of Business Development, The Forest Road Company

Meta Information:

  • Tags: Film & TV Industry
  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Transforming the Entertainment Landscape
  • Level: Beginner
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