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Friday Funding Panel: Advice on Creating your Next Project

The NHFF hosted a Funding Panel on Friday at The Portsmouth Discover Center to address the technical and fiscal issues that filmmakers face when budgeting for a project.

The truth of creation requires more than ideals and talent. It requires the management and allocation of funds. These are the people that can make that dream into a monetary reality.

Moderated by the Director of the New Hampshire Film Office, Matt Newton, the panel included documentary filmmaker and reporter David Abdel (one of the directors of this year’s Sacred Cod); Genevieve Carmel a program officer of the Lef Foundation responsible for outreach, administration, project management and publicity; Laura Azevedo, the executive director of the Filmmakers Collaborative; and Ginnie Lupi, the Director of the New Hampshire State Council of the Arts.

The discussion began with a simple question, “How many of you here are filmmakers?” Everyone in room raised there hand. The filmmakers were there to learn. It’s a way of both supporting the current program and building a platform for future growth and development.

The discussion centered primarily around the logistics of funding, raising questions and positing answers in an effort to provide helpful insight into funding through investments and grants in an effort to make the production process as intelligently accessible as possible.

“Find creative ways to describe your idea…Find those programs that are going to be a natural fit for you,” said Ginnie Lupi, “This is a different way of thinking about how to get your work out into the world in smaller and more intimate venues. We need to think more creatively about how we’re going to make your work a reality.”

Examples were simple and incredibly insightful. If you’re working on a film that deals with younger subjects, apply to programs that either support or directly interact with younger individuals. If the film features education as a subject, look for a program that would benefit from attention being drawn to an educational issue. It’s all about creating a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship with an investor.

Incredibly informative, specific, and necessary, this years panel was an excellent experience for filmmakers looking to learn and find inspiration that may bring future films to life.

By Tom Berry

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