Film•Festival•Life [abbr - FFLife, acronym - FFL] is an online destination for the film community to discover, reach and discuss the film festival planet.
Festivals are valued for the film industry as the most explosive avenue for growing contacts, collaborations and careers internationally. FilmFestivalLife aims for the creation of this same socialization, sharing and support - online.
The platform provides filmmakers with the technology to plan and distribute their films to film festivals internationally, while providing programmers with the technology to make their festival program selection. If you make films or you screen films, FilmFestivalLife can connect you to the next generation of game-changers through critical planning, submitting, evaluation and opinion.
Join the inclusive, online film festival life.
A conversation with FFL founders Nadine Baethke & Luca Zamai
What was your driving force in forming this FFL partnership?Nadine: [to Luca] You introduced yourself to me in just three sentences. Do you remember in the cafe where we first met? You said you were a DOP and a filmmaker, coming out of a two year festival run and you felt there was a huge gap in festival distribution. So, you created your own database of quick-submission information for festivals. Then your friend mentioned, 'Hey, publish it and make some money out of it.'
Luca: Yes, and what he meant was, 'Do a business and monetize your database', and instead I made FilmFestivalLife open to the community!
Nadine: To be honest, when he told me this, there was quite some empathy about the topic. I had worked for different film production companies and in the field of distribution, bringing films to festivals and I had also seen the gap in the system. The only outlet I knew at the time was Withoutabox and I really hated to work with it. So, with Luca's proposal, I really understood the problem and was like, 'I totally agree! We have to develop another system; an easier system.' So yeah, I really liked the idea of creating something and putting my power into this open project.
Biggest milestone?Luca: I imagined this would be when earned the first Euro through FFL. I thought this would be when I would feel different and, well it wasn't. But it was definitely the start of realizing, 'Well, we are a business now'.
Nadine: For me, the biggest milestone was about two weeks ago when we said, 'Ok, there is something happening and the company is growing and we have to grow also'.
Luca: Yes, what was stronger than the first payment was the the reaction to one of our first pitches to a festival organizer. That is when I realized that we kinda nailed it. If I remember right, it was the first or second Skype walk-through I had?
Nadine: The first.
Luca: Right! The first festival who got back to us: One of the top three festivals in the world. He, with his arms like this [bowing in preying position] saying, 'Thank you, that is so great what you have done there,' and I thought, 'Fuck, we have the chance to really be awesome.'
And the biggest threat?Luca: I suppose this was when we decided to grow the platform to provide an alternative to Withoutabox, reaching-out to clients who are waiting for another solution. While this was a realistic mission, as we have already seen, what we didn't realize was the high amount of exclusivity contracts for up to three years with Withoutabox. I realized that this will be harder than it could have been for all of us.
The ultimate mission?Luca: I want this to be the best solution.
Nadine: Yes, that we are the tool with the easiest solution so that filmmakers and festivals know where to go and this is FilmFestivalLife.
Luca: Finding films to screen and outfits for screening your films is very inefficient as long as you are doing it in multiple platforms. So, the solution is: One platform that channels everything. We want to be less of a submission platform and be more an environment, just like the film market in Cannes but the online version, accessible throughout the entire year where all types of industry people can exchange content. For me, we are a place where you go if you are a festival, seller, buyer, VOD service, whatever and you are looking for films - and the place you go if you want to have your film discovered, screened and sold.