I spent the past eight months putting on the She’s Reel Film Festival with my dear friend Grace Conley. The festival was designed to give young female filmmakers in the Greater Philadelphia Area a platform to share and be recognized for their art. The final product takes several forms. Most notably is an hour-long award show (which was initially live-streamed) that now lives permanently on YouTube, alongside the films that were selected to be part of the festival.
Grace and I worked almost nonstop from September until May, so it’s difficult to describe the process briefly, but these are the major steps: creating a brand (logo, color palette, name, Instagram), finding a venue, pitching to Braskem and receiving full funding, listing the festival on FilmFreeway to begin accepting submissions, finding judges (all of whom are women working in the film industry), analyzing the judging results and assigning awards, learning how to live-stream, hosting the live festival, and assembling and delivering gifts packages to all the submitters and judges.
Every part of this process was foreign to me in some way, so there was plenty to learn. I learned the importance of creating a detailed timeline and adhering to it, especially when other people are involved. I learned about using my network of people and their networks to find resources. I learned about the value and challenges of relying on other people. And I discovered what a difference there is when I truly love what I’m doing.