Have you found your tribe? Joining a group is a fantastic way to build relationships with like-minded creatives, find friendship, feedback and accountability.
Alignment and Inspiration
There are community and global film/TV/writing groups all over the world that strive to empower content creators, media makers, screenwriters and filmmakers. Here are some ideas about finding the right one that is a fit with your sensibility.
Diversity of Offerings
Most creative communities hold events, help members discover resources and offer networking opportunities. Some meet frequently while others are less structured. While online events have become the norm, there are many organizations that straddle some online and in-person events. Several groups hold contests, festivals, or give away grants, and offer mentorship to help their members make progress. Check out where the emphasis is; some groups are specific to a particular type of project, are works-in-process labs; or rely on frequent screenings. Ask yourself what it is that you need the most right now, and seek groups that will help you with that.
Mission and Makeup
Read the mission of an organization to see if it feels like a fit, and scan the group for diversity, like-minded individuals, and the representation that fits with your vision. Scan the leadership, images of the members and board to see if their makeup of ethnicity, age, gender and representation across parameters matches will help you make connections with different types of people. For example, the NYC Women Filmmakers has a membership of women, non-binary individuals and gender non-conforming filmmakers. Full disclosure, I serve on their board, and was drawn to the spirit of the group even though I’m a member of others. They are one of many great filmmaking collectives, and their vibrant spirit and energy are a fit for me.
Their mission: Founded in 2015 and run by filmmakers Cidney Hue and Lauren Sowa, NYC Women Filmmakers (NYCWF) is a 501c(3) organization that champions inclusion in Film, TV, and Media by connecting underrepresented creators with influential networks, valuable resources, and career-changing opportunities to impact meaningful change in the industry.
New York City Women Filmmakers
New York City Women Filmmakers is a vibrant organization approximately 5 years old, that started in Manhattan with events all around the city and is now spanning the globe. Their online network offers job listings, crew calls, paid and free memberships and their educational offerings span every aspect of filmmaking. The group wants to change the fabric of media so that there is diversity reflective of reality at every level, and they champion inclusion in Film, TV, and Media by connecting underrepresented creators with influential networks, valuable resources, and career-changing opportunities to impact meaningful change.
NYCWF released an online private network this year to provide a safe space for all free and paid members to find work, crew up, build skills, network and grow, and they then launched a Microgrants program, with free submissions available to paid members.
As a non-profit, the group is dedicated to supporting women and non-binary filmmakers and this inaugural launch of Microgrants is $500 awarded to each of 10 diverse creatives, with submissions judged by a variety of indie celebrity filmmakers including:
Ekwa Msangi is a Tanzanian and American filmmaker whose award-winning and critically acclaimed feature film Farewell Amor premiered at 2020 Sundance is being distributed by IFC Films (North America), MUBI and Netflix Africa (Worldwide); Caryn Coleman, a film programmer and the founder of The Future of Film is Female; as well as Kia Brooks the Deputy Director at The Gotham Film & Media Institute (formerly IFP) who oversees the organization’s programming, membership, and marketing. (I’ll be covering each of these organizations in separate posts to come). Over 140 filmmakers submitted, out of which 26 semi-finalists were chosen. “It was quite the challenge, they are all really strong projects! Congratulations to all the applicants and to the organization for putting this on,” Judge Msangi said.
One unique aspect of the NYC Women Filmmakers Microgrants program includes a free, fast and application for members, and the variety of uses for the grants with no restrictions. The organization will be awarding Microgrants on a semi-annual basis for production and post costs, film and contest submissions, film equipment, training and equipment costs. As a filmmaker and creative, you may seek a group for many reasons, and it’s worth looking to see where you feel great and find right energy.
We all want to be surrounded with PLUs – people like us - in our quest for creativity, support and filmmaking success. There are many organizations for this purposes and some may suit your goals, where you live, the vibe, the zeitgeist of the organization, experience, offerings, price point – and the right one will help you flourish.
Learn more about NYCWF
Facebook NYC Women Filmmakers
P.S. (FYI please don’t Tweet me, my Twitter was taken over by evil bots! LOL).
P.S.S. Keep on creating…. Now more than ever the world needs your unique imagination!
P.S.S.S (Excessive, I know) If you know of a cool film group that EVERYONE should hear about, please tell me all about them!