By Julie Keck & Jessica King of King is a Fink Productions
#1 – You are a filmmaker. Which means you’re also a fan of film.
You made a movie. You want people to see it. And you’d like it to screen somewhere where your hard work is appreciated, talked about, and celebrated: you want it to screen at Flyway Film Festival.
Want to know the secret to getting your movie into Flyway? Make a good movie. We’ve had movies that got into Flyway and movies that didn’t, and we 100% respect this. Film festival selections are always subject to the tastes of the programmers, but at Flyway you know that no one got in because they have a big name or a pushy agent. You earn your way in, and this isn’t just good for the filmmakers: it’s good for the audience.
Flyway is not a cattle call like some other overstuffed film festivals. They care about their official selections and the people who make them. They also do everything they can to get the filmmakers there, often offsetting filmmaker travel costs by arranging for transportation (as much as possible) and providing places to stay (through the generosity of the Greater Pepin Area locals, whom we’ll discuss more in a moment.) Last year there were filmmakers present at their Flyway screenings more often then not; what other film festival does that?
#2 – You like being around creative people.
At Flyway, everyone hangs out with everyone. The filmmakers, the fans, the people from the community, the festival volunteers, the people who are working on films for next year, the keynote speakers, esteemed panelists…everyone. So go to Flyway, because that person you’ve been hoping to connect with might be there. Go, because this might be your chance to buy them breakfast and pick their brain. And if that person you wanted to meet doesn’t show up, open your eyes and look around: you just might meet someone you didn’t know before who can open up a whole new world to you. Make a real world connection that leads to an out-of-this-world project.
#3 – You want to preserve unique film festival experiences.
Small festivals have it tough, especially when they’re in out-of-the-way places like Pepin. It’s not like going to a festival in LA, where you can roll your screening into other meetings, or New York, where you can shoehorn in some sight seeing. Part of the fun of Flyway is that there’s nowhere else to go. It’s like camp, but without mosquitoes or hot camp counselors or cheesy arts and crafts. The bonding that occurs at the festival is much like camp, too: you become fast friends with the people you eat breakfast with, watch movies with, and talk movies with all weekend long. You don’t just leave with a pocketful of business cards; you leave having established real relationships. It’s an experience like none we’ve had at other film festivals, and, even better, it’s in the center of a community that wants us there.
#4 – You want someone to see your movie besides your friends and other filmmakers.
At Flyway, you get real eyes on your pride and joy. The aforementioned Pepin/Stockholm/Maiden Rock/Red Wing locals fill the houses at Flyway screenings, many of them artists and artisans themselves. One local artist makes the amazing (and amazingly heavy) Flyway award trophies; another makes the hefty mugs that filmmakers get in their swag bags and others purchase every year as mementos. These people band together not just as a town but as a group of friends supporting Flyway because they know it enriches the place where they live. A community standing up and fighting for its cultural life – doesn’t get much better than that.
#5 – You’re ready to invest in an adventure.
People think nothing of spending major moolah to go to the big fests (Toronto, Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca) and hobnob with stars. Except…this never really happens, does it? Make a radical move this year: spend your money on a trip to Pepin for Flyway Film Festival. Wing it to Chicago, and take a fun train ride the rest of the way. Fly straight to Minneapolis, and split the cost of a car rental with some other out-of-state-ers. Make YOUR Flyway trip a true adventure. And bring friends. The more, the merrier.
If you’ve been to Flyway before, you already know how great it is – come back. If you’ve never been to Flyway, this is the year to fix that. We’ll see you there.