connect / 2019
On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project
NFMLA will host the 9th edition of the organization’s annual On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project at Sunset Las Palmas Studios on October 5th, 2019. The project invites local LA independent filmmakers from diverse communities to express their vision of LA by crafting a film under five-minute long based on the prompt “What’s your L.A.?” NFMLA then gives these artists the opportunity to showcase their films to hundreds of local residents at an event in the heart of Los Angeles.
What does your organization do?
NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization designed to showcase innovative works by both domestic and international emerging filmmakers at annual screenings in LA County.
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
- Industry Sponsors: Film LA, HBO, SAG-AFTRA, 21st Century Fox, Sony Pictures, The Walt Disney Studios Company, Wells Fargo, Sunset Studios
- Foundation and Government Support: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Hollywood Foreign Press Association
- Community Collaborators: Mole-Richardson, Vegas Pro, Blackmagicdesign, American Entertainment Insruance, Production HUB, ATS Audiovisual, The Camera Division, VER Rental, Castex, Columbia College Hollywood, The South Park Center
- Media Collaborators: Creative Handbook, Backstage, MovieMaker Magazine, LA Metro, The Wrap, International Screenwriters Association, LA Weekly, Screen International
- University Collaborators (for student programs): Mount San Antonio College, California State University Northridge, Emerson College: Los Angeles, Los Angeles City College, California State University Los Angeles, University of Southern California: Cinematic Arts, New York Film Academy, LA Film School, Santa Monica College
Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.
Through the On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project, NFMLA inspires local filmmakers to create a film that depicts their vision of LA. The impact comes from the 500+ LA locals that come out to the event each year. The attendees watch films that educate them about important LA topics, which results in sparking a community dialogue about LA and how it serves its residents.
For example, at the 2018 “On Location” event, NFMLA programmed the film “This Is My LA” by Kristine M. Skeie and Connor Buss, which is a documentary about Kristine’s experiences with accessibility for the differently-abled community.
Two more documentaries that were shown during the 2018 “On Location” event include “Angelino Profiles: Dona Julia” which is documentary that tells the deep story of a Guatemalan immigrant who has been collecting bottles and cans in Los Angeles for 17 years, and “Legacy” which is a film about a Filipino immigrant, who documented his life through video once his dream of coming to America came true with his daughter by his side.
Narratives that have been screened at the event reflect the stories of certain characteristics that are specific to the city of LA. For example, at the 2018 “On Location” event, NFMLA displayed the film “Lifted” which is a story about a rideshare driver who is stuck in the well-known LA Traffic with a stubborn passenger. Likewise, NFMLA showed a film titled “Mountain Climbing” which does justice to the beauty of the city’s vast landscape that features mountains, deserts, plains, beaches and more. Another narrative includes “Til I See You” which tells the story of a man named Thomas who has to leave his boyfriend Tyler due to unforeseen circumstances, but wants to give him one last fun vacation in the vibrant city of Los Angeles.
NFMLA has screened many more films that have depicted other LA stigmas including documentaries on actors who spent their life trying to make it in Hollywood, music videos that show LA’s many museums, artworks, parks and monuments, stories of children who grew up in the heart of LA and many more.
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Attendance at cultural events
- Attendance at public/open streets gatherings
- Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- Central LA
- East LA
- San Gabriel Valley
- San Fernando Valley
- South LA
- South Bay
- Antelope Valley
- County of Los Angeles
- City of Los Angeles
How will your project make LA the best place to connect?
Execution and Timeline:
NFMLA’s four full-time staff members executes the program starting months in advance with promotional outreach to LA County filmmakers, potential community attendees, students, sponsors and collaborators.
Activities for the “On Location The Los Angeles Video Project” begin when the “Call for Submissions” is released to the LA community through the organization’s website, social media, newsletter and also through partner organizations and their networks. Filmmakers then have two-months, from June to August, to create a film under 5-minutes that depicts their view of the city of Los Angeles.
In August, after the 26 filmmakers are selected, their name and their films synopsis are then posted on the “On Location” webpage where the public will be able to see a list of all of the films and the filmmakers before attending the event.
The “On Location” screening event, where all of the films will be displayed for the community, takes place in October 2019. The films are divided into two programs so that the Los Angeles attendees and filmmakers have the chance to mingle while eating, drinking before the next film program starts.
The donation portion of the night is when filmmakers are given resources, services and equipment by NFMLA’s partnering organizations (worth over $65,000 overall). A breakdown of all of the donations can be found on the program’s webpage. The end of the screening event concludes the project for the year.
The population being served includes over 120+ local filmmakers, who create and submit their films to the NFMLA. Of those filmmakers, 26 films are showcased at the screening event in October 2019. In regards to the breakdown of the filmmakers for 2018, 60% were made by filmmakers of color, 50% were made by female filmmakers. NFMLA hopes to further improve these numbers for the 2019 “On Location” project.
The project will make measurable progress towards making LA the best place to connect through the art of storytelling in the medium of cinema. NFMLA has conducted annual Audience and Filmmaker Surveys for the “On Location” program, which is where they can give NFMLA feedback that the organization later evaluates in an effort to see what people enjoyed at the event vs. what additions they would like to see in the program the following year. In regards to audience, over 500+ LA locals attend the screening event.
2019 Project Goals include:
Create career advancing opportunities for local filmmakers from across LA County to create short-films that display their unique perspective on the city.
Gain recognition for local filmmakers by premiering their films each year to a growing audience of over 500+ attendees at the screening, which provides over $65,000 worth of production support services.
Connect the diverse LA communities by establishing dialogue between audience-members and filmmakers.
Provide low-ticket prices and free submission costs to LA community
In what stage of innovation is this project?
Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects)
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
NFMLA will define and measure success for the “On Location” project through audience surveys, which are administered at the event to the 500+ attendees by trained volunteers and a staff supervisor. This method was used at last year’s “On Location” event and after reviewing the evaluations the organization found the feedback from the surveys to be paramount in the planning stages of the 2019 edition of the program. Likewise, NFMLA surveys the participating filmmakers so that the organization can improve practices starting from the early outreach and submission stages of the project to the screening of their films at the showcase event.
The survey evaluations consist of questions regarding topics related to the filmmakers and attendee’s experiences. Attendees and Filmmakers both receive questions about the overall quality of the event design (venue, films, furniture, staff, food/beverages, etc.). This way NFMLA can always take feedback from attendees and past filmmakers to better improve the program. The organization has not
Outreach methods will be evaluated through these surveys as well. A question on the survey asks for what LA neighborhood they live in so that the organization can evaluate the responses and produce outreach to even more underrepresented communities. The data from last year’s survey is what fueled the organization’s desire to produce more outreach, in all regards (filmmakers, attendees, students and community collaborators) to areas that were not as well represented at the 2018 “On Location” screening event including Long Beach and the East/Southeast LA area.