From Crowdfunding to Social Media to Distribution: Leveraging Emerging Digital Platforms and Technologies


Whether talking about the first dollar raised or the last seat filled during a “theatrical run,” the trajectory of an independent film looks quite different than it did 20, ten, or even five years ago. Digitization has knocked down the barriers between filmmakers and audiences, and the effect can be seen from production to the festival circuit to distribution. Frameline’s panel will contextualize the new model within the history of queer film and look to the future path being forged. Please join us for this exploration of the role of emerging digital technologies and how they impact filmmakers, audiences, and industry professionals.

Panelists (scheduled to participate):
Jenni Olson (Film Historian, Filmmaker, Wolfe Video VP of E-Commerce and Consumer Marketing) @JenniOlsonSF
Former Frameline festival co-director Jenni Olson is a queer media historian, filmmaker and online pioneer. She is currently VP of e-commerce and marketing at Wolfe Video and founder of, the global LGBT movie-watching platform. As co-founder of the pioneering LGBT website, Jenni launched the PlanetOut Online Cinema, the very first showcase for LGBT streaming media, way back in 1995 (with former Frameline board member Tom Rielly). Her many experimental films and historical trailer compilations have played at Frameline over the years and she is now in production on her second feature, The Royal Road.
Dean Hamer (Director, Emmy-Award Winning Producer, Kumu Hina, Out in the Silence) @DeanHamer
Dean Hamer is an Emmy and Sundance Award winning filmmaker, New York Times Book of the Year science author, and LGBT activist with a long history in communicating complex and controversial ideas to diverse publics. His first feature documentary OUT IN THE SILENCE, produced with partner Joe Wilson, developed into a national anti-bullying and pro-equality campaign in rural and small town America. Their new film KUMU HINA is the core of the gender diversity movement #APlaceintheMiddle.
Allie Esslinger (Founder, Section II) @allieesslinger
Allie Esslinger is a Southern transplant living in Brooklyn. She produced projects across genres and formats before founding Section II in 2013. She loves television, big sunglasses, iced coffee, and Alabama football. Section II is a multi-platform network of streaming and VOD channels and a boutique distribution company for curated, lesbian-related content. Until 1968, Section II of the Motion Picture Production Code outlawed lesbians on screen, so the Sii team have reclaimed their namesake as a Benefit Corporation dedicated to #BetterRepresentation of queer women in popular culture.
Max Silverman (Operations Czar, Seed&Spark) @maxHsilverman
Before joining Seed&Spark Max spent the better part of the past decade working at technology startups and learning the "whatever it takes" mantra for creating something out of nothing (which happens to translate perfectly to Indie filmmaking). He is also a photographer and DP, and is thrilled to have finally married his passion for building innovative products and his passion for telling stories through images.
Moderator: Alexis Whitham (Director of Educational Programming & Acquisitions, Frameline)

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