Mentorship Selects: Are you my audience? Connecting your film with new communities

Sara Kiener, co-founder of Film Presence and audience engagement expert, begins her outreach campaigns with one essential question: Why are you making this film?

Once you can identify the reasons you are making the film and why it matters, she says, you can can find your audience from there.

Sara Kiener of Film Presence

Here are her suggestions for creatively connecting with new audiences:

Don’t limit yourself to two or three audience groups, when you could go after twenty.
It’s not always easy to predict which groups will be interested in the film, so it’s best to cast a wide net when reaching out to partners. For example, while working on the outreach campaign for Do I Sound Gay?, she connected with anti-bullying organizations, fans of David Sedaris and Dan Savage (both men are featured in the film), This American Life listeners who are familiar with Sedaris from the radio program, and speech therapists interested in the topic of voice, and many more organizations and individuals who could link the film to new audiences.

When you first reach out, don’t ask for money right away.
Start with building a relationship and see how they might be able to help you. An organization might be interested in sharing your posts on social media or sending information about your film around in their circles.

Get personal on social media!
Show pictures from the process of your film being made. Put a quote on top of a picture to make an easy to share post about your film. Ask celebrities who care about the issues in your film to share posts or pictures of themselves in connection to the film.

Sara Kiener of Film Presence presents on audience engagement to a crowd of Chicken & Egg Pictures filmmakers
Sara Kiener of Film Presence presents on audience engagement to a crowd of Chicken & Egg Pictures filmmakers
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