ITT 019: How to Start a Film Festival from Scratch with Stephen Ananicz

December 6, 2014

How to Start a Major Festival from SCRATCH

Have you ever wanted to start your own conference, festival, or event? You know, like TomCon, or the Morkes Festival? Me too.  That's why I brought Stephen Ananicz onto In The Trenches today. Stephen is the cofounder of the The Key West Film Festival, and has a background in acting and film production (if you check out his name on IMDB you’ll see him credited in movies like Pirates of the Caribean and Salt, among other blockbusters). And while his background in film is interesting in and of itself, I really wanted Stephen on In The Trenches today to talk about how he created the Key West Film Festival from scratch. Creating any sort of festival or conference is a massive undertaking and I really wanted to dig into the details on how exactly Stephen went from idea to finished product on a project with such scale. As a quick background on the festival:  The Key West Film Festival was founded in 2012 as a nonprofit independent film festival supporting the South Florida art and film community. It’s now going into it’s 3rd year come this November and is continuing to grow in size and popularity. So seriously, if you've ever been interested in creating your own major headline event, this is the interview for you.

What Stephen Ananicz and I talk about:

  • How Stephen’s background in film allowed him an inside look at the film industry and gave him a ton of experience with film festivals
  • How he first created the idea for a film festival in Key West, Florida in 2010
  • How Stephen conducted his initial market research (and why this was paramount to making the event work...pun intended?)
  • What it was like to see the idea snowball to the point of no return (launch or fail)
  • The precise steps for creating a successful festival from scratch (yes, I had Stephen number and organize them for me)
  • How to build the right team for whatever your project is (and why it was essential Stephen got the local community on board)
  • How Stephen tweaked and pivoted the event so it become more productive and successful
  • And much much more

 

Stephen Ananicz on how to start, finish, and ship a massive project:

Stay focused on one thing. [click to tweet]

Connect with Stephen and the Key West Film Festival:

Key West Film Festivalkwfilmfest.com Key West Film Festival's Facebook Key West Film Festival's Twitter

 

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