For a documentary film to make a difference, a solid strategy for audience engagement and strong partnerships are key. Filmmakers often lack time to do this work themselves or the expertise and the funds to pay for it. Emerging artists, creators of color, and other underrepresented artists can face the biggest hurdles, despite the potential of their projects. Working Films’ response to this challenge is the Impact Kickstart, a program offering in-kind partnership and strategy development to underrepresented documentary directors with feature films in progress that hold great promise to catalyze action to address critical issues of our time.
Now in its third year, the Impact Kickstart program has helped underrepresented filmmakers create strategic goals for impact and specific plans to engage future partners, funders, and audiences in meaningful ways.
Up to four filmmakers receive an Impact Kickstart from Working Films each year. Those who qualify include directors of color, indigenous directors, undocumented directors, female and/or gender nonconforming directors with a majority female and/or gender nonconforming film team, directors who identify as LGBTQ+, and differently-abled directors can apply. Each selected filmmaker will receive in-kind support from Working Films for the planning, facilitation and reporting out from a day-long strategy summit with potential partners and funders for their film. This summit will leave filmmakers well positioned to carry out an impact campaign with a clear strategy, goals, partners and a report that can be used as a Letter of Inquiry for potential funders.
For nearly two decades, Working films has planned and led strategy summits to inform the plans for a film’s impact and solidify the commitments of partner organizations. Our team works in collaboration with filmmakers to outline priorities including: potential partners, target audiences, screening locations, and a clear vision for impact. From there, we work with filmmakers to create an invite list of aligned organizations, build out an agenda, and coordinate the logistics of the strategy summit. Both the film team and attending organizations will walk away from the summit with a clear sense of each other’s goals, current and future opportunities to leverage the film, and commitments to move the impact campaign forward in priority locations and in front of key audiences.
To read highlights of our work with past Impact Kickstart recipients click the link below.