Saturday, January 5, 2008

Don't miss your niche: special interest marketing

Planet Out recently published their Queer Park City preview for the Sundance and Slamdance film festivals this year. It's a terrific reference for those interested in gay & lesbian programming at both festivals, but why should the LGBT crowd have all the fun? Why not a cheat sheet for animal lovers? Where's the environmentalist's guide to Park City? Seems to me there's a filter for just about any special interest group out there, if only you're willing to dig through the program guides to find the relevant films.

You should know the marketing niches for your particular film backwards and forwards. Prepare a number of different press releases highlighting the special interest appeal and make sure you can plug in the name of your festival contact to give it local relevance. When you're accepted to a new festival, you'll be ready to contact the local organizations with news of specific interest to them. When you learn about the festival's full lineup, you can create another press release highlighting the other films in the lineup that match up to those interests (being sure to focus on your own film, of course).

Example: When attending the Austin Film Festival in 2006, the makers of Prison Pups contacted the local Humane Society about the screening. Not only did the HS contact their members about the screening, but they also brought animals to the theater (with prior permission, of course) to add to the screening's appeal.

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