A few days ago, the New York Times posted an interview of my client, Shola Lynch about her experiences as a high school and collegiate athlete, and how the competition that sports foster helped her to become a successful individual.
If you don’t know who Shola Lynch is yet, then (1) you clearly haven’t been reading my blog, and (2) you wouldn’t know that she is an award-winning filmmaker working on her second documentary film.
The reason I’m so excited is that Shola actually talked about her film, Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, in the NY Times article!!!
Free Angela is a documentary that chronicles the real-life drama surrounding the manhunt, arrest, trial and eventual acquittal of Angela Davis in 1972.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the acquittal of this political activist, educator and author, and the film is nearing completion.
You must know that I’ve been actively working on developing Shola’s online, mobile and social media strategy for the film.
We’re actively working on launching the website and mobile site (and hopefully a mobile app), as well as a promotional mix-tape and soundtrack. I can barely contain my excitement whenever I think about the music – but I digress.
I harass her constantly about letting the world know all the wonderful things that have been happening behind the scenes.
Like the fact that Vernon Reid is composing music for the score, and a few power house filmmakers (whose names I can’t mention yet) have already shown the movie love.
I’m all over her to post updates to Facebook, tweet and generally tell the world about the film.
In all fairness to Shola, she has been editing the movie, and she’s currently in Oakland, where she just shared the movie with Angela.
And to her credit, Shola likes to have her hands in everything related to her films (as should any good filmmaker), so I can’t be too hard on her.
And she’s getting better about posting and tweeting, and generally not holding (too many) things too close to the vest.
But now that the cat’s out of the bag, I’m going to be all over her to make sure that we let everyone know that the film is nearly done!
I’ve already sent her an agenda for our next meeting when she get’s back from Oakland.
I’m not even the first blogger to talk about the fact that the cat’s out of the bag.
Indie Wire reported yesterday that the film is almost done, and that they’re looking forward to it too.
With independent films, buzz like this is invaluable.
And using personal networks and social media are essential.
Unlike the big production studios, which have millions of dollars to make and promote films, independent filmmakers have to be much more resourceful (and scrappy) not only to make their films, but to get them before audiences.
More likely than not, you won’t see most independent films on the big screens of AMC or Clearview.
You might catch them in a festival or art house theater, because unfortunately, independent films don’t get the love of their better financed feature-film cousins.
But that doesn’t mean that they don’t do well.
Quite the contrary, an independent film, that leverages the filmmaker’s personal network and the power of social media, can do quite well.
One of Shola’s good friends (and fellow filmmaker) Ava Duvernay is proof positive of this paradigm.
Ava is an award-winning filmmaker herself.
Her films have done remarkably well, and her innovative approach to marketing and promoting independent films led to the creation of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, which gives independent black filmmakers access to wider screening.
And Shola’s ‘sista girl’ squad is full of social media heavy hitters, like Michaela Angela Davis and Sidra Smith, who all love Shola, and are ready, willing and able to help her spread the word about her film.
We’re working on quite a few tasty treats to help grow our audience online.
We’re asking folks to visit both pages and share! share! share!
I’ll be sure to let you know when the trailer is available, and when we launch some of these online campaigns for the film, so stay tuned!