Indie Film Lobbying In DC

I wasn't aware of this until it was too late, but there has been a fair amount of inquiry within the community about how we can build better relationships with our representatives.  There's probably never been a more critical time or an important one than now for a host of reasons.  There are critical issues being decided.  The MPAA has had it's budget cut by $20M!  Although the studios' issues sometimes conflict with the indies, generally we have all greatly benefited by their lobbying efforts.

Lloyd Kaufman of Troma films brought this apparently annual summit to my attention (after a tip from Peri!) via Facebook.  Unfortunately it was yesterday.
“Filmmakers on the Hill” -
Location: Capitol Hill – Rayburn Building Room 2203
Organized in association with the Office of Congresswoman Diane E. Watson, Hosted by the Congressional Entertainment Industries Caucus

Filmmakers come have your Mr. Smith moment. Formerly known as Advocacy Day, this Forum provides leading industry, legal and government experts the opportunity to discuss key issues that impact the independent film and media industry. In the past the panels covered varied subjects including: How to stimulate independent film production in the U.S.; creative new solutions for filmmakers struggling with financing, distribution issues and copyright licensing issues; new international financing opportunities and the role of governments in film production. DCIFF 2009 marks an expanded program with prominent speakers in two consecutive interactive panel sessions. This is a unique opportunity to hear concerns about the state of the independent film industry in the U.S..

9am - Meet & Greet – Meet your government representatives and other filmmakers.

10:00 - 11:15am: Session I:
A discussion of the ways in which American independent film strengthens the U.S. economy both domestically and abroad and how it is integral to the artistic and cultural profile of the United States. This industry is also an incubator for forward-looking digital innovation and technological advances. Considering its economic impact and cultural breadth in the global digital era, can legislation protect and nourish independent filmmaking and media? Data and research will be presented.

11:30am. – 1:00pm: Session II:
The challenges of making independent filmmaking sustainable by discussing options, incentives and realities under the umbrella of small business, taxes, distribution and location production costs. In particular, independent filmmaking is a potential engine of small business growth. The discussion will take on existing issues and creative ways of conceptualizing independent filmmaking in the context of state government involvement and incentives.