Category Archives: The news

WILDLIKE: Interview with Writer, Director, Producer Frank Hall Green

WildLike Production Stills

Wildlike is a thrilling coming-of-age adventure! A troubled teen must face the dangers of the Alaskan wild, as well as her own past, in order to find her way home. We had an opportunity to speak with writer, director and producer Frank Hall Green to discuss his feature film’s public release. Wildlike, which stars Ella Purnell and Bruce Greenwood, screened to acclaim at the DC Independent FIlm Festival in March 2015.

Be sure to catch Wildlike in theaters starting Friday, September 25th!

Where did you find inspiration for to make Wildlike?

GREEN: The origin of Wildlike came from several aspects of my life and interests. The social issue in the film had become important to me over time and I became dedicated to presenting the events of Mackenzie’s assault in a truthful and effective way. As an issue, it’s under-represented and too easily discarded as a plot device in film and television storytelling, especially when you consider the scope of how many girls and women are affected and the grave damage done to a person in all related circumstances. I had an inherent desire to tell a story about a person on a trajectory into the outdoors of the out-of-doors. I realized I really wanted the landscapes to speak to this, and Alaska popped into my mind and stuck. So over time I married the idea of adventure, being lost in Alaska and healing in nature with the social issue of the film, which in turn would be the cause of Mackenzie running away, allowing me to explore deeper characters and present issues important to me in the movie.

What challenges did you face at different stages of production?

GREEN: Two distinct difficulties with Wildlike were developing the story and writing the script. As I wove the images, characters and environments together into a story, I then had to translate a very full head of what I thought I understood down onto the page, where suddenly it was a mess with little structure and many holes. So when I began to write each moment and realize I need moments in between, suddenly I needed to know what an action of a character means, what decisions will be made, how will the character develop, what exactly will they say or not say, and then I was stumped. I especially had to take frequent breaks and spoke to a close confidant on a daily basis while writing the Uncle’s part. Brian Geraghty had a similar difficulty in playing Uncle, and we shared that, and I commend him for stepping up and portraying Uncle with vigor.

WildLike Production Stills

What was your favorite aspect of making this film in particular?

GREEN: For me there is something precious and singular about accomplishing one’s first feature narrative film. Naturally, one would do the best one could with a feature, but I think there is a perspective of humility, care, awareness and perfection that is crucial. In relation to this, the film has to be worth it, which to me means different, fresh, original and with meaning. Directing and completing a feature is a beautiful thing for a writer/director because you are forced to rework the screenplay all the way through into the editing room. You realize a final product that was once a kernel of an idea or image. This is a tremendous benefit for a director who is also a writer, and who counts himself or herself as a practicing and learning filmmaker.

Do you have any advice regarding independent film distribution?

GREEN: Recently, several filmmakers have asked about our festival strategy and distribution.  To be fair, I did not have a plan for distribution different than the typical ‘go to big festival, sell the movie,’ but I was diligent and that has paid off. My advice would be to begin building a network of audience and collaborators. Every aspect of the filmmaking process should be to gather people into the fold of those who know your film and will support it.  This starts with family, crew, crew’s family and friends, all who helped on the production and and in post.  Add social media to that, during pre-production, and keep it going.  Then that circle can grow at film festivals, screenings, special events and anyone you meet in the meantime.  A distributor may or may not be willing to take on your film for any number of reasons, but you can prepare for the distribution conversation and offer by telling them you have been working on outreach and you’re ready to continue. They can distribute your film, but no one can market it grassroots-fashion like yourself.  For better or for worse, that is what indie films need.

What’s next for you? Any projects in the works?

GREEN: I have a development and production company with producer Tom Heller: Catch & Release Films. Tom and I have several books and materials that we have acquired for adaptation, so those are underway on the producing front.  For writing and directing, where does one go after Alaska? The pressure! No, seriously, I have several scripts, but I have not determined which is #2 yet. Rest assured the location will play a role. I hope I can arrange a great journey, physical and emotional, with poignant characters and restraint. I look forward to starting the independent film process over again!

Stay updated on DCIFF news and events by visiting our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tips for Promoting Your Film on Social Media

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere sign on white background.

Lights, camera, action and the film is in the can! You now have an incredible film to share with the world. Social media plays a huge role in self-distribution and digital marketing in the independent film industry.  This can be very intimidating, but with a clear brand and plan you can utilize its infinite reach and possibilities. Here are eight tips to help you have a more proficient marketing agenda.

1. Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience is more than having a grasp on the general demographics of your fans. It’s important to look closer and see exactly which mediums draw their attention. For instance, a younger crowd might be primarily interested in Instagram where an audience over 35 is more in-tune with Facebook. Once you have an understanding of your people and their favorite media outlets, then be sure to have a corresponding voice.

2. Embrace Your Brand

Before you can relate to others, you must have a strong understanding of yourself. Your film is a product and it deserves a bold brand. This entails more than sticking to a color scheme, logo and tone. It’s important to play into your film’s genre. For example, emphasis Halloween if you have a horror film or Valentine’s Day with a more romantic story. This may seem obvious, but it’s important to not overlook these natural opportunities.

3. Post Consistently

Keeping to a regular schedule is a good way to make social media a habitual part of your marketing plan. It doesn’t have to be aggressive as long as it’s manageable and regular. Two to three tweets per day, two to three posts on Instagram and Facebook per week is a great starting point. The activity can increase during special events, but it’s important to keep a constant flow on your feed when in between high points.

4. Behind-the-Scenes

Let your audience see behind the camera. As much as people love watching films to escape reality, they also like to be able to relate beyond the picture. Posting a short interview with one of the actors on Facebook or a few production stills on Instagram can help engage more curious admires and ultimately build a stronger overall fan-base.

5. Be Part of the Conversation

No one wants yesterday’s news. Engage in breaking industry news and stories. Following major online and print publications on Twitter and Facebook can help to maintain up-to-date engagement. By tweeting headlines, retweeting related industry news and sharing current events you’ll show your followers you have your head in the game. Always be sure to tag and credit your sources. You never know when they may start following you or share one of your brilliant tweets.

6. Multi-Media

In the business of moving pictures, we’re blessed with the ability to use all types of media. Always incorporate video, still images and well throughout (and proof-read) text into your posts. This is a great way to show off your creativity beyond your actual film.

7. Work and Play

All work and no play is no fun. Whether or not your film has a serious plot, the movie making business can be stifling at times. Have some fun, especially getting involved with your audience. Post a silly production still on Instagram or a funny BuzzFeed quiz on Facebook. As always, be sure these posts are appropriate and on-brand. This material can be sprinkled into the ‘hard news’ and original content that makes up the bulk of your marketing material.

8. What Goes Where

Although all social media outlets seem to be intertwined, it’s important to keep each post tailored to that medium and audience. Posting the same photo on Instagram and Facebook is fine, but try to modify the caption a bit or include different hashtags. You want your audience to follow all of your feeds so best not to have exactly duplicated posts. Entice them to see something different on another one of your accounts.

Stay updated on DCIFF news and events by visiting our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Interview with DCIFF Alum Channing Godfrey Peoples



We are honored to feature one of our alumna filmmakers, Channing Godfrey Peoples. As a director, writer and actress, Channing continues to create engaging and entertaining movies. Her films are recognized and honored by various film festivals along with being chosen as a Sundance Screenwriting Intensive Fellow this year.

DCIFF: What inspires and motivates you to be involved with independent film?

Channing:  I initially became interested in telling stories, because I am a profoundly curious person that is interested in life. I am passionate about storytelling. It is as present for me as breathing, so once I found it, I knew it was for me and I never considered abandoning it. I am always working on some element of filmmaking whether writing, directing or acting. Filmmaking is where I feel most present, most free and most myself. I never stray far away. It also helps to have a strong faith and be a determined person.

DCIFF: How has the film festival circuit impacted your film Red?

Channing: I am very grateful for my short film Red’s journey. It has allowed me to connect with incredible audiences that have been appreciative and supportive of the film, as well as other artists who inspire my own journey. It also helps being able to attend amazing festivals such as the DC Independent Film Festival, which I enjoyed immensely!

See the trailer for Red here. Learn more about the film on the website and on Facebook.

Red Poster  Red Still                                                               Red, production still

DCIFF: Tell us about Miss Juneteenth. Where are you in the production process?

Channing: My feature script, Miss Juneteenth is currently still in the re-writing process and my primary focus is on the script. I recently had the great opportunity to workshop it in the Sundance Screenwriters Intensive Lab in Los Angeles, which was invaluable in pushing the script forward. The project is in development and based in my hometown of Ft. Worth, Texas, where we recently spent time researching, securing our shooting locations and doing some preliminary casting. We are currently seeking creative collaborators on the film. We are shooting partially in the same community where we shot my short film Red, so we have the experience of shooting in the region.

Our next step is crowdfunding, seeking financing and applying for support to bring the film to life.

DCIFF: What did you personally gain from the Sundance Writers’ workshop?

Channing:  I was seeking a way to take my feature script, Miss Juneteenth, to a more profound emotional level and the Sundance Screenwriters Intensive was supportive of that goal. I had the great fortune of being advised by incredibly talented workshop leaders, staff and advisers who work professionally in film and television. Sundance offered a safe space to look deeper into the emotional journey of my story. The lesson for me was to connect to my character through my own personal life experiences and be open to fresh possibilities for the film.

Keep up with Channing’s film career and extraordinary projects by following her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also view her director reel here.

Stay updated on DCIFF news and events by visiting our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


DCIFF 2015, That’s A Wrap!

We tip our hats to the incredible filmmakers, attendees and staff members who made this year’s DC Independent Film Festival a spectacular and memorable event! We had an impressive turnout of over 4,000 attendees to numerous screenings and workshops led by the industry’s finest. The unique nature of this festival based in the nation’s capital draws international attention to the films and filmmakers. It’s great to have such strong support from both the local and international community, which allows this festival to be more than only screening fantastic films. A shout out to two of this year’s sponsors: Peets Coffee and The Tabard Inn which added a special filmic touch for our VIPS. We have grown into a community made possible by the trust and support of our new and alumni filmmakers. Thank you for sharing your work with our community and for being such an essential part of the event itself.

tabard room image

The top award, Best of Fest, went to Three Windows and a Hanging directed by Isa Qosja. The exceptional quality in films this year really stood out at both the professional and high school levels. Christopher Scribner took home the Best High School Film award for his film Three Wishes, One Choice. In addition to the screenings, our workshops stimulated lively discussion. Thank you to our seminar leaders for volunteering your time and sharing invaluable knowledge and experiences.  See a full list of award-winners here.

Looking forward to the 2016 festival, we plan to include more alternative, interactive and experimental events such as this year’s well-attended virtual experience of a different reality through film. Over a hundred participants came to experience Emiliano Ruprah’s one-of-a-kind virtual immersive screening of Snake River. The strong interest and positive response encourages us to continue pushing the boundaries when it comes to what our attendees can expect in terms of film technology and new ways of experiencing film. Learn more about this unique film project here and on the DCIFF blog.

We’re excited to announce our new involvement with D.C. based productions to help our alumni filmmakers bring their feature projects to life. Please email for more information about how you can invest in local film projects as DCIFF morphs into a festival with a production wing. Being part of a filmmaking venture can be the thrill of a lifetime, a chance for exposure and a runaway media success.

What else is DCIFF doing in 2015? Link to our Facebook page to stay updated about our other scheduled events for this year, including “Going to the Movies” where author and D.C. area cinema historian Robert Headley will talk on the now-closed landmark Sheridan Theater (April 18th, 2:30pm at Shepherd Park Neighborhood Library) and the place of movie theaters in D.C.’s cultural history. Later in the year look for our summertime eco-drive-in movie extravaganza.

Thank you to everyone involved in making this year’s event one to remember! Stay updated on DCIFF news and events by visiting our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.