Karin-Diamond and Steve Sullivan - Cyprus International Film Festival - 2013

Sullivan, Steve

Happy Hours - World Premiere launch at Cyprus International Film Festival

Co-writers/co-directors Steve Sullivan and Karin Diamond were supported to attend the World Premiere of a significant new independent feature film from Wales, Happy Hours at an international film festival (8th Cyprus International Film Festival) 25-28 October 2013.

Upon their return, Steve reported:

"Happy Hours is a comedy feature film, made entirely independently in Wales. We were accepted into the Cyprus International Film Festival in 2013.

After self-funding the film over seven years, my co-producer Karin Diamond and I were not in a position to be able to afford to launch a feature film on the international circuit in a huge way, but when we were invited to have our World Premiere at the Cyprus International Film Festival we were delighted to accept.

We wouldn’t have been able to afford to attend the World Premiere were it not for the very generous support of WAI. Your support enabled us to further our practice by having an international screening for the work. It was an amazing feeling to hear laughter from complete strangers, in another part of the world, and a much needed boost for both the work, myself as a filmmaker and Karin as producer and writer. To know that through film we were able to communicate to an international audience who understood and appreciated a surreal romantic comedy feature from Wales was a great experience.

Everyone stayed for the Q&A and the audience’s response was really positive. This experience has helped us develop confidence and much needed experience for our future creative practice.

A deeper understanding of the costs of launching a feature film, even onto the art house cinema circuit. Knowledge of how being in an overseas film festival can be a rich experience in terms of contacts, knowledge gained and confidence about your work based on an audience’s reaction, but also the understanding that it can be a financially costly experience in terms of fees, travel, accommodation and especially promotion of the film in order to try and generate an audience. It was so vital and appreciated that WAI was able to help meet some of these costs, but by going to one festival with Happy Hours we gained the understanding that to try and continue with festival distribution would be financially impossible.

The biggest gain from the experience, was the interesting exchange of views amongst other filmmakers about the international problems of independent film financing. From their experiences, we improved our knowledge of how online platforms can be used for crowd funding and audience building, as well as drastically reducing the costs of distribution for independent filmmakers.

The seminar made me realise that online distribution and crowd funding via the internet was a possible direction I could take for my future projects. The reassurance gained in Cyprus that others were doing exactly that with their own films was a huge factor in my looking for a new project. It had to be one that I could reach out to an online community in order to help achieve. This has borne fruit with my new film, Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story which was successfully crowd funded through Kickstarter."

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