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Independent filmmakers have a hard time getting their foot in the door. It's very difficult to get an audience for low-budget movies from directors who are unknown. This doesn't mean that those films and directors are bad. It just means that they need support from inside the industry. If a film is not seen by someone with influence in the industry, there’s little chance it will succeed in the mainstream.


There are many ways filmmakers can try to get their film in front of producers who will take their work to the next level. They can pitch directly to producers and distributors, gather an audience online, screen their work at local movie screenings, take part in film festivals, and so on. The exposure independent filmmakers can get from these methods is considerable. However, their chances of getting discovered by influential Hollywood producers are minimal. This is where the Producer's Night comes into play.

What is Producer's Night? 


Producer's Night is an opportunity for independent filmmakers to have their work screened for film industry professionals at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in West Hollywood. Producers, distributors, directors, and actors will be among the group of attendees at this private invite-only event. The exclusive screening is presented by Cinematory and the Tarkovski Agency and will show the best of independent cinema from the past year's film festivals. The first edition will take place on December 9th, 2022.


The work screened that night will be selected from entrants of 24 American and International Partner Film Festivals. Pieces will include Super Shorts, Trailers, and Excepts from Feature Length films. Each clip will receive an introduction by the Host of Ceremonies as well as listed in the program with the filmmaker’s contact information. This exposure can lead to new relationships and possibly partnerships between the independent filmmakers and people who work in the mainstream film industry.


As elusive and inaccessible as Hollywood green-lighters seem to be, they really do need to continually find new content and new creators. We offer the Producer’s Night as an opportunity for industry professionals to get a peek at emerging talent and unique voices in a relaxed atmosphere. The work of the directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, editors, designers, and actors from the selected pieces will all be on display that evening and might catch someone’s eye. Getting the work looked at is the main objective of this event.

How to participate in Producer's Night?


Producers attending this event expect the best of rising talent. This is why filmmakers cannot simply submit their films to participate. The participants need to go through a series of filters in order to qualify.


Filmmakers first need to enter a partner film festival, such as the Toronto Arthouse Film Festival, Boston Short Film Festival, Brussels Independent Film Festival, Venice Film Week, Super Shorts London, Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival, among others. Out of over 25,000 entries from the partner film festivals,  a handful of films will be selected for Producer's Night, where noteworthy film excerpts will be screened. The selection committee will pick the films based on talent, no matter the genre, length, budget, and appeal. This way, every filmmaker has a chance to get valuable exposure.

What's next?


Producer's Night aims to find the best rising talents and getting them the right support from influential Hollywood producers. Independent filmmakers know just how important exposure is to succeed in this industry. Now, they have a new way of showcasing their art directly to the people who matter. If you're a talented independent filmmaker who needs exposure, enter your film in one of the qualifying film festivals for a chance to be part of Producer's Night.

Producer's Night 2022


The Producer's Night core selection committee will be joined each year by a select team of international film industry veterans.

Maarten Cornelis is an entertainment veteran with experience in the industry stretching over two decades.  He is an Actor, Producer, Light Designer, and Director, and has rubbed shoulders with some of the great artists in the world.  He is a known Light Design and Producer on Broadway, in NYC, and is a frequent guest Light Designer at the exclusive, Carnegie Hall.


Over the years, Maarten has worked as Technical Director at various venues and has had the honor of designing the lights for numerous live events, working for Francis Ford Coppola, Stephen Rivkin, Lloyd J. Schwartz, Martin Landau, Mark Rydell, Dino De Laurentiis, Ennio Morricone, John Legend, Common, Jerry Seinfeld, and many more.


In 2020, Maarten became a partner at the newly renovated “Park Theatre” in Union City, NJ, where he produces a lot of his own events and theatre productions.  He currently has running productions in New York City and Los Angeles – these productions include Frankenstein, Wicked City Blues, King of the Lighthouse, and FunikiJam.


Maarten worked as an Entertainment Specialist for Rocket Video in Los Angeles from 2002 to 2005. Although having studied film at school, it is here that he learned everything about cinema.  From the best independent cinema to the experimental, and from the blockbuster to the classic.  His job was to work with world famous directors and The Academy and help them with their research on upcoming projects.  Ultimately, introducing him to many filmmakers and masterpieces of cinema.


Maarten is a graduate of the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles.  He was also the leader of their in-house theatre company “The September Company” from 2002 to 2005.


Kris De Meester is a director, producer, and entrepreneur known for his independent films. He started his career in 1990, taking on different roles with many of the film industry’s finest. Over the decades, he has teamed up with numerous award-winning directors. Such included big names like Lars von Trier, Terence Davies, Thomas Vinterberg, Timo Vuorensola, Wolfgang Becker, Philippe Grandrieux, and Koen Mortier.

With a genuine conviction that environments can affect human behavior, the cinema producer translated his theory into the writing of two feature films. His esteemed direction in both put him in the limelight and accelerated his reputation on the global film scene.

At the same time, Kris also took on roles as a casting director in a number of films. His repertoire includes titles such as "A Quiet Passion", "Ex Drummer", "Ich und Kaminski" and "Un Lac". He was also the casting director for "Nymphomaniac" Volumes I & II. Meanwhile, as a producer, Kris has worked on dozens of award-winning independent films to date. Such include "Little Wing", "Vessels", "Share with me Your Brightest Colors", "Menthol", and "All About the Feathers". In recent years, he joined Hal Hartley as an executive producer in the production of the feature film “Where to Land” that has yet to be released.

With time, the director and producer’s acclaimed reputation and deep understanding of cinema steered him to become a film curator in the vibrant film festival landscape. Since 2015, he has taken part as a global curator in many mainstay events such as the Brussels Independent Film Festival, the Venice Film Week, the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, Super Shorts London Film Festival, and the Sydney World Film Festival.

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