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By Film Threat Staff | October 3, 2007

The 4th Annual International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) will take place Dec. 2-4, 2007, in Las Vegas, at the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort.

An integral aspect of the IFFS is the platform it provides for film festival professionals to discuss and explore the advancement and promotion of their own film festivals. This is becoming an increasingly important concern of film festivals, as various technologies, distribution methods and marketing and sponsorship opportunities have evolved in the last several years and continue to do so.

On Monday, Dec. 3, a panel session, The “First Look” Advantage: Tapping the True Value of Your Festival Over the Next Five Years, will be moderated by Chris Hyams, the Founder and CEO of B-Side Entertainment.

“Festivals sit at the epicenter of a major shift in film distribution, driven by new technology and an explosion of quality programming. Regardless of whether they are large or small, niche-focused or broadly programmed, festivals must recognize their value and ready themselves to take advantage of this strategic position. Exploring these opportunities is what IFFS is all about, and I’m looking forward to a great event,” Hyams said.

The independent film landscape is changing rapidly, as the past five years has seen an explosion in the number of quality independent films produced annually. This has spurred on similar growth in the number of film festivals that have emerged to share these films with an audience.

Distribution models are adjusting to new technologies, expanded delivery platforms, the surplus of quality film programming and the “first look” proposition for undistributed films, meaning film festivals will play an increasingly strategic role in the transformation of these models. This interactive panel session will explore these transformations and frame the accelerating importance of film festivals, both small and large, within this larger industry shift.

The discussion will mention possible avenues that festivals can pursue to best take advantage of newer distribution methods. Panelists from distribution, advertising and festival thought-leadership will breakdown the formulas for maximizing the value of your festival by tackle topics such as: how using the “first look” position to tighten the links between your program and content buyers; creating branded distribution opportunities to attract the highest quality programming; gauging the value of your festival audience to online advertisers; and assessing how big your festival audience can really be.

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