Katra Film Series Streams Independent Film Festivals with Endavo

Despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and “the new normal,” Katra Film Series founder Geoffrey Guerrero knew he needed a way to support his network of independent filmmakers and bring their content to the digital world. With the help of Endavo’s platform and the FOOTPRINT Network, Guerrero began streaming film festivals and other events to an online audience.

June 2012

Geoffrey launched the Katra Film Series

100+

Film screenings per year

37

Shorts and feature films lined up for the Katra Summer Series

Why Endavo?

“Endavo has done a tremendous job getting us off the ground [when COVID-19 hit]. It’s been a seamless process.”

– Geoffrey Guerrero, Founder & Executive Director, Katra Film Series

Background

Guerrero founded Katra Film Series back in 2012 after experiencing a lack of opportunities and outlets for independent filmmakers to showcase their works.

As an award-winning writer, director, and producer himself, Guerrero inherently understood the business and the needs of other like-minded creators. And so, every season, Guerrero and his team set out to curate a selection of quality films, web series, and digital works that audiences can vote for. At the end of the year, the top works compete in a grand finale event for over $50K in prizes.

“We provide a quality-driven experience for filmmakers,” explained Guerrero. “They can have a drink, meet fellow filmmakers, and win tangible prizes. That’s one of our main selling points — getting the chance to secure tens of thousands of dollars in free studio time, state of the art cameras, industry resources, workshops and screenwriting software that can take these creators to the next level and allow them to continue making films.”

Today, Katra Film Series is ranked in the top 100 film festivals by Film Freeway. In addition to screening films, they also showcase host panel discussions, competitions, and workshops. Guerrero is also the co-founder of the Bowery Film Festival.

The Challenge

In the aftermath of the global pandemic and the mass cancellation of in-person events, Guerrero knew he had to pivot in order to keep Katra Film Series alive. The company was facing some big challenges, including:

  • Inability to host in-person events for the foreseeable future.
  • Sponsors were pulling out, and securing sponsorship was immediately more difficult.
  • Independent filmmakers still needed a way to showcase their works while also networking and connecting with other industry creators.

To solve these challenges, Guerrero enlisted the help of Endavo.

The Solution

When you run a business that’s centered around events, it’s incredibly challenging to change strategies. With Endavo’s streaming platform, however, Guerrero was quickly able to get the ball rolling and start live streaming Katra Film Series events.

“Having a live event is very important because that’s how filmmakers meet people,” he said. “And so what we miss is having somewhere to network and connect with others.”

Katra Film Series began streaming events on the FOOTPRINT Network in order to showcase the works of independent filmmakers and give them a space to connect with and reach new audiences. They were also able to monetize with donations and event tickets as a way to supplement the decrease in sponsorships. In addition, Endavo provides integrated interactive features on the platform, such as Zoom, so Katra can create panels and group conversations to connect and engage its community online.

“Without a doubt, Endavo definitely solved a lot of problems right off the bat when we were just trying to figure out what to do next,” Guerrero said.

Next on the docket? Katra Film Series plans to stream its largest virtual event yet on August 24-28. Known as The Summer Series, the festival will feature 30 shorts and seven features from around the world.

“Endavo has done a heck of a job and the communication has been flawless. They’ve been on top of their game.”

– Geoffrey Guerrero, Founder & Executive Director, Katra Film Series

The Future

Through streaming, Guerrero discovered a new way to reach audiences on a larger scale and plans to leverage that reach well into the future.

“We would definitely love to continue working with Endavo,” he shared. “We’d love for the films to have an afterlife on a channel…that’s definitely something I’m very interested in exploring.”

As for the immediate future, Guerrero and his team aren’t slowing down. There’s the Fall Festival that’s in the works for October, followed by the Bowery Film Festival in November. There’s also Katra LATINX, a festival that’s dedicated to “empowering, highlighting, and launching the careers of emerging Latino short filmmakers from around the world.”

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