2021 Big Apple Film Festival

The State of Film Festivals and Distribution

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Stream began November 5, 2021 4:00 PM UTC
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Seasoned filmmakers Laura Heberton and Robert Machoian discuss the current state of the film festival and distribution landscape, and will provide advice and strategies to emerging filmmakers.


LAURA HEBERTON is a producer and writer of award-­winning, ground-breaking narrative and documentary films with a focus on strong storytelling by writer-directors bringing a unique perspective to the cinematic landscape. Superb cinematography is an important element of the films she produces. Notable features include Josephine Decker's Thou Wast Mild and Lovely and Butter on the Latch, Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-­Beck's God Bless the Child and When She Runs and most recently, Kate McLean and Mario Furloni's Freeland which premiered at SXSW 2020. Projects she has worked on have received support numerous times from prestigious organizations such as SFFILM/Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Gotham Film and Media Institute (formerly IFP), the Sundance Institute, US in Progress Poland, Austin Film Society, Rotterdam’s Cinemart and Rooftop Films. She is a Cannes Producing Fellow and a founding member of Video Consortium's Pittsburgh chapter. Laura serves on the boards and advisory committees of several arts organizations, including UnionDocs and Silver Eye Center for Photography, and has been a film festival juror multiple times. 


ROBERT MACHOIAN: Born in King City, California and raised in the DIY Punk Culture, Robert Machoian has been making films and taking photographs for nearly two decades. His multiple award-winning short and feature films have premiered at major festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and CPH:DOX. His subject matter often looks at the struggles of the middle class American family through a very naturalistic lens. Recent films include The Killing of Two Lovers (Sundance, 2020, available on Hulu and Apple TV), The Minors (Sundance, 2019), When She Runs (Tribeca, 2018) and God Bless the Child (SXSW, 2015).