IFP closes the Made in NY Media Center – Exclusivity
The common hub for New York filmmakers and IFP staff was launched in 2012.
The IFP has closed the Made in New York Media Center, the common workspace and the educational center that housed its staff and housed the headquarters of IFP Week since 2012. The space, located in the DUMBO district of Brooklyn , also included a projection room with 72 seats. and a coffee. IFP Executive Director Jeff Sharp told IndieWire the organization was about to sign a lease for a new office across the street to accommodate its team of 15, although she did not expect not to open at full capacity for the foreseeable future, and currently plans to host IFP Week online remain unchanged.
“When it became clear that we couldn’t charge rent to our tenants or our members, it started to raise huge questions about the feasibility of the space,” said Sharp. “Like just about everyone in the past few months, we’ve observed that virtually every business that depends on people working together has suffered tremendous consequences.”
Yet even as countless arts organizations have suffered cutbacks and closures since the start of the pandemic, the media center‘s closure concludes a unique attempt to create a multi-purpose hub for New York’s film community. The 18,000 square foot space was maintained through a mix of corporate sponsorships, New York City support, and short-term rental work areas. The IFP itself only occupied 10 percent of the total space, and other entities like the Union of Independents rented individual offices. The space also included a podcast studio, networking opportunities, and the proceedings for the Gotham Awards, among many other events.
The IFP put three full-time staff involved in space operations on leave earlier in the summer, but Sharp said it did not plan for further cuts. “We knew that without the fully operational media center, we had no role for the media center staff,” he said. Nonetheless, he made a distinction between the business decision and the functionality of the organization as a whole. “The closure of the media center is not a reflection of the financial health of the organization or its future,” he said.
Sharp said the new office rental could provide opportunities for gatherings if they become viable over time. “We have a really great new space that will allow us to continue programming some of the events and other courses that we have taken at the media center,” he said. “It will not be at the same level as before, but it will allow a safe workspace.”
Before the pandemic, the Made in NY Center was finding new ways to use space, including a new IFP EDU program for East Coast colleges that has morphed into an online internship program. ; some small independent production companies, such as Killer Films, had also started working there. “Before the pandemic, it was a space that required the support, hard work and passion of a lot of people,” said Sharp.
When the center was launched in 2012, former executive director Joana Vicente described it in a press conference with then-mayor Michael Bloomberg as “an incubator for great stories and a showcase for new works, whether told through film, digital, games, or applications.
Despite the fanfare around its potential, the location of the DUMBO-based Made in NY Center has always proven to be a mixed blessing for a non-profit film designed to support the kind of artists unlikely to afford a living. in such an expensive neighborhood. part of town. In recent weeks, Sharp said, the organization has taken advantage of the posting of its programming. “The growth of our membership and the attendees of our panels and other events are numbers we would never have seen in the screening room,” he said, citing a recent virtual conversation with the star of “The Last Black Man in San Francisco “Jonathan Majors as the actor attended from Santa Fe.” For us, IFP is less of a place than a real community that lives far beyond DUMBO. There is an opportunity there. “
Meanwhile, Sharp has confirmed that the Gotham Awards, which typically serve as IFP’s annual fundraiser and the season’s first major awards show, will be postponed to a later date that has yet to be confirmed. He added that IFP Week entries had reached record numbers and that the same key sponsors involved in the 2019 edition – including Netflix, HBO and SAG Indie – remained committed, along with a new market for content. audio. “The creative community has never been so vital,” he said. “It gives us all hope.”