Christian Parton, the founder and CEO of short film funding company Genera, talks about how his own filmmaking inspired the company's inception, how other filmmakers can apply for the funding on offer, and his ambition to fund feature films in the future.
Hello Christian, thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Genera will be a God-send to most filmmakers desperate for more avenues to funding short films. Can you tell us exactly what Genera is and how it came to be?
Genera is a short film funding platform that exists to serve filmmakers worldwide. Set up to provide funding 4 times a year, with the additional benefit of perks, discounts and offers from our growing list of partners.
As a filmmaker myself, Genera was something that I found myself looking for. A platform where filmmakers could apply for funding, without the complicated conditions, multiple rounds and the need to relinquish creative control. A simple process, an alternative to the time consuming, expensive crowdfunding routes.
I knew what I needed as a filmmaker, but it simply did not exist. So, I created it!
If you can hear us over the cries of 'huzzah' from filmmakers all over the world, how does the selection process work?
The process itself is similar to submitting to a film festival so it’s a process that as filmmakers we understand.
The Main Round is for applications for funding of up to £5,000, awarded quarterly and open for submissions 365 days a year. The application process is quick and simple, sign up and create a profile. These main rounds close at midnight on March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and December 31st.All the projects submitted are considered for funding and a number are shortlisted.After the submission of further information the panel of judges make the final selection.Winning projects are offered funding and/or free kit hire.
Once you’ve applied to the main round you can take advantage of the many deals and discounts on our partners page.
Our Snap Rounds are smaller and we work more closely with our partners to provide cash, services, or both to filmmakers. These usually run for 4-6 weeks prior to closure and selection of winners. Previous rounds have included £500 cash prizes, free colour grading, free premium mandy.com membership. Our latest Snap Round offers free and discounted London Film Academy Producing Certificate Courses.
Word about the support you're offering must be spreading like wildfire. What is it you particularly look for in the applications you receive?
The quality of the story is critically important and at the heart of our decision! Unlike other platforms at Genera we don’t have to tick boxes, asking irrelevant questions about the filmmaker’s backgrounds, we can simply fund the best stories that we believe need to be told.
And once a project is selected for funding, can you tell us what happens next?
Once a project has been chosen for funding, we will make the offer to the filmmaker, if they accept the funding (we haven’t had anyone not!) it is a very simple process. Again we don’t then hold the money back until delivery, as some platforms do, we simply get the details of our filmmakers and they usually have the money in their accounts within a few days.
Can you tell us about some of the projects you’ve been involved with already?
Genera was established in 2017 and, as of July 2018, our main rounds alone have funded 26 films. These are from a wide variety of genres and are all at different stages of production. Many of the films that have been finished have already been enjoying successful film festival runs.
What are your hopes for the company in future? Which for most filmmakers reading this really means, 'you're not leaving any time soon are you?'
Genera will keep growing, as more and more filmmakers look for alternative funding that actually allows them to make their films, the more funding and deals we can offer. You never know one day we could start funding or part funding features!
And finally, for you, what is the best thing about Genera and what it's able to offer filmmakers?
The unique thing about Genera is there are no strings attached to the funding. Filmmakers need the cash to make their films. Unfortunately with things the way they stand filmmakers are forced to go through lengthy process to acquire funding, which are often more concerned about politics than filmmaking. Certainly the feedback, when we’ve been speaking to filmmakers, is they have to sacrifice integrity and control in order to use these platforms because their isn’t anything else… well now there is.
You can follow Genera on Twitter: @GeneraFilms
For more information about Genera visit their website.