At Film Sprout, we believe that a film's power to elicit good in the world is more about your community and less about your venue. It's more about the cause and less about the critics. It's more about results and less about reviews. That's why we book thousands of community, campus and grassroots screenings each year for films with ambitions to do well by doing good.
Film Sprout founder and executive director Caitlin Boyle first broke new ground in independent film distribution in 2007, as the architect of a diverse national screening and outreach tour for the hit food documentary King Corn. As the film opened in select arthouse and independent cinemas, Caitlin was initially tasked with building support for the film’s theatrical release. But she soon felt a huge, untapped groundswell of demand from audiences outside major markets. With proactive nurturing of contacts and creative outreach to community stakeholders—from farmers, to nutritionists, to environmentalists and food justice activists—the film gained robust exposure in hundreds of far-flung community settings where it would have otherwise certainly been missed. Even better, community screening hosts were exhibiting the film in settings that inspired real dialogue, civic engagement, social action and community involvement. And the revenue from screenings outpaced theatrical box-office earnings.
The seeds of Film Sprout had emerged.
Since our initial experiments with King Corn, we’ve honed our model, perfected our approach and executed broadly successful community outreach and screening campaigns for more than a dozen award-winning feature documentaries. Along the way, we’ve facilitated thousands upon thousands of community screenings for our clients. Collectively, we’ve also helped them earn millions of dollars in distribution revenue. Meanwhile, we’ve worked behind the scenes to devise or advise the campaigns of more than 200 additional films.
Film Sprout now enjoys a six-year history of mobilizing local audiences to host, plan and showcase dynamic public screening events that support independent films and their makers. Understanding the power of grassroots settings to become vibrant forums for post-film discussion and community action, Film Sprout runs three major screening campaigns a year, and helps dozens of filmmakers yearly as they design, plan, fund and execute grassroots distribution initiatives on their own.
“Film Sprout understands the films they work with as well as their venues. They occupy a vital space in the complicated distribution landscape, skillfully booking important documentaries out there that need to be seen.”
“Film Sprout was the perfect partner for us. Not only did Caitlin Boyle and team help us find partners for community screenings, they helped the film make a real impact. They brought the film to new audiences week after week, raised awareness for the project and were simply a pleasure to work with.”
“Film Sprout is a wellspring of practiced and practical know-how for the documentarian who is looking to extend the reach and social impact of their unique project. And the results that come from the Film Sprout relationship! Outstanding!!”
“Caitlin Boyle has a depth of experience that allows her to pinpoint just how and where your project might be seen, and can persuasively describe those strategies in language that is at once practical and elegant. No one in the field has the ability and willingness to strengthen the alternative distribution plan of a grant proposal like Film Sprout.”
“Creating a distribution strategy that looks beyond traditional exhibition to locate audiences in their communities and organizations is increasingly essential to successful filmmaking, and no one does that or explains how to do it any better than Film Sprout.”
“Film Sprout’s work is absolutely stellar. Caitlin Boyle and her incredibly diligent staff took our pre-existing outreach relationships and built on them to create a stunning outreach campaign. I never imagined we could have gone as far and had as much influence as we have had, and much of the credit for that goes to Film Sprout.”
“We heart Film Sprout. Finding Caitlin Boyle and her team was a godsend. When our film first came out, we were overwhelmed with screening requests; Film Sprout stepped in, and with efficient, professional and friendly service, increased our screenings tenfold. We are still in awe and incredibly proud of the grassroots way in which our film reached so many people.”
“Making a film is one thing; enhancing the prospects that a film will have an enduring impact in the world is quite another. We are indebted to Film Sprout for providing the expertise that enabled us to craft an intelligent, creative and, above all, concrete strategy for our outreach and audience engagement campaign.”
“Reaching the college and community market was critical to our strategy. Film Sprout not only got us there, but also came up with other inventive ways of getting attention for the film…and earning us revenue.”
“Film Sprout secured hundreds of paid screenings of our film at festivals, museums, universities, and other non-theatrical venues around the world…and increased revenues and raised the profile of the film beyond what we could have done alone or with traditional distribution.”
“Film Sprout opened our eyes to new possibilities for non-theatrical distribution and the potential to reach a wider audience. As emerging filmmakers, we really value her spirit and passion for social justice films. A year after our world premiere at Tribeca in 2011, we still say to each other, “Remember when Caitlin said…”
“We would highly recommend that all filmmakers consider working with Caitlin Boyle and Film Sprout for their community outreach campaigns. Caitlin has experience, tenacity, imagination, patience, many connections,and passion…and is also simply very fun to work with.”
“Caitlin Boyle is the independent filmmaker’s ultimate Swiss Army knife. Her savvy, creativity and expertise in film distribution, communications and outreach make her an invaluable resource to any project.”