WE ARE FILM SPROUT

Film Sprout is a consulting and distribution firm that helps social-issue filmmakers create
robust community and campus screening initiatives for their documentaries.

POINT OF VIEW

  • 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.

    1.
    Campaigns

    Film Sprout runs screening campaigns for a small slate of documentary features each year. We book hundreds of grassroots screenings for our films, creating a dynamic and effective platform for our filmmakers’ social-action priorities.
    2.
    Consultation

    Film Sprout consultations assist filmmakers who wish to use film screenings as a forum for community action. Offering tactical and strategic support, our consultations range from single sessions to ongoing guidance over the course of a film’s public life.
    3.
    Collateral

    Film Sprout creates customized film discussion guides, action postcards, screening swag and action tool kits. Our materials facilitate the creative use of film in classroom conversations, on-the-ground organizing, grassroots activism and civic debate.

Portfolio

  • All
  • Consulting
  • Campaigns
  • Collateral
Our work runs the gamut from single-hour consulting sessions to year-long, high-intensity screening campaigns—and everything in between. Take a peek at a sampling of the work we’ve done, the range of films we’ve had the pleasure of working on and the scope of our engagement with each.

Vessel

Campaigns

DamNation

Campaigns

The Invisible War

Collateral / Campaigns

Gideon’s Army

Consulting

1971

Consulting / Collateral

After Tiller

Consulting

Alive Inside

Consulting

Race to Nowhere

Consulting / Collateral

The End of the Line

Campaigns

Brave Miss World

Collateral / Consulting

Unfinished Spaces

Collateral / Campaigns

A Small Act

Campaigns

Bag It

Collateral / Campaigns

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Campaigns

Women, War & Peace

Consulting / Collateral

War on Whistleblowers

Collateral

Shooting Poverty

Collateral

King Corn

Campaigns

ADDITIONAL CLIENTS

American Promise
Herb and Dorothy 50×50
After Tiller
Money for Nothing
Born This Way
A Will for the Woods
Killing the Messenger
Future Weather
The Ghosts in Our Machine
Herman’s House
Code of the West
American Meat
Bidder 70
Concrete, Steel & Paint
Mothers of Bedford
We Women Warriors
There Once Was an Island
In Organic We Trust
Plastic Paradise
The Winding Stream
Growing Cities
Touch the Wall
La Camioneta
The Harvest
The Light in Her Eyes
La Source
Where Soldiers Come From
Priceless
The Revolutionary
Flat Daddy
Deaf Jam
Connected
My Perestroika
The City Dark
If A Tree Falls
These Amazing Shadows
Give Up Tomorrow
Paul Goodman Changed My Life
The Greenhorns
Yogawoman
The Welcome
A Life Ascending
Reject
The Human Experiment
Paul Taylor: Creative Domain
Tough Love
Fordson: Faith-Fasting-Football
One Lucky Elephant
Truck Farm
Surviving Hitler: A Love Story
Sync or Swim
The Fight for Our Lives
Saint Misbehavin’
Vlast
Barbershop Punk
After Happily Ever After
Family Affair
Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1,000
To Catch a Dollar
21 Below
Ingredients
Grown in Detroit
For Once In My Life
The Good Soldier
Free Swim
Schooling the World
Wrenched
Running Wild
Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine
Remote Area Medical
The Good Soldier
Ghost Bird
Dirt! The Movie
Vanishing of the Bees
The Playground
Bomb It!
For the Next Seven Generations
Children of War
Sunshine
The Garden
The English Surgeon
Scenes from a Parish
Secrecy
Tapped
Mindgate Media
The Dhamma Brothers
Note By Note
The War on Kids
Follow the Leader
Showing Up
Gold Fever
American Revolutionary
Age of Love
Awake

KEEP IN TOUCH

We’d love to keep you posted on new projects, special workshops and other highlights of our work.
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People

  • TEAM
  • STORY
  • CAITLIN BOYLE
    CAITLIN BOYLE executive director

    Caitlin Boyle, executive director

    A pioneer of grassroots distribution for independent films, Caitlin began her career as a journalist, working on staff at NPR affiliates WFIU and WFUV and at New York’s flagship PBS station, WNET. She graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University in 2003, with a degree in American history, and completed a Master’s in journalism from the Indiana University Graduate School of Journalism in 2005. After founding Film Sprout in 2009, she became a leading voice for the nontraditional distribution of documentary films in community settings, and a champion of films’ power to effect grassroots social change. Her presentations on grassroots film distribution have rallied filmmakers at SXSW, Hot Docs, IFP, Sheffield Doc/Fest, RIDM, Los Angeles Film Festival, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and The New York Foundation for the Arts, among others. She serves on the board of Brooklyn documentary center UnionDocs, and has participated in the advisory board of NYU’s Cinema Research Institute and the documentary advisory committee of the Paley Center for Media.

    ALLIE PADDOCK
    ALLIE PADDOCK campaign director

    Allie Paddock, campaign director

    Coming to Film Sprout in early 2012 with a passion for igniting community engagement through artistic media, Allie holds a B.A. in religion from Columbia University. She joined Film Sprout as an intern, coordinating the audience research effort behind Film Sprout’s five-city showcase tour of the documentary Unfinished Spaces. Allie later grew into a role as a Campaign Coordinator, supporting community event bookings for the Oscar-nominated The Invisible War. Now, as Campaign Director, Allie spearheads bookings and audience outreach for the 2014 environmental documentary DamNation. Outside of Film Sprout, she is a member of New York City’s interactive improv company, Playing With Reality.
    CARLA FLEISHER
    CARLA FLEISHER campaign director

    CARLA FLEISHER, campaign director

    Carla re-joined the Film Sprout team in 2014, after a two-year role at as Programs and Media officer at the nonprofit Peace is Loud, where she lead outreach initiatives for films spotlighting women peacebuilders. Previously, Carla served as Community Outreach Coordinator for the PBS series Women, War & Peace; as a Project Coordinator for the documentary production company Wicked Delicate; and as a Campaign Coordinator at Film Sprout, where she first supported Film Sprout’s community screening campaigns. She returns to Film Sprout to assume the role of Campaign Director, and holds a B.A. in philosophy-neuroscience-psychology from Washington University in St. Louis.
    KATY JACOBS
    KATY JACOBS resource coordinator

    Katy Jacobs, resource coordinator

    A graduate of New York University’s Institute of Film and Television, Katy brings to Film Sprout a background in programming and operations for a diverse slate of film institutions, including The Paley Center for Media, Hamptons International Film Festival, Filmwax and DOCNYC. Currently full-time Manager of Public Programs at The Paley Center, Katy coordinates research and content creation for Film Sprout’s discussion guide service.
    ED MORGAN
    ED MORGAN graphic designer

    Ed Morgan, graphic designer

    Specializing in graphic and print design, website development, motion graphics and photography, Ed oversees design for Film Sprout’s custom-made film discussion guides, audience action materials, promotional artwork and DVD packaging. Ed also manages the design company Empty the Sunrise, based in Astoria, OR.
    BRYANA ARLINGTON
    BRYANA ARLINGTON research intern

    Bryana Arlington, research intern

    Bryana is a recent alumnus of Montclair State University, where she graduated magna cum laude in documentary television production and sociology. In the past year, Bryana has traveled to the Middle East and Africa to work on documentary projects concerning issues of food insecurity, poverty, education, and the power of art in children’s lives. She continues to seek opportunities to add her passion for social justice to her skills behind the camera to help tell nonfiction stories. She joins Film Sprout as a summer intern tasked with supporting research into audience development and collaborative distribution for the cohort of documentaries funded under Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Reel Reproductive Justice funding program.
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    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.

PRAISE

  • “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.”

    Steve Holmgren, UnionDocs Center for Documentary Arts
  • “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.”

    Jen Arnold, Director, A Small Act
  • “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!!”

    Susan Edwards, Director, The Work of 1,000
  • “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.”

    Robb Moss, Co-Director, Secrecy
  • “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.”

    Matthew Seig, New York Foundation for the Arts
  • “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.”

    Abigail Disney, Producer, Pray the Devil Back to Hell
  • “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.”

    Michelle Hill, Producer, Bag It
  • “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.”

    Rebecca Richman Cohen, Director, Code of the West
  • “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.”

    Christo Hird, Executive Producer, The End of the Line
  • “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.”

    Alysa Nahmias, Co-Director, Unfinished Spaces
  • “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…”

    Marty Syjuco and Michael Collins, Co-Directors, Give Up Tomorrow
  • “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.”

    Lisa Valencia-Svensson, Producer, Herman’s House
  • “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.”

    Vicki Abeles, Director, Race to Nowhere

CONTACT US

  • Address:
    Film Sprout
    ℅ The Yard
    85 Delancey Street
    New York, NY
  • Phone Number:
    347.682.2483
  • Email Address:
    [email protected]

We’d love to hear from you! To get started, please send us a brief description of your film and its current and prospective distribution, and let us know whether you’re interested in working with us on a campaign, in a consultation, on a discussion guide — or all three! We will be in touch with further information and questions!

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