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After Effects: Festivals & Your Film's Future

Hear first hand from previous SXSW filmmakers, producers and distributors about their journey with films from festivals and beyond. From fielding offers, to signing and making deals, to getting projects out there for the masses to see. Find out what were the most challenging aspects they faced, what mistakes they made, what they learned along the way and how they went on to find success for their project post festival.


MODERATOR Aaron Hillis Proprietor Video Free Brooklyn

Aaron Hillis is a NYC-based film critic who has written for The Village Voice, Time Out NY, LA Weekly, Variety, Indiewire, Filmmaker, MovieMaker, GreenCine Daily, Premiere and Spin. He is the former curator of the reRun Gastropub Theater, and the new owner of Video Free Brooklyn (two-time “Best Video Store in NYC” winner, 2012). Aaron's co-directorial debut feature, FISH KILL FLEA, premiered at SXSW 2007.

Nicolas Gonda CEO Tugg Inc

Nicolas Gonda co-founded Tugg, Inc. (, a web-platform that enables individuals to choose the films that play in their local theaters and create their own events. Launched at the 2012 South by Southwest Festival, Tugg empowers audiences nationwide to screen films from its extensive library of studio and independent titles. Tugg has partnered with mainstream and independent exhibitors, boasting a theatrical footprint of over 75% of movie theaters in the United States. As a producer, Mr. Gonda has worked with Terrence Malick on THE TREE OF LIFE and the upcoming film TO THE WONDER. Recently named one of Variety’s “10 Producers to Watch,” he also has several projects in various stages of production, including producing AJ Edwards directorial debut THE GREEN BLADE RISES starring Diane Kruger, Jason Clarke and Brit Marling. He is continuing his work with Mr. Malick, producing his IMAX documentary, THE VOYAGE OF TIME, as well as Mr. Malick’s two upcoming films, KNIGHT OF CUPS and the currently untitled feature based in the Austin music scene whose combined cast includes Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Michael Fassbender and Rooney Mara.

Matthew A Cherry Writer, Director Cherry Entertainment

Writer, Director Matthew A. Cherry is a former NFL player whose debut feature film, The Last Fall premiered at SXSW in 2012 in the Emerging Visions Category and has gone on to win several awards on the festival circuit including Best Screenplay at ABFF and Best Feature at MVAFF. The film secured distribution and premiered on television December 2012 and came out on DVD January 15th. Cherry, graduated from The University Of Akron with a major in Radio/TV Broadcast. He is an accomplished music video director that has worked with artists such as Take 6, Bilal and Jazmine Sullivan. He also works in new media and recently created a web series titled "Almost 30".

Mac McLean Publicity Partner Click Communications

Mac McLean is one of the entertainment industry's leading digital publicists. In May of 2007, he formed Click Communications in response to the film studios' rapidly increasing need for online media navigation. He currently oversees all Click's client publicity efforts, working with an elite team of professionals to deliver superior online coverage for clients such as Disney, Shout! Factory, Lionsgate, Anchor Bay, and many others.

Mac broke new ground in online publicity long before it was the priority it is today. As the Director of Online Publicity for national advertising agency Terry Hines & Associates, he was the lead digital publicist for Buena Vista Home Entertainment, building solid relationships with thousands of entertainment journalists and bloggers, ranging from Yahoo! to celebrity fan sites. To date, he has participated in the launch of over 1,000 home entertainment releases, including eight of the Top 20 highest grossing films of all time.

Before working exclusively in the digital space, Mac spent five years handling traditional promotions and publicity for Disney, DreamWorks, MGM, and Focus Features throughout the Pacific Northwest. He ran successful campaigns for many high-grossing films such as Shrek, Legally Blonde, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, and two consecutive James Bond films.