The Importance of a Filmmaking Community

"I grew up seeing films for 10 cents laying on bean bags in my small hometown of Winona, MN at The Flickhouse. We saw silent movies and films I never would have seen at the mainstream movie house." This is what one of PopUp Anthology's alums, Rosalie Tenseth recalls of growing up with the movies. Today, we at PopUp Anthology strive to bring local audiences an experience they won't find anywhere else. Not only do we want to create a community that fosters us as filmmakers, but lets us share our art and our stories with the community we contribute to. 

Being able to share your stories and engage with people who are just as passionate about film as you are, is pretty special. "Watching local filmmakers and getting to talk to them about their process has helped me become a better filmmaker," says Rosalie Tenseth. "You do not feel alone in your process and you get to see the exciting stories of your peers." Ultimately, it's a real place of engagement and collaboration, something that doesn't always seem achievable in the modern film industry mold. 

Our desire to bring people together to appreciate film, support each other's films, and share our stories, is ultimately what has built PopUp Anthology little by little. We figured out a way to create our own little community and fill a void that shouldn't have been there in the first place. We hope PopUp inspires people to not only support their local storytellers and artists, but their businesses too. If not for the local businesses, we wouldn't have screening spaces, because they are the ones who have welcomed us back time and time again. 

The more events we would plan, more filmmakers would come. It was quite a testament to the arts community here in New Jersey and the power of social media. Katherine and I knew no one out here, no filmmakers, nothing. Suddenly, we were hosting these events and connecting with filmmakers, producers, and distributors from all over New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York. Because of this network we've been lucky enough to create with fellow filmmakers, it's fostered an impenetrable tribe of people who want to support each other. We're composed of all types of genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and proud to encompass parts of the population not traditionally called on to tell stories. 

The structure here is based upon one thing: our collective passion for making films. Bill Crossland, a filmmaker we showcased before his short was selected for Sundance said, "The great thing about PopUp is finding future collaborators." And it's true. "There's no competition, no need to make yourself stand out from the others, because we all love movies and want to see them." You get to see work from filmmakers you might not see anywhere else, and you get to talk to these artists as well. "You can just hang out with other folks who are generally enthusiastic about filmmaking," says Bill. As filmmakers who can often feel isolated and alone when creating their stories, having an environment like this to grow in is something quite wonderful.