PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Filed Under: #NYCTech, AlleyTalk, Entertainment, Interviews, Launching in the Alley, Startups Independent Film is Strong and Alive in NYC Thanks to EntholigyApril 29, 2019 by AlleyWatch 344SHARESFacebookTwitterLinkedin The independent film scene in New York is alive and thriving, but one of the greatest difficulties of being an indie filmmaker is getting your film out to the public. Entholigy, a Brooklyn based film startup, has built a community for independent filmmakers to publicize their work to the public. Not only is this film platform attracting unique, up-and-coming artists and filmmakers, it only hosts film screenings in non-traditional places: Japanese cultural centers, boutique production studios, clothing shops, etc. Entholigy will never host a screening in a traditional movie theater, so audience members can count on a unique experience every time they attend a screening, which is typically held several times a month throughout NYC’s five boroughs.AlleyWatch had the pleasure of chatting with founder and CEO Ethan Messinger about how he transformed a passion project into a flourishing business.Tell us about the product or service that Entholigy offers. Entholigy, a Brooklyn based startup, is a community that organizes independent film screenings that take place in non-traditional spaces throughout the New York City Boroughs. The Entholigy Community comes together a few times a month to celebrate local film and culture in independent business spaces across Brooklyn, Manhattan, and The Bronx.Entholigy has hosted screenings in venues that include: Japanese cultural centers, clothing shops, rustic spaces, Moroccan cafes, editing rooms in boutique production studios, and more.A typical screening consists of five local filmmakers and an audience ranging between 40-80 people, and the filmmakers are given the opportunity to engage with the audience by discussing the short film they created.Additionally, our website allows filmmakers to submit a film to us for free, and all of our upcoming screenings are posted on our website, where users can purchase tickets.How is Entholigy different? Entholigy gives filmmakers a platform to share their work in front of a real-world audience. Filmmakers enjoy seeing “real” reactions and responses from “real world” audiences watching their films, which is something that digital platforms like YouTube and Vimeo cannot offer.To these filmmakers, simply uploading their films on online platforms is part of the process when submitting films to a festival.However, when submitting to film festivals, filmmakers cannot make their films publicly accessible because many festivals will not accept the film if it has been seen by a wider audience.We have had filmmakers who invested $25K to produce their film, with the aspirations of showing it live at festivals. Fast forward to a year later and their films still have not been publicly shown at any festival, nor is it publicly accessible on any platforms.Entholigy does not operate like the traditional film festival (that may take place over the course of a long weekend). Entholigy screenings happen all the time, multiple times a month, and we do not run a particular set of themes or genres. We screen everything and anything.Entholigy often provides a platform for many filmmakers to screen their film for the first time in front of a live audience, and we will never screen in a traditional “theater” space. What market does Entholigy target and how big is it? Entholigy’s target market is the independent film community in New York City and we hope to expand to other film cities soon.What is the business model of EntholigyEntholigy first began by investing its own money in the screening, technology, and equipment to enable a mobile setup in any space. Once the proof-of-concept was established, Entholigy began selling tickets between $5 and $15, depending on the location and venue.What inspired the start of Entholigy? We wanted to build a community that would come together a few times a month at our local businesses to celebrate local art and culture.I was always fascinated with the juxtaposition of space such as taking a coffee shop space and turning it into something else. My cofounder Esteban, who is a film and media enthusiast, suggested that Entholigy could be a platform for filmmakers.We sent out some posts on social media suggesting the idea of an intimate indie film screening in a non-traditional space, and filmmakers came calling. So, we decided to target indie filmmakers.What makes you believe that have the potential for scale to make this a viable business in the long term? Our focus now is New York City and the 5 Boroughs. With that said, we envision a future were the Entholigy Community extends to other film cities (Philadelphia, Atlanta, LA, Montreal, Vancouver).What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months? Two big milestones we are planning is to reach up to 8 screenings a month and expand to a new city.We believe by June we can hold 8 screenings a month. We have had a number of filmmakers join us from Philadelphia and we think it makes sense to expand to the city in September.What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got? Entholigy started as a passion project between two friends. Our first screenings were free and attracted over 70 people. We thought to ourselves, “This is fun, maybe we can try to make some money so that we can invest in making the idea expand to other markets.”Entholigy started as a passion project between two friends. Our first screenings were free and attracted over 70 people. We thought to ourselves, “This is fun, maybe we can try to make some money so that we can invest in making the idea expand to other markets.”We love what we do and to start a company it is so important to wake up every morning excited to work.If we didn’t love what we were doing, we would not be where we are today.If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York Community who would it be and why?Ted Hope, Amazon Studios Head of Production. Like Hope, Esteban and I both attended New York University for undergrad.Hope has a history of bringing together the technology world and with an old school studio production style. The wisdom he can pass along to our team about how to make an arthouse survive in modern times – considering the landscape of the industry and audiences changing – is probably unparalleled to anyone else. Ted, if you are in town, I would love to pick your mind over a cup of coffee!Why did you launch in New York?New York City has long been a beloved home to many independent artists and filmmakers. It is second to only Los Angeles for the number of filmmakers in the city.New York is also our home, and we love the many independent businesses that make up our neighborhoods.The idea behind Entholigy has always been to partner with local businesses to help support their initiatives and space. Our first screenings were held in Brooklyn, a place where independent business and local culture is celebrated with intense passion.What’s your favorite restaurant in the city? 61 Local in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and Pause Cafe in the Lower East Side serve up an excellent atmosphere and some nice dishes (and every once in a while, you can catch an Entholigy screening at the restaurants).