Welcome 2019! Before we get too excited about all the things in store for this turn of the calendar, I’d like to take time out to reflect on what was another very good year at Short of the Week.
Continuing a trend, 2018 once again set a record for traffic to our site, which is very gratifying. Thank you for spending time with us amidst an age of PEAK CONTENT on the web. Y’all spent 26 MILLION minutes on Short of the Week in 2018! There are a lot of distractions out there clamoring for your time, and we appreciate you being a fan of us, and the filmmakers we champion. We also had a record year in terms of submissions to the site, with a 9% increase from 2017.
Not too much changed with us this past year—we featured a lot of great films (280), and continued to put out great articles (42). 101 of the films we featured were credited to a female director, a welcome 12% increase in share over 2017. With a new backend database that we debuted in 2018, we hope to better track all sorts of demographic information to ensure our commitment to diversity. In other highlights, we were pleased to give the keynote address at the global Short Film Conference at Clermont Ferrand in February, and provided a welcome update to our popular guide, The Essential List of Festivals and Online Eligibility. We also published our most consequential think piece in awhile, Be Everywhere All At Once, which is a culmination of our current philosophy about how creators should approach their short film release to maximize exposure and opportunity. We’re proud of the immense discussion this sparked all over the web.
Internally we had some great growth for our team. We were pleased to bump Chelsea Lupkin up to Senior Programmer, arming her with the power to have final say over acceptances and rejections (something she got to experience from the other side, as her short film Lucy’s Tale played festivals), and Céline Roustan now has a new title, Festival Coordinator, staying on top of what’s going on in festival-land for us. Thanks largely to her, we were on the ground at over 15 festivals this past year, meeting filmmakers, and recruiting the cream of this year’s short film festival class to share with you. Last but not least, right under the deadline, we welcomed Alex Dudok de Wit to the team as our newest writer/curator.
Looking out to 2019, we have many exciting new things in the works which I want to tease, but not spoil. First off, we’re looking still to add to our crew, so take a look at our Jobs page if you’re interested in joining us. We’re especially keen to do more with platforms outside of the site. We finally gave in and started using Instagram in 2018, and are building up our YouTube channel (we just passed 10,000 subscribers!). To continue to grow we need your help.
Second, EVENTS! Oh yeah, we’re finally, finally going to get off our screens and begin hosting offline programs and meetups. This is something many of you have been clamoring for, and the first one is set for NYC next month. Details will be sent out soon, and if all goes well, we think LA and London will quickly follow. If you want S/W to do something in your hometown, let us know, and maybe we can partner up!
Lastly, and this is a definite tease, but will be announced soon—S/W has partnered with some significant figures from the world of Film & TV. There are a lot of different forms that this teaming up can and will take, but it points towards what could end up being the most consequential year ever for us. First and foremost though, we’re most excited for what the new possibilities this will open up for the filmmakers whom we curate, and the evolution of our mission to bring attention and opportunity to the deserving talent that we think will be shaping entertainment (for the better!) in the years to come. It’s going to be a fun ride, so please continue to follow along.
Enough about us though, you come to S/W to watch great films! We’re currently putting together our Short of the Week Awards which will come out in a few weeks, but, to whet your appetite, we asked each of our curators pick a film from 2018 that they couldn’t stop thinking about. These aren’t necessarily “the best” or even our “favorites”, just films that lodged into out heads and hearts, and which we found ourselves revisiting over and over. Enjoy, and share with us what films struck you in that special spot in the comments below!