– A Collaborative Film Community
OIF is an active film community. OIF promotes hands-on learning for emerging talent, crew, writers, directors and support personnel in film production.
OIF holds local film Challenges where production teams are easily assembled by networking with members. This creates a friendly and inclusive environment for talent and crew to gain hands-on experience, film credits, connect with others in the film industry, and increase their chances for career advancement.
These script-to-screen Challenges culminate in movie screenings, usually at large commercial theaters; which are then followed by an OIF Crystal Awards Ceremony. Those judged for best sound, best actor, best film, etc. (13 awards in total) will go up on stage and to receive their awards.
A year-end Awards Gala/Holiday Party is held at Full Sail Live in Winter Park Florida, where the Best of the Year’s Actor, Actress and Film are awarded. Nominees are chosen from the winners of each genre category films produced during the year.
Orlando – Spark Challenge
Tampa - Star Challenge
The Organization of Independent Filmmakers
OIF is an unincorporated association of film industry professionals and enthusiasts; an organization of persons with a common interest, which has continued to grow organically since its start. OIF has become a primary grass-roots catalyst for growing the film industry in Florida.
The group was founded by Lenny and Tzvia Lorusso, a couple that was looking for a way to break into filmmaking. In the spring of 2016, the founders placed a post in the Orlando Craigslist titled “Who Wants to Make a Movie?” A meeting was scheduled with the handful of respondents. The initial membership number stands at five. That was to be the birth of a much larger diverse and inclusive filmmaking community.
Today, OIF numbers over 10,000 members and provides opportunities for local independent filmmakers, crew, and talent; to connect, gain hands-on experience, build résumé credits, grow and showcase their productions on the big screen with grandeur!
Among the programs presented by the group, OIF sponsors several film challenges throughout the year, where selected films are showcased on the big screen at a Red Carpet Premiere Screening and Awards Ceremony.
For early enthusiasts, OIF facilitates entry into the field of filmmaking by facilitating and promoting active engagement in independent productions. OIF offers a platform for film crew and talent to network, collaborate and hone their skills; Members can gain experience and add to their knowledge base. OIF also promotes the growth of the Florida Independent Film community in general. Since then, OIF has grown to screen hundreds of local films at commercial theaters, with thousands having attended .
OIF continues to hold several large screening events during the year. Selected member productions are screened at a commercial theater, followed by an awards ceremony. The Central Florida screenings and awards galas have been held at various venues, including Universal Studios, the Orlando Museum of Art, Disney Springs (AMC Theater), the iconic Wayne Densch Theater in Sanford, AMC Altamonte Springs, Full Sail University, and elsewhere.
Whether you are a beginner interested in learning more about making a film or are a veteran wishing to network with crew and cast members in the film industry, you'll find a place in the OIF family.
If you are located in Florida and would enjoy a chance to participate in local productions, meetings, or events, start now by joining our facebook group! This is also where you can stay current with most of our activities.
We screen our Facebook group applicants, please state the locality you are in when applying. General membership is FREE, active participation is encouraged.
PROMOTING PARTICIPATION IN FILM ARTS VIA CHALLENGES
Part of our mission is to help people learn and advance their expertise in filmmaking and related arts. One of the ways we accomplish this is by producing Film Challenges. This platform has proven to be very effective in the personal growth and advancement of all participants.
WHAT IS AN OIF CHALLENGE?
The OIF admins initiate periodic script-to-screen challenges, currently about two per year per regional market area. The current areas served are the Greater Orlando Region and the Greater Tampa Region.
For mature Regional group (about 1,000 members or more), writers can submit a script in three designated short film genres. Scripts are reviewed for content, adherence to the genre and other factors. After a quick review, the selected scripts are posted.
Now the film part of the challenge begins. A production lead selects cast and crew, mostly from within the group, or by bringing in new members. Locations, shooting schedules, etc. are prepared and the film then goes to the editor.
The final film is submitted by the deadline to qualify for awards. A panel of judges will score each film in 13 categories for each genre. Winners are presented an OIF crystal award at the ceremony following the screenings.
HOW DO CHALLENGES WORK?
Independent production teams are formed, mostly by networking with other members, to produce a short film. Writers, directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, audio recordists, composers, artists, editors, make-up artists and many others come together to complete a film. The Challenge culminates in a screening at a large commercial theater, which is followed by an elegant awards ceremony. A networking party and an after-party are usually part of the mix as well; allowing for even more connections to be created.
WHAT DO CHALLENGE PARTICIPANTS GAIN?
The hands-on experience gained by participating in these productions and working with others is invaluable. Participants learn how to work with multiple sets of crew and talent and are then able to exchange ideas and expertise. Most of the Challenge Productions will provide film credits to the participants which they are able to add to their resumés and portfolios. The connections made by participating in these can lead to long-lasting relationships that can help film industry careers advance rapidly.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
At this time, Challenges are limited to participants in the Central Florida area. Most of our communications related to these challenges take place in our private Facebook group, which is open to people in the same geographic area. Anyone with any film industry skill level, from none to expert is welcome.