Connecting creatives

When Laure Quinlivan and her fellow female filmmakers in Cincinnati realized there was a problem with how women in the area were raising money for their creative undertakings, they set out to fix it.

Women in Film Cincinnati (which is part of the national nonprofit WIF first organized in 1983) was formed in 2016 to help create networking and professional development opportunities, access funding for member projects, and promote equality for women in the industry, among other things.

“We network, we screen member projects, we try to support women working in this region who are in the industry,” says Quinlivan, “and by ‘in the industry’ we mean film, TV, online, digital media.”

“One thing we noticed, and we made part of our mission, is it’s so hard to get funding here for creative projects,” she continues. “A lot of our documentary filmmakers have to go to both coasts to get their projects funded, which is silly.”

So Women in Film Cincinnati — of which Quinlivan is a board member — is hosting Roads to Resources: How to Fund Your Project on October 9 at the Woodward Theatre.

“This is an event to connect local creatives — filmmakers, media producers — to funding sources,” she says.

It promises to be a fun evening, with food included, a cash bar, and music by Wonky Tonk and DJ Think$avy.

After an opening reception, seven filmmakers from a variety of backgrounds — some documentarians, some short video makers — will show two-minute movies about their film funding experiences. Following that, seven panelists will speak for about five minutes each on how they look at film and video and how people can access funding.

The panelists come from a range of backgrounds, including Jim Szekacs from the Ohio Arts Council in Columbus, and Jason Vaughn, the CEO of Frisch’s and a recent Cincinnati transplant.

Quinlivan hopes this mix creates a lively and productive Q&A session where audience members ask varied questions of both the panelists and filmmakers.

“I see it as a big, important first step in getting this funding of local film going,” she says. “I’m just inspired to try to get more marketing people, more CEOs, and more foundation leaders thinking about how funding film and video is actually a really good use of [their] dollars because we help tell our stories here locally.”

“When you look at the television industry — the whole industry, all the jobs connected with television, you know, behind the scenes, only 27 percent of those jobs are female,” says Quinlivan. “We are 50 percent of the audience. We are 50 percent of the population. So we want to increase the numbers and have role models there very visible for … women, and these students who are in film programs in our local universities.”

Roads to Resources: How to Fund Your Project is on Oct. 9 at the Woodward Theatre starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. To order tickets, visit





Read more articles by Jessica Esemplare.

Jessica Esemplare is the managing editor of Soapbox Cincinnati and a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Shortly after completing her degree in magazine journalism, she began covering local and regional topics at The Cincinnati Herald and, later, as an editor at Ohio Magazine. Her writing has also been featured in U.S. News and World Report.