Making It as a Regional Filmmaker

Can you be a successful filmmaker outside of LA? Absolutely! Join Sundance Senior Shorts Programmer Mike Plante in a candid virtual conversation with Utah-based filmmaker Robert Machoian (THE MINORS, THE KILLING OF TWO LOVERS) as Robert reveals how he's been able to not only survive, but thrive as a regional filmmaker. We will reference a few of Robert's past works that we welcome you to watch ahead of the session:


GOD BLESS THE CHILD (Excerpt 5min) - PW: sample1


Discussion Topics will include: 

  • Establishing collaborations and connections
  • Utilizing resources in your area
  • Developing a small crew
  • Financing and fund allocation on a micro-budget
  • The film school / no film school debate 
  • Why honesty is the best policy

The conversation is followed by a question and answer period, and then we’ll have brief presentations from Caitlin Mae Burke, Supervising Producer of IF/Then Shorts, Liz Cook Mowe, Senior Director, Film with Kickstarter and Virginia Pearce, Director of the Utah Film Commission on how they support emerging filmmakers. 

The event closes with a virtual networking session, where you can connect with other regional filmmakers to discuss useful tips and techniques you’ve used while shooting locally, any obstacles you’ve encountered, and how you engage with local resources. 

This program is presented by Sundance Institute and is made possible by support from the Utah Film Commission.

The Utah Film Commission markets the entire state of Utah for film, television and commercial production. We foster the development of our local talent and crew, promote our unique locations, industry businesses and the Motion Picture Incentive Program.

Download the Zoom desktop client for an optimal experience, and submit your questions or comments before the session under “Join the Discussion” below.


If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this event, please complete this form, contact us at 435-776-7900, or email us at to discuss your specific needs. Every effort will be made to accommodate advance requests; requests made within seven days of the event may not be guaranteed.   

The session will be recorded for those unable to participate in the live program. Your participation in this Sundance Institute event constitutes your consent to being recorded and photographed by Sundance Institute during the event and to Sundance Institute sharing those recordings and photos (which may include your name, voice, and/or likeness) with the world, including promotional uses.