2018: Year in Review

Wow! 2018 has come to an end and 2019 is somehow just around the corner. Thank you for following us, supporting us, contributing to us, and working toward a more inclusive film industry with us. It’s incredible to think about all the things the Light Leaks accomplished this year, so we’d love to share some of our favorite moments from this year!

In January, we released an interview with independent director Sonejuhi Sinha, and we also published a piece by filmmaker Steffany Ramirez. Both were great embodiments of the type of content the Light Leaks stands for and aims to amplify everyday. Sonejuhi directed a recent short film that was adapted to a feature called “Love Comes Later.” Meanwhile, Steffany wrote about her connection to HBO’s Insecure, and Issa Rae’s production company actually shared it across its social accounts!

In February, we celebrated our one-year anniversary! At that point in time we had published 30+ pieces of original editorial content, hosted two live events, and had seven established partner sites. That month, we also became promotional partners of the Athena Film Festival.

As our founder, Kim Hoyos, was finishing up her final semester of college, she also made the Light Leaks an official LLC. This move allowed her to separate her finances into money for and from the site versus her savings, which she was previously using for TLL. It also solidifies TLL as an entity that will continue to expand, and it makes our growth way easier.

 
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Shortly after that, we relaunched our website alongside an online store and ‘about us’ video. We switched the website to Squarespace and relaunched with a new, easy-to-use interface. During this redesign we added new pages to the site, collapsed other sections, and looked at how we could best display our content. Our online shop was a hit! We launched our shop with exclusive TLL branded tote bags (designed by Ludmila Leiva) and stickers of our logo. The totes were sold out in less than two weeks, and it was SO cool to see the totes arrive to each shopper. All packages are hand packaged and sent by Kim with a thank you note! The ‘about us’ video was an awesome addition to the site and directed by one of our own community members, Danielle Acton. It’s a perfect way for us to quickly and visually explain what we do and what we stand for. Danielle directed the video, pitched the concept to us, and co-edited the video along with Kim.

 
 

As the summer wrapped up, we launched a Patreon campaign. It’s a great way to allow our community to easily invest in itself and its own growth. Patreon is a crowdfunding platform where users can donate monthly to a cause instead of one lump sum. It’s ideal for our followers because it allows them to contribute smaller amounts, consistently and over time! For our Patreon we shot a video—it was directed by community contributor Amanda Dimartino and included an all-female and GNC cast and crew. It was a really fun shoot and definitely something we’d like to do again.

 
 

Around the same time, we also hosted a online branding workshop in collaboration with Rogue Sunday at Women Make Movies in NYC. The workshop covered the basics of branding and why it’s important for artists promoting their own work. The attendees were of all ages and experience levels, and it was exciting to share TLL in a new way with different people. By September, we launched our first reoccurring, monthly column: What She’s Watching. What She’s Watching by Pilar Duralde is a response to all of the super bro-y watch lists in film criticism. Every month, Pilar brings us a themed watch list with her commentary that never talks down to readers, but engages them in conversation. We’re biased, but it’s pretty awesome.

For Small Business Saturday, Kim reshot the online store products and introduced logo pins to the website with a special deal for the weekend. It was the first Small Business Saturday that TLL could participate in and hopefully the first of many to come. December brought us our first YouTube premiere. We premiered Lauren Tepfer’s latest short film, “Death is Orange,” live on YouTube where she was able to live chat with and answer questions from her audience. It was an interesting experience and allowed for a new experience from the site.

 
 

There’s been so many points in this year where The Light Leaks has tried new things and taken risks. It’s sometimes difficult to run The Light Leaks because it’s a team of one. But pretty soon it won’t be just our founder alone. We’ve just hired an intern to help us with social media, administration tasks, and more for the spring semester. This addition will allow for Kim to dream larger scale for the company in the new year. It’s been an awesome year for the Light Leaks- new events, a new webstore, an updated site, and becoming an official LLC! 2018 was a year for the books, but 2019 will be even greater.

Thank you for the love and support—Happy New Year!


Love,

The Light Leaks