RICHARD HOOBAN runs the ZERO FILM FESTIVAL & ZERO PARTIES in NEW YORK. The film festival has travelled round the world and is the first and only festival EXCLUSIVE to self financed filmmakers and the authentically independent films they create. We ❤ ZERO and quizzed Rich on his EMPIRE this week. 

ONEOFUS: Can you tell us a bit about Zero Film Festival and Parties? 

Richard Hooban: Zero Film Festival is the first and only festival exclusive to self-financed filmmakers.I started the festival 7 years ago in a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles to have a place for authentically independent filmmakers to share their films because film festivals tend to only program big budget hollywood fare.

From there Zero Film Festival kept organically growing to other cities as our community of filmmakers grew and I soon moved the festival to New York, which is a better fit for Zero aesthetically and culturally.

Zero Parties came from my having a bunch of sound equipment and projectors in my loft I was only using once a year, and I thought, well, if I can convince a bunch of people to come to a warehouse to watch a bunch of films from filmmakers and actors they have never heard of, then having some electronic music and throwing a big warehouse party should be easy. It also offered me an chance to experiment a bit with non-narrative visual art installation/curation elements which I find very interesting.

ONEOFUS: How did you come up with the brand and why?

RH: Zero comes from “zero budget” so really, the film festival is the “Zero Budget Film Festival” but everyone just called it to Zero instead. The brand itself had a lot of different forms and its evolved over the years, and the Zero just seems to stick whereas logos and theme tend to come and go.

Zero also invokes the ideas of cycles, circles and loops, and as the festival happens throughout the world on a near monthly basis, the name is a fit metaphorically as well.

ONEOFUS: What’s your story/trajectory?

RH: No comment.

Keep them guessing.

ONEOFUS: Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

RH: Make mistakes. That’s rule number one. Rule number two, it takes more time to be successful with originality but its this same ingredient that will build something that will last.

You have to go all in. You have to put all of your time into it. There is no sleeping. Prepare to make sacrifices. If you can’t go without sushi or new shoes, starting a business, perfecting a craft or making a film isn’t for you.

ONEOFUS: What’s next for Zero?

RH: Moon. We plan to go to the moon.


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