Aryeh Hoppenstein and Christina Chironna are participants of WelkerMedia Fellowship 2017. Their platform FilmUp helps to connect students, professionals and companies of the film industry. Only 2 months after being launched, FilmUp is already showing rapid growth.


If you are not somehow connected to the film industry (going to the movies A LOT doesn’t count) then you probably don’t know how tough it can be. And it’s not just about making it Big as an actor/director. The problems start much earlier down the movie-production-line. They lie in the lack of connectivity. LinkedIn may work for other industries, but it’s not quite the platform for the professionals and novice involved in the film-making. As articulated by the creator of FilmUp, Aryeh Hoppenstein:

From a filmmaker’s perspective, traditional job sites like LinkedIn are not very useful. LinkedIn is a one-size-fits-all solution that quite simply does not fit.

As you might have guessed, FilmUp is the LinkedIn created specifically with the film industry professionals in mind.

Aryeh Hoppenstein and Christina Chironna are the co-founders of FilmUp and graduates of the Ithaca College. Aryeh’s degree was a double major in Business and Communications. Christina majored in Communication and minored in Marketing. They won second place in Ithaca College’s annual Business Plan Competition. It was their interest in filmmaking that helped them win the $10,000 prize for his business plan FilmUp.

Aryeh spent a lot of time as a producer, director and writer on college films.  He even ran a successful IndieGoGo campaign for his latest film, delivering 125% of the funding campaign goal from 51 various funders. To top that off he starred in a  short film: “Entitled: The Story of a Selfish Bastard.” alongside Hollywood actors. Aryeh said the experience he has gained from working on the short film will help him develop the business.

Christina also spent time producing student films. Following graduation she worked as the Production Manager at Jay Z’s in-house production company, Scheme Engine, and produced several documentaries on icons such as Jay-Z, Kygo, DJ Mustard and more. Christina said working here built the foundation and gave her the experience to help create a platform focused on equal opportunity, freedom of creation, and the promotion of pro-social films that inspire the world.

FilmUp only went live in April 2017 and it is already proving to be a success, as the platform has grown rapidly. With its growth has come great feedback and opportunities which has lead to strategy revisions, platform redesign, and new promotional initiatives. Now, there is a whole list of improvements Aryeh has in mind for FilmUp:

  1. Improve platform efficiencies, update and implement new features, revise business model, redesign/update front end and backend modules.
  2. Implement an extremely comprehensive backend system and super admin account. This will allow for easier manipulation on front end work on the website, setting up promotional opportunities through the platform, and capture more comprehensive site analytics.
  3. Implement a sophisticated analytics system of user data as well structure a content management system.
  4. Bring on an Interim CTO to manage technological advancements.
  5. Funds for legal and tax purposes including the transition to a new company structure.
  6. Once appropriate foundations and revisions are put in place, implement a strategic marketing campaign that will allow for a self sustaining and ever-growing network.
  7. Fund the marketing and promotional strategy.

WelkerMedia Fellowship is exactly the thing to help FilmUp with it’s funding needs!

Going a little bit back in time, let’s have a look at how FilmUp started:

“In 2014, we (Aryeh and Christina) met in a local coffee shop in Ithaca, NY where we conceptualized a film production company dedicated to improving the human condition. As we sought to make this dream a reality, we encountered many of the roadblocks that filmmakers face during the production process.”

After experiencing this first hand, we were inspired to simplify the process with the hope of empowering artists to inspire others to enact social change through film.

“FilmUp started as a mission to make feature films that linked to non-profits or volunteer services that related to social causes in the film. We wanted to make movies that people would watch in theaters, and if interested, get involved with social topics that were touched upon in the film. First we are building a network, and then we will make these films. FilmUp name came from making films that move the world in an “Up”ward direction.”

“We interviewed countless professionals, students, and business owners about the difficulties of filmmaking and came to appreciate the problems associated with connecting with other filmmakers. Shortly after this, FilmUp was born! FilmUp is now the site where filmmakers go to connect with others, collaborate on projects, and create bold opportunities for aspiring and experienced filmmakers alike. We support freedom of creation, equal opportunity, and the promotion of pro-social films that inspire the world. The FilmUp platform is the first step in bringing together creative minds to realize this dream.”

Our mission is to maintain a creative, collaborative social hub with the purpose of empowering aspiring and seasoned makers of media to leave lasting and valuable imprints on our world.

Let’s now have a look at what the industry professionals have to say about FilmUp. Unsurprisingly, those are all good things.

Andrew Orgel, a Founding Senior Executive MTV, A&E and Nickelodeon commented: “FilmUp has created that long-overdue community of resources that acts as a catalyst for filmmaker success with its online showcases, job board and collaboration tools. This is a great film industry accelerator!”

Seth Goldsmith, the Co-Writer and Producer of Night Owls also left a high praise of FilmUp: “I wish I’d had a resource like FilmUp when I graduated from film school. It would have made connecting with other film industry professionals a lot easier and navigating the horror of finding that first industry job a lot less daunting. I highly recommend signing up for FilmUp if you’re just out of school or a veteran of the business looking for new challenges… the site connects creatives
of all kinds in a really intuitive way!”

William Trotta, the Content Coordinator & Production Manager at HooplaHa – Only Good News, had the pleasure to experience the services of FilmUp first-hand: “Within a matter of a days multiple highly qualified filmmakers applied to our FilmUp job posting for our Orlando, Florida shoot. The crew was hired and our story was a success. This platform lives up to a place “Where The Filmmakers Go”. We will be using FilmUp for our next posting.”

And, perhaps, the highest praise of all (and definitely the most poetic one) was left by Val Athanassiou, an Actor, Producer, Director and Editor:

FilmUp is not just another platform or network for Filmmakers. This is very much a game changing labour of love driven by professionals and visionaries with a passion for film and a dedication to philanthropy.

FilmUp truly is disrupting the film industry in the best way possible, making the lives of everyone engaged in this field so much easier. Aryeh Hoppenstein’s and Christina Chironna’s platform deserves all the funding it can get. 

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