‘Silver lining’: Streaming service broadens reach of independent films, festivals

Editor’s note: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.


Eric Streeper knows that there will be technological challenges in his line of work.

But he sees a challenge as a change to learn.

Streeper is the founder and CEO of Xerb, a streaming platform based in Santa Fe.

Xerb is home to a rapidly growing group of over 2,800 filmmakers and creators who have content featured across 180-plus independently run channels, with films in more than 80 l

Eric Streeper, founder and CEO of Xerb, a Santa Fe-based streaming platform for independent filmmakers and theaters. (Courtesy of Xerb)

anguages.

Xerb has been a saving grace for film festivals around the country by stepping in and providing a platform for the festivals to move forward with an online presence.

“The silver lining to the pandemic is that it’s made it possible for the world to view content,” Streeper says. “We’ve worked with festivals that have all seen an increase in participation. This stems from more people being able to watch from home.”

In fact, Xerb is working with two of the most popular LGBTQIA+ film festivals in North America – The Wicked Queer Film Festival in Boston and Fairy Tales Queer Film Festival based out of Calgary.

In February, Xerb teamed up with the Santa Fe Film Festival to produce the virtual event.

The crew at Xerb is small but able to put together a platform to stream internationally. (Courtesy of Xerb)

“Xerb is very excited to be able to host and support the kind of crucial conversations film festivals like these initiate,” Streeper says. “We cannot overstate the importance of giving these strong, welcoming communities a platform to gather online and share their stories.”

Streeper has large ambitions with the company and how the film industry functions.

“For independent creators, this is where it’s going to be in the future,” Streeper says of online viewing. “People are willing to pay for independent content. We’re seeing filmmakers going into this direction, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Streeper has his hands full with virtual events these days, but here are a few things you probably didn’t know about him:

1 “Though I now spend much of my time writing software, I actually studied finance and got my start programming by automating accounting statements for indie record labels and artists.”

2 “Every year, we take most of our furniture outside and work with lots of friends to convert almost our entire house into a haunted house for Halloween. Last year, we did a car parade and strapped coffins, giant eyes and papier-mâché sculptures to our roofs, and I still haven’t figured out how to remove the green and orange stripes from my car.”

3 “I enjoy teaching people all that I know about programming and software, and we take in several talented interns every year.”

4 “I love playing music and having karaoke parties at our house until late into the night, where all are welcome to play trombone, drums, maracas, or didgeridoo, regardless of skill level.”

5 “I am a Spanish speaker and spent several months living in two cities in Mexico: Monterrey and Mexicali. I also spent 4 months backpacking around Asia and have been to Brazil and Argentina.”

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