Austin-Based Instagram Account The Film Zone Climbs to 1.5 Million Followers
Founder Christian Dwarica created the film-focused social media page to answer the age-old question, “What should we watch?”
By Katerina Cotroneo
Photos by Rebecca Potter
Sitting on the sofa with his buddies in college, Christian Dwarica was fed up with the classic question, “Well… what do we watch now?”
An idea sparked in his mind: The Film Zone. A place where Millennials and Gen Z individuals alike can quickly scroll, and within seconds, choose something to watch, without having to sift through trailers for hours with their roommates, as he had done that very night and many nights before.
“There are so many streaming platforms, and nobody can ever agree on what to watch. The Film Zone takes out the guessing game,” says Dwarica, who knows his crowd because he is his crowd. He markets to people in his own demographic, creating something on Instagram, an app people already had and didn’t have to pay for, but used constantly and shared with their friends. Before getting to this place, Dwarica tried many different creative directions, always wanting something of his own, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on what his path would be until he created TFZ.
In the past, Dwarica worked on commercials in Austin, San Antonio and Mexico. He even played a young Antonio Banderas in the Netflix film, “The Laundromat.” All of this eventually contributed to the debut of The Film Zone, which launched in January 2019.
In addition to sharing posts on the account’s feed with popular movie clips, snippets of entertaining interviews and behind the scenes content, they also share stories with recommendations for the best options available on many prominent streaming platforms. The Film Zone’s most significant accomplishments to date include collaborating with some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Pluto, Hulu and more.
Dwarica is not alone in his efforts. As The Film Zone grew, he knew he would need to build a team to surround him. A group of employees, video editors, graphic designers and a sales team are now on board with Dwarica, who lives by “quality over quantity” when it comes to hiring.
“I love my team and what I do,” says Dwarica. “Austin is such a great city and getting to work out of here and with individuals from here is amazing.”
There are multiple avenues from TFZ, and brands can choose which direction to pursue when working with them. Dwarica helps streaming companies like Tubi run their social media platforms because of his knowledge in both social media and film and television. The proof of his success is in the pudding — or follower count.
The Film Zone is followed by notable celebrities such as Chance The Rapper, Camila Cabello, Mark Wahlberg, Glen Powell, Anthony Davis, Austin Butler, J. Cole, The Chainsmokers and many more.
Currently, the follower count of The Film Zone is at 1.5 million and counting. In March alone, TFZ hit 100 million impressions. In one year, The Film Zone hits more than a billion impressions, and organically, some single videos get over 80 million views.
The secret, Dwarica says, is “creating quality shareable content. People overthink what they have to do in order to get views, but all there truly is to it is quality, access and dependable content.”
As far as the future is concerned, Dwarica plans to host events virtually and in person to grow the TFZ’s persona. He will also continue to do what he does best — post. The entrepreneur loves that he gets to work in an industry he loves, while immersing young people in a road map of what to watch. The film fan says he hopes to “inspire the next generation of filmmakers by giving them ample opportunity to be seen.”
Dwarica gives back to the Austin community of young filmmakers by hosting an annual short film festival that gives participants a chance to have exposure to his many followers and an opportunity to meet with a studio. He goes so far as to reach out to college professors and ask if they have any interested students to ensure everyone gets a fair shot at the cash prize and opportunity, as he was once a struggling college kid with a dream.
Dwarica has many goals for The Film Zone, including working with more notable brands on the horizon and climbing to certain follower counts, but at the end of the day, the film lover is enjoying the day-to-day work and is “in it for the long haul.”