Do festivals represent the future of independent film distribution? Where are the opportunities? What are the risks? This panel will explore emergent models and speculate on ways independent producers (and distributors) may leverage a robust film festival circuit for commercial exploitation. With major festivals like Sundance, sxsw and Tribeca already in the game in varying ways, it seems this will be a developing trend. Will smaller regional festivals organize to create a theatrical circuit? Can a festival brand or screening translate into viable, direct revenues for the independent film sector? Is this what festivals should be doing? This panel explores one of the most compelling new developments in the business of film festivals.
Many short filmmakers struggle to find an audience for their films, and very few ever get compensated for their efforts. Don’t short filmmakers deserve an opportunity to showcase their skill and talents? This panel discussion seeks to explore short filmmakers’ experiences with a new, distribution paradigm for their work, self-distribution. This is about how artists, when they think about distribution, become entrepreneurs.
These artists will describe their challenges, their victories and their engagement with this newfound distribution, in their own words. There are many options and formats: film festivals and the Internet for distribution; short film and webisodes as formats and blogging and other forms of social media as marketing tools. These panelists are filmmakers, marketers, bloggers and social media experts. They will address real concerns of filmmakers such as right protection and revenue production. The discussion will offer a template for how short filmmakers can distribute and market their films, establish themselves as artists and find their audience and contribute to the short film community.
Increasingly, filmmakers are becoming directly involved in the distribution and marketing of their own films. Veteran marketing strategist, Marc Schiller, and distribution specialist, Richard Abramowitz, will share their unique experiences working with directors and producers on the release of their films. The session will highlight their experiences and techniques collaborating on such films as the Academy Award nominated film, Exit Through The Gift Shop and the box office hit, Senna. The discussion will present specific tips and strategies that filmmakers can employ during the distribution and marketing process to increase success in the box office and digital release.
Are all film distributors equal? (Of course not!) What do the most successful distributors have in common? How can a filmmaker find out? In A to Z of Distribution (with an emphasis on ‘E’), come learn what distinguishes four of the leading documentary distributors in the marketplace: Kino Lorber, Women Make Movies, Cinema Guild and New Day. Moderated by Elizabeth Sheldon, VP of Kino Lorber, each distributor will discuss how they select films, their different paths to market, what makes each company unique, and what they all have in common (hint, hint: starts with the letter ‘E’). Whether it is a theatrical department, digital distribution, specialty collections, or a strength in reaching the college/university/library market, each of the featured distributors has survived and thrived over the decades. Come learn why, how you and your film can benefit, and what they are looking for at SXSW.