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.