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The Future of Doc Distribution
by Thom Powers |
3) IFP’s Film Week included a panel on distribution that featured representatives from IFC Films and B-Side. Another participant was Mark Urman, formerly of ThinkFilm, who is now heading a new company called Palladin. Under Urman’s new model, he works as a kind of gun-for-hire distributor, as reported in Indiewire: “For the first time, I am not in opposition to my filmmakers,” Urman explained. “I had to out smart them. How do I get this film for the lowest possible price? This is the first time in my career as a distributor, instead of sitting on the opposite side of the table, it’s a round table. It’s a discussion. It’s such a clean sensation that this too gives me hope. It all gives me hope.”
4) Lastly, this past Friday, Indiewire and MoMA, co-presented an Indie Film Summit, bringing together 60-70 insiders to hash out the current state of affairs. Ira Deutchman of Emerging Pictures wrote a cogent analysis of the discussion that includes a cautionary note about hybrid models, “While there are many stories about recent successes with this strategy, for every success, there are at least 20 disasters. If you have a film that has a very specific target audience, a way to easily (and cheaply) reach that audience, some money to spend and a clever campaign, go for it. The problem is that every filmmaker believes that his or her film has the elements to work, but not all of them do.”
I encourage filmmakers to educate themselves about all these new ideas. Watch this blog for more reflections on the changing state of doc distribution.