Distributor Q&As

Distributor FAQ: FilmBuff 2014

The Independent's Erin Trahan talks with FilmBuff CEO Janet Brown about the VOD boom and FilmBuff's role in it.


"Escape From Tomorrow" was a surprise hit for its filmmakers and its VOD distributor, FilmBuff.

Get a sneak peek at one of the new additions to The Independent's Guide to Film Distribution: FAQ with FilmBuff CEO Janet Brown on the who-what-why of FilmBuff's VOD-centered distribution mission.

Five years ago, FilmBuff (an affiliate of John Sloss’s Cinetic Media) set its sights on the topsy-turvy unknowns of digital distribution. And while FilmBuff has grown exponentially in that time, VOD remains its primary area of expertise.

Distributor FAQ: Shorts International

With offices in London and LA, Shorts International distributes short films to more than 50 countries in theaters, on TV, iTunes and airlines.


Olszewski saw Lily Baldwin's "Sea Meadow" at HollyShorts 2012.

Linda Olszewski tells The Independent that Shorts International is looking for "celebrity films, comedies, CGI-animated films that are family friendly..." and a whole lot more. Find out how this short film distributor reaches more than than 50 countries in theaters, on TV, and the Internet.

Phil Saroyan recently sat down with Linda Olszewski, vice president of global acquisitions for Shorts International, to find out about the company and what she is looking for as a film buyer. She joined the company in 2006 and spearheaded the Oscar Nominated Shorts release since that time.

Securing Distribution with Netflix

Many filmmakers want to reach Netflix's 16 million subscribers, but submission guidelines and criteria for films without third-party distributors aren't quite clear yet.

This could be your movie. Photo courtesy of Netflix.

Indie filmmakers and DIY distributors are vying for a shot at Netflix distribution. Though Netflix added 300 streaming independent films to their service one year ago, the submission and selection process for indie films is still evolving.

By Michelle L. Martin and Katie O'Connell

Distributor FAQ: FilmBuff

In an interview with FilmBuff's Chris Horton, The Independent asks about the evolving landscape of digital distribution, and whether or not it's an independent filmmaker's new best friend.


A still from "The Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie."

More and more filmmakers use digital release platforms like iTunes, Netflix Streaming, and Video-on-Demand. Chris Horton, head of acquisitions for FilmBuff, explains the role his company can play in digital distribution.

FilmBuff is a digital distribution service provided by Cinetic Rights Management (CRM). Although FilmBuff is less than three years old, its sister company, Cinetic Media, has been a major player in film sales since 2001.

Exhibitor and Distributor FAQ: Seattle's Northwest Film Forum

Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum exhibits films, funds production, helps with distribution, and offers education and equipment to the independent community in the Pacific Northwest.


"The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle," produced with NWFF's Start-to-Finish Program.

Located in Seattle, the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is an invaluable resource for independent filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest, providing production grants and access to equipment and post-production facilities. The Independent spoke with film programmer Adam Sekuler to get the scoop on how NWFF puts together its exhibition calendar and their support programs for regional filmmakers, as well as some thoughts on the future of independent film distribution.

Located in Seattle, the Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) is an invaluable resource for independent filmmakers in the Pacific Northwest, providing production grants and access to equipment and post-production facilities. The Film Forum also boasts a 364-day exhibition calendar of independent films, many of which are hard to come by at other theaters in the region.

Distributor FAQ: Udy Epstein of Seventh Art Releasing

Ten years since their last interview with The Independent, co-founder Udy Epstein talks about the changing face of Seventh Art Releasing


A still from Seventh Art's recently released film <i>The Queen and I</i>.

In June 1999, The Independent asked Seventh Art Releasing where the company would be in ten years (read the original interview here). They answered, “Still open for business doing films we like.” And Seventh Art has done just that. And though there have been some changes, Epstein insists that despite the technological and economic turmoil of the past ten years, the company’s original vision has stayed the same. Exactly a decade after the last interview, The Independent’s Emily Cataneo sits down with co-founder Udy Epstein to find out what those changes are.

Seventh Art Releasing is a distributor and sales company founded in 1994 by Jonathan Cordish and Udy Epstein. The company is known for distributing award-winning documentaries and fiction films, many dealing with Jewish culture, lesbian and gay issues, human rights, music, and popular culture.

Distributor FAQ: Vanessa Domico of Outcast Films

Q & A with Vanessa Domico, founder of Outcast Films, an LGBT distributor.


"Rock Bottom: Gay Men & Meth" is a recent release from Outcast, which they hope will revitalize activism on the issue.

Five years ago Vanessa Domico saw a gap in the distribution of LGBT titles and decided it was time to pull up her sleeves. Using her expertise as a director of distribution, she founded Outcast Films, now one of the foremost LGBT distributors in the country, with critically acclaimed releases like their most recent film She's a Boy I Knew (view the trailer here). Outcast is more than a distributor -- under Domico's leadership it also focuses on education and activism on behalf of the LGBT community.

Vanessa Domico was tired of seeing too few LGBT films, so she drew on her expertise as a film distributor and founded Outcast Films.

Distributor FAQ: Talking to Oli Harbottle of Dogwoof Pictures

A look at the inner-workings of the successful distribution company, Dogwoof Pictures.


Pete Postlethewaite, star of Dogwoof's latest film, <i>The Age of Stupid</i>.

Dogwoof Pictures, a London-based distribution company, is experimenting with modes of distribution with Dogwoof Indie, which allows filmmakers to keep the rights to their film. Dogwoof is currently celebrating their most recent Dogwoof Indie release from filmmaker Franny Armstrong, The Age of Stupid (view the trailer here), starring Pete Postlethewaite as a man in 2055 who looks back on old footage of 2008 and wonders why we didn't stop global warming when we still had the chance. The Independent's Nikki Chase picks the brain of Dogwood release coordinator, Oli Harbottle, to get the scoop on this thriving distribution company.

Already a successful London-based distribution company, Dogwoof has launched its own DVD store, an independent distribution site called Dogwoof Indie (which allows filmmakers to keep all rights to their film), and Dogwoof TV, a platform that brings independent movies from the web to the television (in conjunction with blinkx BBTV).

Boom or Bust: The Cinema Guild's Ryan Krivoshey

Cinema Guild director of distribution, Ryan Krivoshey talks with the Independent about the evolution of independent film distribution


Cinema Guild's short film "Sari's Mother" has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Ryan Krivoshey, the Cinema Guild's director of distribution, talks with The Independent about the evolution of independent film distribution, how the perception of the documentary has evolved since 9-11 and how Internet distribution has had an impact on the way films are seen.

Much has changed since 1968 when Philip and Mary-Ann Hobel created The Cinema Guild and television was the niche market for all things educational.

Case Study No. 3: "On Broadway"

Actor and producer Lance Greene talks about self-distributing "On Broadway" starring Joey McIntyre


Good Will Redux: Dave McLaughlin's "On Broadway" became a Boston-area must-see

On Broadway, a movie about a working-class Bostonian’s attempt to stage a play in the back of an Irish pub, has received such a good response from film festival audiences around the country that the producers decided to self-release the film in Boston last month.

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