DISTRIBUTORS FACT SHEET: 2021 Edition

By Liz Manashil 

In 2019, I collaborated with Rebecca Green to publish the Distributors Fact Sheet, a project that aimed to tackle the dearth of resources available to filmmakers when it comes to navigating distribution. When I wrote the Distributors Fact Sheet in 2019, I was working for the Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Initiative, which has since dissolved. I am not aware of any distribution specific artist support programs that are currently in existence at any of the major arts organizations, which seems counterintuitive. Dozens of films go through lab programs every year, yet filmmakers are left with little to no education or support when it comes to getting their film in front of audiences. Because of this, Rebecca commissioned me to do an updated version, looking at how the pandemic has impacted distribution and provide to a glimpse into what the future will look like. 

As I’ve been consulting with filmmakers on their release strategies, and tracking industry trends, the term “content drought” (a dip in produced content due to COVID-19) has come up over and over again. Creators have looked to the “content drought” concept with a lot of hope, believing that less content will result in more lucrative distribution deals, or more acquisition opportunities would trickle down to the nimble microbudget creators who managed to get projects off the ground during the pandemic. However, 2020 saw the restructuring of the theatrical window, which the entire distribution system is built upon. If your film performs well in theaters, that opens up more revenue streams through international markets, home video, SVOD and ancillary markets such airlines and cruise ships. However, due to the pandemic these ancillary revenue sources have also suffered, leaving less opportunity for recoupment or profit for filmmakers. And, yes, people are stuck at home and want new movies to watch, but streaming platforms have cornered the market with A-list driven content, squeezing out independent filmmakers. For example, Netflix announced that in 2021 they will be releasing 71 new titles across all genres. Without the theatrical window, the lucrative deals can only be found with the big streamers and if you do not have a film with A-list talent, prestige festival backing or strong genre ties, you’re likely to be left out in the cold. 

If we can find one silver lining from 2020, it has been that the moratorium on production has allowed us to take a good look at how content is produced and distributed and to ponder ways to redesign the process to be more inclusive and equitable. For example, Naomi McDougall Jones and I are working on Constellation Incubator which will work to apply design-thinking to problem-solve and innovate the entire process – from financing all the way through marketing and distribution.

In the meantime, for better or worse, teaming up with a distributor is the most common way to get your film in front of an audience and who you partner with is one of the most important decisions you will make for your film. While the top priority is almost always to receive a MG (minimum guarantee) sizable enough for your investors to recoup, there are many other aspects to consider when looking for a distributor — Will this distributor deliver on their promises? Do they clearly communicate? Is their fee too high for the services they are providing? Is their delivery list stuck in the 1990s? Considering all these questions and the elusiveness that exists around distributors, Rebecca and I devised a 16 point questionnaire and approached 79 companies to complete it (41 declined and are listed at the end of this article). Their responses in full are listed below per company. 

Here are some key takeaways from the distributor responses:

  • Distributors are suffering and as a result, are taking less risks.

As much as distributors have been villainized over the ages, it’s important to remember that distribution companies are made up of people who love movies and the pandemic has put their jobs in jeopardy along with the rest of us. One distributor told us, “our small firm had to do one lay-off and the rest of the staff, including leadership, has taken cuts in pay and hours, or declined pay outright. This is the case across the industry (including at many film-related non-profits). Filmmakers should be aware that things are really hard if you’re a distributor or exhibitor supporting independent right now. So if you’re a filmmaker reaching out to a for-profit, there’s going to be focus happening on work that can — for whatever reason — more readily sell.” 

Anticipate more nos this year and consider a distributor’s bottom line as you navigate offers and submissions. Don’t take every rejection personally — it may not have anything to do with the quality of your film, rather it may be entirely about the bottom line. 

  • Term lengths are still too long. 

Exceptionally long term lengths (described in our 2019 report as “astronomical”) of up to 25 years still exist! In 2019, we did not anticipate the world to be upside down in 2020. And because of the pandemic, distribution has been impacted dramatically. As you move forward with a distributor, consider the fact that distribution moves and shifts constantly. Filmmakers should not be handcuffed into term lengths that keep control of their titles over such a long period of time. As the economy changes, and different rights become more important, filmmakers shouldn’t be waiting out the length of a generation in order to adapt with the times. 

  • Festivals still matter.

Once the pandemic hit, people started to question the value of virtual film festivals given that in-person meetings at festivals and markets were traditionally where deal-making happened. Could industry buzz be created out of a virtual festival and would big sales happen without the Sundance late night condo negotiations? Despite all the challenges, sales agents, distributors and filmmakers all made the virtual pivot proving that they still rely heavily on the curatorial powers of festivals. Festivals still matter, and I’d argue they matter more now if you want to work within the traditional distribution ecosystem. 

  • Many distributors still acquire “all rights” (at least for North America).

 As a distribution consultant, I often run into filmmakers who are offered “all rights” deals, but the company making the offer doesn’t even have an educational arm, or they don’t have any interest in the theatrical window or have no plans to exploit these rights. Most distribution contracts are boilerplate and not customized to the individual needs of your film’s release. If a distributor does not plan to exploit certain rights, make sure you exclude those rights from the deal so that you can exploit them yourself if you so choose. 

  • More distributors are opening their doors to submissions.

 In 2019, very few distributors provided information about how filmmakers can approach them with their content. However, with the decrease of in-person networking at festivals, the doors are opening to more cold inquiries and direct submissions. Take advantage of this and the contact addresses they shared in our questionnaire. 

  • Virtual theatrical is the pivot of the year. 

This point is so obvious that I considered excluding it, but I would be remiss to not highlight that the major takeaway from 2020 is the exploitation of virtual events and screening platforms. From Eventive to Story Spaces to Kino Marquee, filmmakers and distributors are utilizing and organizing their own virtual convenings in an attempt to safeguard the community aspect of movie-watching. And you don’t need a traditional distributor to have a virtual release. Here is a document that Picture Motion created which lists some virtual screening  platforms that filmmakers can approach independent of a distributor.  

  • Most Distributors (but not all, as you will see from the list of distributors who declined to participate in this piece) have a sincere desire to communicate, educate and support filmmakers

We asked, “what do you wish filmmakers better understood about distribution” and there was a true energy around the way distributors answered this question. Due to bandwidth and major communication blockades between filmmakers and distributors (complicated legalese, outdated delivery schedules, lack of transparency regarding contract terminology, as well as an unhealthy expectation from filmmakers that the distributor is supposed to make magic happen) distributors and filmmakers rarely connect. We hope that what the distributors shared here will help filmmakers better understand distributors, allowing for a more aligned partnership. 

  • There are more distributors than you think. 

In just about every lab application and pitch, filmmakers say that their goal is to premiere at Sundance and have their film bought by A24. While that dream is understandable, only a few filmmakers win that lottery ticket. It is vital that you set your film up for success by educating yourself and your financier(s) about the plethora of distributors available, how they all differ and who will truly be best suited for your film. Just because you love A24 movies, doesn’t mean it’s the best home for your film. 

  • A good number of distributors declined to participate in this survey. 

While more companies participated in this survey than in 2019, we received a good amount of radio silence or direct passes from the most sought after distributors. “No” responses ran the gamut with replies such as, “(Name Redacted) is extremely private about data, and it’s against company policy to share this kind of info” to the simple “will decline participation this time” response. While we respect everyone’s privacy, our questions were not overly intrusive. For example, we really wanted to ask each distributor how much of a minimum guarantee they pay on average when acquiring a film, but knew no one would answer that question. Lack of transparency from distributors is a perpetual issue filmmakers face. If distributors truly want to see themselves as collaborators, transparency is vital and should be expected, and would benefit the ecosystem. 

Now to get to the questions, here is what we asked of everyone:

  • Please provide a short description of your company. BIO
  • What is the size of your company? SIZE
  • How many films did you acquire in 2019? FILMS ACQUIRED 2019
  • How many films did you acquire in 2020? FILMS ACQUIRED 2020
  • How many films do anticipate acquiring in 2021? FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021
  • What type of content do you primarily acquire? TYPE OF CONTENT
  • What rights do you typically acquire? RIGHTS
  • What is your average license term length? TERM
  • Do you feel it is important for a filmmaker to have established a social media presence for a film before it is acquired? SOCIAL MEDIA
  • What festivals do you attend and feel are most meaningful when it comes to looking for films to acquire? FESTIVALS
  • List a few of your company’s most recent releases or acquisitions. RECENT TITLES
  • What is the best way for a filmmaker to submit their film to you for consideration? SUBMISSIONS
  • What changes has your company made to adjust to the impact of the pandemic? PANDEMIC PIVOT 
  • Do you feel optimistic about the state of independent film 2021? OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021?
  • Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your company? ANYTHING ELSE?
  • What do you wish filmmakers better understood about distribution? ON DISTRIBUTION

And here is what distributors had to say (in alphabetical order):

1091 PICTURES
BIO: The company was founded in 2014 as the film and television division of The Orchard, a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment. In 2019, the company was sold back to its original owners and rebranded as 1091 Pictures. 
SIZE: 31-50 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: Around 100
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: Around 100
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 150+
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, worldwide
TERM: 5-10 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Locarno Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, Sheffield Doc/Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: A Kid From Coney Island, The Phenomenon, Them That Follow
SUBMISSIONS: Filmmakers should submit their films to us directly through our website.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Our theatrical run for The Ghost of Peter Sellers was impacted by the shutdown so we pivoted to a virtual run. Ultimately, we were able to book 72 theaters across the country from major theaters like The Laemmle, to smaller theaters in Howell, Michigan and Athens, Georgia. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: We are upping our narrative title distribution and want to see your film!
ON DISTRIBUTION: We are committed to telling stories and working as partners with our filmmakers. Our goal is to combine our knowledge of the market with their vision; and our mark of success is a satisfied filmmaker. 

ABRAMORAMA
BIO: Abramorama has thrived in its current incarnation for about 20 years. We are a theatrically-drive, global rights management company with a focus on music-themed non-fiction and social impact films. Our model is most often based on service deals in order to allow the producers to retain control of the IP and participate meaningfully in the process.
SIZE: 11-15 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019:21-30
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 21-30
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 21-30
TYPE OF CONTENT: Documentary, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM: 1-3 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Rebuilding Paradise, Herb Alpert Is…, Soros, Apocalypse ’45, The Library That Dolly Built, Olympia, A Dog Called Money, The Antidote
SUBMISSIONS: Through an established connection or even info@abramorama.com
PANDEMIC PIVOT:  We have been actively – and successfully – releasing our full slate of films virtually on our WatchNow@Home platform with our full staff in place.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:I believe we’ll be back in business in a big way by the summer.
ANYTHING ELSE:  Look at our films over the years to understand our taste, then check with the filmmakers for the most reliable feedback.
ON DISTRIBUTION:  It’s a collaborative process: filmmakers, distributors, publicists, journalists, exhibitors…and it’s good, honest, hard work when done properly.

ARRAY
BIO: Founded in 2010 by Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a film collective dedicated to the amplification of images by people of color and women directors. ARRAY Releasing focuses on grass-roots distribution of feature narrative and documentary work by varied voices. Newly formed non-profit ARRAY Alliance expands on the organization’s deep roots in independent film through special programming geared towards impactful, inclusive initiatives. Together, ARRAY continues to champion underrepresented creators in creative spaces.
SIZE: 1-3 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:  4-10 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both feature length documentary and fiction films by Black, POC and Women filmmakers
RIGHTS: All rights in English speaking territories
TERM: 5-10 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, We review all festival line up announcements. Small, medium and large festivals all over the world. We also review films out of Slamdance Film Festival, Bronzelens Film Festival and Urbanworld Film Festival.
RECENT RELEASES: FUNNY BOY, RESIDUE, LINGUA FRANCA, AINU MOSIR, THE BURIAL OF KOJO, BURNING CANE, JEZEBEL, JUSTINE, MERATA, THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN
SUBMISSIONS: Film festivals are a great start. We also except film submissions via referral or direct submissions to our office
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Our release window has shortened in 2020. No other changes.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE:  ARRAY serves and amplifies filmmakers of color and women of all kinds.

ARTMATTAN FILMS
BIO: Founded in 1993, ArtMattan Films is the Theatrical, Educational, TV, DVD, and VOD distributor of over 120 films from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Australasia, Asia and North America, that all explore the human experience of people of color. Web site: Africanfilm.com
SIZE: 1-3 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 1-3
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 1-3
TYPE OF CONTENT:  Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  5-10 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Locarno Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Made in Bangladesh (TIFF), Marighella (Berlin), The Last Tree (Sundance)
SUBMISSIONS: e-mail @ info@africanfilm.com
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Virtual releases.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too Soon To Tell
ANYTHING ELSE:  We are looking for socially meaningful films spotlighting the African-American experience. 
ON DISTRIBUTION: You have to be patient. Don’t burn your film with quick DIY streaming placements.

ARTSPLOITATION
BIO: Founded in 2012 by former TLA Entertainment president Raymond Murray, Artsploitation Films distributes international genre features in the USA and Canada.
SIZE:  4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 11-20
TYPE OF CONTENT: Fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  5-10 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, Tribeca Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: El Principe, Wij, The Dead Ones, Welcome to the Circle, Benjamin
SUBMISSIONS: Email
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Structurally the same, and same number of releases. But we are now using virtual cinema for theatrical.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: No

BIG WORLD PICTURES
BIO: We’re a nonprofit distributor of foreign films, founded in 2013, whose mission is to promote cross-cultural appreciation and understanding via distribution and exhibition of foreign feature-length films.
SIZE: 1-3 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019:  4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 1-3
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 1-3
TYPE OF CONTENT: Fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  5-10 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES:  “I DO NOT CARE IF WE GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS BARBARIANS”; ÁGA; A GERMAN YOUTH; CITY OF THE SUN; IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY; THE HOLE; STILL LIFE
SUBMISSIONS: We screen films at the above festivals, and via online links if we missed the festival at which the film premiered. We don’t consider films that haven’t yet had a major festival premiere.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Shifted to Virtual Cinema; focused on developing Home Video market; acquiring fewer films.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:  No
ON DISTRIBUTION: That the U.S. is not Europe, and that (closely related) critical praise and most prizes don’t necessarily mean strong box office returns in the U.S. market.

BLEECKER STREET MEDIA
BIO: Bleecker Street is a US independent film studio based in New York City. It was founded in 2014 by Andrew Karpen, and named after 65 Bleecker Street, the street address of Karpen’s prior company Focus Features. 
SIZE: 16-30 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2021: 4-10
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM: 15-25 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Save Yourselves! (release), The Secrets We Keep (release), Supernova (acquired), The World to Come (acquired)
SUBMISSIONS: We typically find our content either through scripts that have been submitted by reputable agencies or from festivals or markets.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We have changed the way we look at traditional releases and have ventured into shortened theatrical windows to VOD, as well as day and date with PVOD. We’re still actively looking to acquire both scripts and finished films. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE?  Bleecker Street is a filmmaker-forward company. We are theatrically driven, but more than anything, value the collaboration with our filmmakers, and believe that the more the filmmaker is involved in the marketing and distribution of their film, the better chance it has of finding the widest possible audience.
ON DISTRIBUTION: The unit photographer should be last thing filmmakers cut from any budget

BREAKING GLASS PICTURES
BIO: Breaking Glass Founded in 2009 BGP has released over 400 titles. BGP distributes to all platforms and licenses many genres.
SIZE: 11-15 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 30+
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 30+
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 30+
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM: 10-15 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS:  Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: The Goddess of Fortune, Intersection, Song Lang
SUBMISSIONS: email
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Breaking Glass virtual theatricals, a few layoffs, 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ON DISTRIBUTION: It takes time for the checks to come in from platforms.

COHEN MEDIA GROUP
BIO:Cohen Media Group was founded in 2008 by Charles S. Cohen, Owner and Chairman/CEO to produce and distribute independent and arthouse films throughout N. America. 
SIZE: 11-15 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:  4-10
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM: 15-25 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA: No, we don’t look at social media channels for the film or the filmmaker before acquiring a film.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES:  APPLES, NOWHERE SPECIAL, PERSIAN LESSONS, BREAKING BREAD, GAGARINE, WOMEN MAKE FILM, TEL AVIV ON FIRE.
SUBMISSIONS: GO THROUGH A SALES AGENT.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: WE HAVE HELD OFF RELEASING OUR FILMS UNTIL THEATERS OPEN IN New York AND LOS ANGELES.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: Our SVOD channel, Cohen Media Channel. http://www.cohenmediachannel.com, is a carefully curated collection of films that we own or have licensed that we continue to add upon. We have an international sales department for our classic film collection and contemporary films that we acquire for worldwide rights. We own the Landmark Theater circuit in the U.S. and Curzon Cinemas/Artificial Eye exhibitor/distributor in the U.K. The Cohen Film Collection releases restored and remastered editions of classic Hollywood and foreign films theatrically and on Digital and Blu Ray platforms including Merchant-Ivory Productions.
ON DISTRIBUTION:  Release windows. The competitive landscape. The value of filmmaker contribution to the understanding of how best to market their films. 

FACTORY 25
BIO: Factory 25, an independent film production and distribution company launched in 2009. Factory 25 is a home for conceptually provocative narratives and documentaries. The company’s mission is to expose the world to under-the-radar films, music, and other curiosities theatrically and digitally, as well as on TV, VOD, VHS, and limited edition discs with vinyl LPs and books. Factory 25 titles include Other Music, Ham on Rye, Christmas, Again, All This Panic, MA, Sylvio, August at Akiko’s, Uncle Kent 2, Stinking Heaven, Alex Ross Perry’s The Color Wheel, Sophia Takal’s Green, All the Light in the Sky, Amy Seimetz’s Sun Don’t Shine, the Zellner Brothers’ Kid Thing and the restored Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning film In the Soup by Alexandre Rockwell. Factory 25 has also produced Nathan Silver’s The Great Pretender, Onur Tukel’s Applesauce and Summer of Blood, Theodore Collatos & Carolina Monnerat’s Queen of Lapa along with the upcoming films You Mean Everything to Me by Bryan Wizemann, All the Old Bells by Brent Green and Inspector Ike by Graham Mason. Factory 25’s headquarters are located in Brooklyn, New York.
SIZE: 1-3 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 11-20
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:  11-20
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, worldwide
TERM:  5-10 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Locarno Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, Sheffield Doc/Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Other Music, Ham on Rye, Tito, Little Sister
SUBMISSIONS: e-mail
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Moved theatrical titles to virtual cinema. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too soon to tell. 
ON DISTRIBUTION: Filmmakers should understand that often just as much work goes into releasing a hugely successful film as a marginally successful film.

FILM MOVEMENT
BIO: Founded in 2002, Film Movement is a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide. Film Movement’s theatrical releases include American independent films, documentaries, and foreign art house titles. Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit http://www.filmmovement.com. Visit http://www.filmmovementplus.com for more information about Film Movement Plus, Film Movement’s critically-lauded subscription streaming service.
SIZE:  4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 11-20
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 11-20
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 11-20 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  10-15 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, South by Southwest, Toronto International Film Festival, We track films reviewed at all of these festivals
RECENT RELEASES: The Wild Goose Lake, Corpus Christi, Lapsis, My Little Sister, Mayor, Advocate, The Columnist, True Mothers, A Good Woman is Hard to Find
SUBMISSIONS:  By Email
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We started virtual cinema immediately. We are now moving to day-and-date since virtual cinema does not work so well anymore. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too soon to tell. 
ON DISTRIBUTION: With limited resources and massive competition, it is difficult to make films stand out. But at least with a distributor you have a team pushing your film, and a company that is working across all the channels of distribution on your behalf, and has existing relationships that can work to your advantage.

FILMRISE
BIO: Founded in 2012 by veteran producers and financiers Danny Fisher, Jack Fisher and Alan Klingenstein in Brooklyn, NY
SIZE: 75+
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 11-20
FILMS ACQUIRED 202: 11-20
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:  11-20
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, worldwide
TERM: 15-25 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Driveways (Brian Dennehy, Hong Chau), Lilly’s Light: The Movie (Sherry Hursey, Fred Willard), Rewind ( Sasha Joseph Neulinger), The State of Texas vs. Melissa (Sabrina Van Tassel), Deep in Vogue (Dennis Keighron-Foster, Amy Watson)
SUBMISSIONS: We do not have a strict submission process. We are a company of filmmakers and creative people at all levels with long term relationships with agencies, agents, festivals, curators, production companies, studios, etc. so, opportunities to pick up films come to us from many points. 
PANDEMIC PIVOT:  We were one of the first independent studios to immediately pivot and launch our own virtual theatrical platform with great success.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE:  FilmRise Releasing is in the unique position to offer filmmakers access to all key distribution platforms across every format and distribution point including festivals, theatrical, virtual cinema, educational, specialty/non-theatrical, TVOD, SVOD and our own branded on demand and linear AVOD channels. The films we acquire are an eclectic mix of scripted features and compelling documentaries across genres including drama, comedy, horror, music, and true crime. We customize the distribution strategy for each film with a varying mix of festival play, theatrical bookings, virtual cinema, day-and-date, eventized releases as well as digital, DVD, TV/cable/linear SVOD and AVOD.
ON DISTRIBUTION: That the distribution toolbox has never been fuller than it is today. 

GATHR 
BIO: Founded 2011 – Inventors of Theatrical On Demand® (bottom-up cinema distribution). With Gathr At Home™ we are now the market leaders in LIVE Virtual Event Cinema and Virtual Theatrical distribution. 
SIZE: 4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 30+
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 30+ 
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 30+ 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Documentary, feature-length films
RIGHTS: Varies
TERM: 1-3 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Cannes International Film Festival, IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Full Frame, Hot Docs, IFP
RECENT RELEASES:  MEETING THE BEATLES IN INDIA, ENDING DISEASE, THE TEST AND THE ART OF THINKING, RUNNER, PARKLAND RISING, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
SUBMISSIONS: https://gathr.com/virtualeventcinema/
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We created Gathr At Home™ for LIVE Virtual Event Cinema and Virtual Theatrical distribution/exhibition
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:  Yes
ANYTHING ELSE:  We are about to launch a Beta for GathrTalent that will turbocharge virtual and offline theatrical and non-theatrical exhibition by allowing for the seamless bookings of films and their post-screening discussions/Q&A’s. Learn more here: Beta.Gathr.com
ON DISTRIBUTION: Costs…

GIANT PICTURES
BIO: Launched in 2017, Giant Pictures is a boutique digital distributor based in NYC and Los Angeles, which is dedicated to elevating the digital experience. We work directly with filmmakers and rights owners to distribute movies and TV shows to 50+ VOD & streaming platforms in North America and worldwide. Giant is a division of Giant Interactive, an award-winning digital media and technology services company, which was founded way back in 2005. Giant is an Apple Preferred vendor. Visit us at: http://www.giant.pictures 
SIZE: 11-15 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 30+
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 30+
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 30+ 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: Digital only, North America
TERM: 1-3 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It is vital. We do minimal marking on behalf of the film.
FESTIVALS: Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: The Panama Papers (2018), dir. Alex Winter, Volition (2019), dir. Tony Dean Smith, Feels Good Man (2020), dir. Arthur Jones, Action USA (2020, re-release), dir. John Stewart, The Man In The Woods (2020), dir. Noah Buschel, Brewmance (2021), dir. Christo Brock
SUBMISSIONS: www.giant.pictures
PANDEMIC PIVOT: As an exclusively digital distributor, Giant has been busier than ever during the pandemic, as filmmakers have looked to expedite their films onto streaming platforms, and the platforms have become more voracious in their need for content 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE:  At Giant Pictures our approach to digital distribution is more collaborative than filmmakers may be used to when compared with previous distribution experiences. We believe that distribution should be customizable, not templated. Giant can slot in to filmmakers’ existing distribution plans and goals; from self-distribution theatrical releases, to wrap-around SVOD licensing deals, to full project management of the digital footprint worldwide. 

Because of our roots as a top lab / post production house, being service-oriented is in the DNA of Giant Pictures. We view the filmmaker as our client, meaning that filmmakers have control, flexibility and transparency over every aspect of the digital release. Our term is short (2-3 years) and filmmakers can terminate at any time if they are not happy with how the relationship is working out. However, with all this flexibility comes the need for filmmakers to take responsibility for much of their own marketing and release campaigns. 

Our model works best when we can partner with filmmakers who have clear distribution goals and who are highly engaged with their campaigns and ultimately their audiences. 

ON DISTRIBUTION:  Setting up a release, particularly a digital release, takes longer than you think. Please leave enough time (around 3-4 months at minimum) from delivery of materials until your desired live date. Additionally, respect your marketing materials, particularly your artwork, this is a crucial asset for selling your film. Finally, do not treat distribution as a commodity! It matters WHO is presenting your film to the marketplace, and to digital platforms, so make sure you know your distributor’s reputation and who will be pitching your film. The same film, presented, by two different distribution companies, may achieve highly divergent results.

GLOBAL DIGITAL RELEASING
BIO: GDR was formed in 2017 after our sister label, Terror Films started getting inundated with all types of genres do to a positive (and growing), reputation for honesty and transparency. We wanted to do for all genres what we were doing for the horror genre and that was to give indie films a chance to be seen and promoted in a way we don’t often see from mid-level distributors. 
SIZE: 4-10 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 1-3
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 1-3
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 1-3
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: Digital only, North America
TERM: 3-5 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: No, we don’t look at social media channels for the film or the filmmaker before acquiring a film.
FESTIVALS: South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, We look at films from everywhere to be honest. 
RECENT RELEASES: HAM: A Musical Memoir, Two Ways to Go West, The Paper Store 
SUBMISSIONS: Directly through our website or through a sales rep. 
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Under this label we have really embraced Virtual Cinema releases with chains such as The Laemmle. We have also really pushed up the AVOD window release due to the way in which Ad based platforms have exploded. Our focus is to do all we can to create revenue streams for our filmmakers and not die on a TVOD window hill. Transactional revenue has decreased more and more since Covid as it relates to indie content. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: As mentioned under our Terror Films description, we are filmmakers for filmmakers. We work harder than the average mid-level distributor. We’re also a small shop who is always accessible. If a filmmaker waits more than 48 hours to get a reply from someone on the team, that’s an anomaly. In addition (and I think one of the most important aspects about us) is that we are not a high volume company pumping out 150 movies a year into the digital space like so many others. This allows us to give our films the time and energy to come back too. 
ON DISTRIBUTION: It’s a team effort. Don’t sit back and do nothing to help your film. Although we guarantee marketing, Social Media Posts and paid digital ads, do some lifting yourself. Get links out to cast and crew, family and friends. Also recognize that just because we’re doing a ton of marketing doesn’t mean your film will make money out of the gate. It’s a long game. We have some films that do very well at first while others take 4 or 5 quarters and multiple platforms before they start to generate revenue.

GOOD DEED 
BIO: Founded in 2013, Good Deed Entertainment (GDE) is an Ohio based independent studio dedicated to producing, financing, and distributing quality entertainment for feature films, television, the worldwide web, and tomorrow’s anticipated platforms. Its distribution slate includes recent releases Lucky Grandma and Enemy Lines in addition to the Academy Award nominated, Loving Vincent, and Spirit Award nominated, To Dust.
SIZE: 4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 11-20
FILMS ACQUIRED: 2020:  4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 4-10 
TYPE OF CONTENT:  Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM: 15-25 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES:  Lucky Grandma, Extra Ordinary, Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison
SUBMISSIONS: Via agents, managers, or production partners. 
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Shifted to Virtual Cinema options and actively exploring adjusted release models. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:  Too soon to tell
ON DISTRIBUTION: We can be allies for filmmakers!

ICARUS FILMS 
BIO:Since 1978, Icarus Films has been a leading distributor of documentary films in North America. Led by longtime president Jonathan Miller, we work with independent producers worldwide to release 30-50 new films a year, and represent a collection of well over 1,000 titles.
SIZE:  4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 30+
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 30+
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 30+  
TYPE OF CONTENT: Documentary, all lengths
RIGHTS: All rights in North America and non-exclusive rights worldwide
TERM: 5–10 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS:  Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, International Film Festival Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Toronto International Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival 
RECENT RELEASES: “Softie,” Markie in Milwaukee,” “Yiddish,” “Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own” 
SUBMISSIONS: Email to livia@icarusfilms.com with subject “Distribution: “Film title,” including your logline, trailer, screener link, relevant press clippings or festivals if applicable, and a list of academic disciplines or subjects to which your documentary is relevant
PANDEMIC PIVOT:  Icarus Films has moved from in-theater releases to virtual theatrical revenue-share Premium VOD engagements, with 50% of net revenue supporting a presenting local theater. There’s also been an increase in interest in the two SVOD platforms that we co-founded, Docuseek.com (for educational institutions) and OVID.tv (home entertainment).
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too soon to tell 

IFC FILMS
BIO:Established in 2000 and since becoming a leader in the independent film industry, IFC Entertainment consists of two distribution labels that are devoted to bringing the best of independent, documentary and foreign films to the largest possible audience: IFC Films and IFC Midnight.
SIZE: 16-30 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 21-30
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 21-30
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 21-30
TYPE OF CONTENT: Documentary, fiction and foreign language feature-length films 
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  15-25 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, New Directors/New Films, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES:  The Rental, The Wretched, Made In Italy, Relic, Swallow, MLK/FBI, Farewell Amor
SUBMISSIONS: 98% of the films we acquire are done so through agencies, so the best way for a filmmaker or producer to submit a film for consideration is through a sales agent. We accept submissions from filmmakers and producers as well, but on a case-by-case basis.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We decided to hold to our scheduled Premium VOD, Day and Date release dates and pivoted towards drive-ins theaters early in the pandemic to great success. We’ve continued to acquire content at the same pace. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE:  IFC Films is a leading distributor of quality talent-driven independent film. IFC Midnight is the company’s genre label featuring features horror, sci-fi, thrillers, art-house, action and more. IFC Entertainment pioneered the distribution model of releasing films in theaters the same day they are available on video on demand. The company customizes a distribution strategy for each film, which may also include day and date, something that IFC Entertainment pioneered whereby films are available in theaters the same day they can be accessed through the On Demand platform. 
ON DISTRIBUTION: A greater understanding of how their films fit with audiences in the current competitive landscape. 

INDIE RIGHTS
BIO:In 2007, Indie Rights was founded by Linda Nelson and Michael Madison because they had produced three films and were not excited about the opportunities that existed for truly independent film. Indie Rights now has a diverse catalog of more than 1,200 films and exhibits annually at Cannes and AFM. The company enjoys direct relationships with all major streaming platforms and has a great reputation for integrity, transparency and innovation. Their cloud-based rights and content management and delivery systems are allowing them to provide unparalleled exposure for the films they represent. Marketing support in the way of education, social media currency and a private support group for their filmmakers set them apart in the marketplace.
SIZE:  4-10 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 30+
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 30+
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 30+
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS:  All rights, worldwide
TERM:  Initial term is three years and renews automatically in one year increments unless the filmmakers want to terminate.
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is vital that the filmmaker works with us as a team on social media.
FESTIVALS: Cannes International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES:  Blood From Stone, A Bend In The River, Gozo, Las Vegas Story, Ron Hopper’s Misfortune
SUBMISSIONS: Through the link on the Distribution page of our website.
PANDEMIC PIVOT:  Our company has always operated out of a live/work loft where our employees are on the first floor and have continued to work throughout the pandemic. We have strict Covid guidelines and do not allow guests/filmmakers to visit our office in person at this time. We hold zoom meetings regularly. Actually, because we do all QC, encoding and delivery of films in-house, our business operations have not changed, but have in fact expanded. The streaming business is booming and we are enjoying healthy growth in submissions.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: We are happy to consider all types of features and TV series.
ON DISTRIBUTION:  The complexity of encoding and delivery, the importance of understanding the required deliverables prior to production, the importance of social media currency, the importance of a great poster and a great trailer.

JUNO FILMS
BIO: Juno Films is a boutique film distributor and world sales agent. Its founder Elizabeth Sheldon has over 20 years of experience in the distribution of documentary and feature films for both North American all-rights releases and international sales. Juno Films specializes in the development and execution of bespoke finance and distribution strategies on behalf of producers and filmmakers.
SIZE: 1-3 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 11-20
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 21-30
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America and worldwide when available
TERM:  10-15 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Radium Girls, Tiny Tim: King For A Day, Morgana
SUBMISSIONS: e/mail
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We added a virtual window to our theatrical release for a hybrid model, worked closely with festivals and expanded our staff to increase our marketing capabilities. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: We work closely with our filmmakers to amplify their film and reach audiences.
ON DISTRIBUTION:  That we are advocates for our filmmakers to ensure that their film is distributed as widely as possible.

KINO LORBER
BIO: Kino Lorber is the leading North American independent distributor of acclaimed art house films, award winning documentaries and classics. Kino, founded in 1979 it was acquired by Richard Lorber in 2009 and renamed Kino Lorber. 
SIZE:  31-50 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 400
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 500
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:  600, including 50 for all rights with theatrical release 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  10-15 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Locarno Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, doc nyc, hot docs, rome, MIA, CPH Dox, MIP TV, MIPCOM, 
RECENT RELEASES: Martin Eden, Bacurau, Bean Pole, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, The Reason I Jump, Identifying Features, Jazz On A Summer’s Day, Pasolini, Diamantino, etc. 
SUBMISSIONS:  through a sales agent or other representative
PANDEMIC PIVOT: working remotely, attending all festivals virtually
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too soon to tell 

LEVEL 33 ENTERTAINMENT
BIO: Level 33 Entertainment is a Los Angeles based content sales and distribution company formed in 2010 to break the mold of the traditional Hollywood movie distribution model. At Level 33, the mission is simple: focus on providing the highest level of quality independent film distribution in the industry. Level 33 distributes and sells content across all media platforms, including Theatrical, On Demand, DVD and Television. Our releases can be found in every major retail, rental and streaming account globally including: Amazon, Apple TV/iTunes, Netflix, Redbox, Google Play, VUDU, Playstation, Hulu, Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Spectrum, Tubi, XUMO, and Roku to name just a few. Level 33 is committed to redefining the distribution landscape by custom tailoring our sales, marketing and release plans for each film we represent, rather than employing a one-size-fits-all mentality. This responsible, cost effective releasing approach provides each film the maximum opportunity to reach its target audience, thus creating a greater opportunity for success. Level 33 works as a real partner to filmmakers and holds integrity as its highest core value. To that end, we offer the most competitive, filmmaker friendly distribution deals in the industry and provide clear and honest accounting with no surprises or hidden costs. Lastly, Level 33 attends all major film festivals and markets.
SIZE: 4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 11-20
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 21-30
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 21-30 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, worldwide
TERM: 5-10 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: COMPULSION, SIMMER
SUBMISSIONS: Query letter via email
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Moved to virtual cinema and stepped up our international presence.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ON DISTRIBUTION: The importance of building your film around marketable elements and the time it takes to see revenues from distribution of content.

MAGNOLIA PICTURES
BIO: The leading independent film distributor for nearly 20 years, Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban’s 2929 Entertainment, specializing in a unique and eclectic slate of films. 
SIZE: 16-30 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 11-20
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 11-20
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: Varies year to year 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  Varies 
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS:  Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: ENFORCEMENT, MANDIBLES, ZAPPA, CROCK OF GOLD, STRAY, ALONE, 12 HOUR SHIFT, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE 
SUBMISSIONS: All films can be submitted to our acquisitions general email: acquisitions@magpictures.com
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We actually began thinking through the impact of potential theater closures at the end of February, and were ready to move forward with revamped release plans soon thereafter. There was no one-size-fits all solution, and we weren’t operating with a survivalist slash-and-burn mentality. Magnolia has been an extraordinarily nimble organization since its inception, so we were well positioned to carefully work through new individual strategies for each film. Virtual Cinema was a part of that, but really began as more of a short term concept to help theaters generate a bit of revenue. It has evolved into a unique, mutually beneficial engagement tool that has given us an opportunity to more substantively partner with an array of fantastic organizations. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ON DISTRIBUTION: Independent filmmakers seem to have a far greater understanding of the mechanics of distribution than ever before, and we’re always happy to help fill in the rest.

MATSON FILMS
BIO: Matson Films – Founded in NYC in 2004, Matson Films is a film distributor with offices in Angeles. The company services theatrical distribution of 20+ films per year for a wide array of industry partners. Films distributed through these partnerships have ranged from major festival winners LIFE ANIMATED, DIOR AND I, THE OVERNIGHT, THE HERO, AMERICAN ANIMALS, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE and CARTEL LAND, to activist documentaries including THE MESSENGER, THE LAST DALAI LAMA and THEY CALL US MONSTERS, to cult classics like Alex Cox’s STRAIGHT TO HELL RETURNS. Under its own banner, the company’s acquisitions focus is on films from emerging American and International directors and the distribution strategy works to provide the excitement and community of traditional theatrical movie-going with the all-access opportunity of the exploding digital landscape. Company acquisitions include IT’S ALL GONE PETE TONG, TOWNCRAFT, GHOST BIRD, MUSIC FROM THE BIG HOUSE, PURGATORIO, GURUKULAM, and RADIO DREAMS.
SIZE: 4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 1-3
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 0
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 1-3 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS:  All rights, North America
TERM: 5-10 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  No, we don’t look at social media channels for the film or the filmmaker before acquiring a film.
FESTIVALS: Cannes International Film Festival, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: MAKING WAVES, BE NATURAL, DESOLATION CENTER, GIFT
SUBMISSIONS: via email
PANDEMIC PIVOT: acquire less films, move to virtual cinema, lay off staff
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too soon to tell

MONUMENT RELEASING
BIO: Founded in 2010, Monument Releasing is a New York-based distribution company, specializing in the release of classic festival, foreign language, and American independent films. Monument Releasing is a sister company of the worldwide sales company Visit Films and the incubator Pretty ____ Ideas. 
SIZE: 4-10 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 1-3
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 4-10 
TYPE OF CONTENT:  Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights – ww, N. America, English speaking world
TERM:  5-10 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: Everything helps
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Locarno Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Pahokee, The Surrogate, Alice, Shaka
SUBMISSIONS:  Get it into a good festival!
PANDEMIC PIVOT:  Focusing on virtual theatrical releases.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:  No

MOVIES PLUS TMN
BIO: Movies Plus TMN was formed in 2014 to solve the growing problem of Distribution for Short Independent Films and Webisodes.
SIZE: 1-3 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: We optioned 71 films, meaning the Shorts were test-streamed before being offered a deal.
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: We optioned 42 films, meaning the Shorts were test-streamed before being offered a deal.
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: TBD
TYPE OF CONTENT: Short films
RIGHTS: Nonexclusive Digital only, Worldwide
TERM: 1-6 months test streaming, then negotiate for 1-5 years.
SOCIAL MEDIA: We ask our filmmakers to join Film Organizations (Meetups) to reinforce Social Media networking
FESTIVALS: MetroFilmFestival.com and Online Festivals
RECENT RELEASES: SpellFury
SUBMISSIONS: http://www.MetroFilmFestival.com — use the (Non-Competitive) FilmFreeway link to enter monthly
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Gone totally Virtual, and we have seen less submissions since the Pandemic.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: We do not use Traditional Release Windows, and therefore we are open to most films, even those that a filmmaker may consider past their original Release Window or Campaign.
ON DISTRIBUTION: Short films are a calling card, and we allow you to leverage our streaming resources to get better opportunities, however you will not get rich on your short film through us.

MUTINY PICTURES
BIO: Mutiny Pictures’ mission is to provide a more transparent and modern Development, Sales and Distribution company that is prioritizing diverse filmmakers and stories to help move the industry into the world post COVID-19. We founded the company in 2020.
SIZE: 4- 10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: we didn’t exist. I personally acquired around 10. 
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 21-30
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 30+
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: Primarily all rights worldwide, but we also do all rights North America. 
TERM:  5-10 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our  own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Markets tend to be a bigger draw for us.
RECENT RELEASES: Make Up (US Only) I Am Lisa (World) Last Call (North America Only) 
SUBMISSIONS: Reach out via our website.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We started in the pandemic, however we’ve been doing less theatrically than we originally planned and had done together prior to officially forming Mutiny.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too soon to tell
ANYTHING ELSE: We view distribution as something of a partnership. We can’t create the filmmakers voice, but we’re effective at amplifying it and advocating for them.
ON DISTRIBUTION: The timeline and pay chains involved, and the fact there’s only so much we can do to speed it up. 

OSCILLOSCOPE PICTURES
BIO: Oscilloscope Pictures is an NYC-based independent film production and distribution company founded in 2008 by Adam Yauch. The company releases films on all platforms, including theatrically, digitally, and on DVD. The company is modeled after the indie record labels Yauch grew up around, choosing films and then releasing them with the same artistic integrity with which they were made.
SIZE: 11-15 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 10-12
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 10-12
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:10-12
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  10-15 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, True/False
RECENT RELEASES: Twentieth Century, All I Can Say, Saint Frances
SUBMISSIONS:  The best way is through a proper connection: sales agents, trusted producers, or through industry recommendations. You can also email us. We have a “no unsolicited materials” policy but we break/bend that policy depending on the pitch sent our way. Keep it short, succinct, and include any visual materials to help paint a more accurate representation of your film if available. 
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We have shifted our releases towards a virtual cinema experience as we work through this pandemic. At first we took a pause on acquiring new titles so we could assess how the market would react to the situation at hand, but we have since gotten back into acquiring content. We have a slightly different outlook on what films could work in the current state of the market but we have not changed what we are looking for in terms of quality, bold voices, or cinematic content.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:  Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: We love what we do and are having a good time doing it.
ON DISTRIBUTION:  I wish filmmakers came to the distribution conversation with a robust knowledge of their audience. While a lot of filmmakers do have this in mind, I think it is a valuable part of understanding how your film can be released to consumers around the world. 

OUTSIDER PICTURES
BIO: Outsider Pictures was founded in 2005 as both a Film Sales and Distribution company. As a distributor, Outsider has predominantly focused on Latin American/Spanish film distribution for the last decade, but occasionally we release films from other countries.
SIZE: 1-3 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED: 4-10 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  10-15 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Ventana Sur, Miami, Guadalajara, AFM
RECENT RELEASES: Aviva, The Weasels Tale, Kill it or leave this Town, Helene, 90 Minuots, The August Virgin, RK/RKAY
SUBMISSIONS:  Email
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We started releasing films on virtual cinema
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too soon to tell
ANYTHING ELSE:  We are a small company trying to expand our reach especially with Latin cinema. No booking is too small if we can expand the audience.
ON DISTRIBUTION: We all watch films and would like to buy them, but sales agents pricing is usually so high that it’s unrealistic, which is often why films aren’t acquired. It isn’t that we don’t see the merits of the film, it’s that the film is just too expensive.

PASSION RIVER FILMS
BIO: Founded in 1998, Passion River Films is a film distributor specializing in films that engage with audiences and impact communities. We handle distribution to theaters, VOD, Broadcast, Home Video, and to academic and digital markets. Passion River’s diverse catalog features Academy Award and Emmy-winning films as well as films that have been recognized at Critic Choice Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, Sundance Film Festival, Cannes, SXSW, Berlinale, and many other prestigious events. 
SIZE: 11-15 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 21-30
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 21-30
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: TBD
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: Depends on the film and relevance on a worldwide vs. North America only basis
TERM:  3-5 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, IDFA: International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, Sheffield Doc/Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: American Trial: The Eric Garner Story, My Beautiful Stutter, That’s Wild, Inherent Good, No Small Matter
PASSION RIVER: Referral
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We had several films that we released in “Virtual Theatrical” to adequate success. We also pulled the trigger on releasing more titles onto AVOD and subscription streaming to take advantage of the higher viewership numbers on VOD. We have been fortunate to not have to lay off any staff nor acquire less films.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: We love to talk to any and all filmmakers. Feel free to always approach us with your projects, but more so if they are completed feature length films!
ON DISTRIBUTION: I could write a novel here on this question. I think the most important thing to note is that there is no one size fits all distribution strategy. Every film is different in their release and approach. Also, have patience! I have had some films where I have been able to land the filmmakers the dream broadcast or SVOD deal within a month and some that have received an equally great deal, but have taken over a year. Timing is everything. Lastly, DON’T GIVE UP! As distributors, we love every film we work with, however as filmmakers, you will always love your film with a different set of spectacles, so important to continue to push and fight and make waves together with your distributor to help create the biggest impact in the marketplace. There is no greater reward than picking up on a filmmaker’s infectious zeal and spreading far and wide across the spectrum.

PROLIFIC PICTURES
BIO: Prolific Pictures is a boutique sales agency looking for quality titles in all genres and formats for sales and distribution to the worldwide markets.
SIZE: 1-3 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10 
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 4-10
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, worldwide
TERM:  1-3 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA: We look at social media and hope there isn’t too much out there, particularly screenings or advance releases. We want to guide the marketing and release of the titles we acquire, so the less the better for us.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES:  Patriot: A Nation at War, Battle Scars, Wine and War, Queen of the Morning Calm
SUBMISSIONS: email info@prolificpictures.com
PANDEMIC PIVOT: expanded our market attendance to take advantage of virtual markets, planning 2021 virtual cinema releases in advance of wide digital releases
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: We feel independent film faces the biggest challenge in 2021 and beyond. We are optimistic that solutions will be found, but where, when and by whom, it’s too soon to tell.
ANYTHING ELSE: We’re interested to partner early in the filmmaking process to help guide filmmakers in making the right choices before making their films and give them the best shot of recouping their budgets once their films are complete.
ON DISTRIBUTION: Stealing a line from a recent filmmaker podcast: “If you build it, they will NOT come.” Make NO assumptions or base any decisions on hearsay, anecdotes, intuition or some other filmmaker’s experience more than a year old. Talk directly to sales agents and distributors actively selling in the current markets. None of the old rules apply any more. NONE.

STRAND RELEASING
BIO: Founded in 1989, Strand Releasing is one of the leading U.S. distributors of foreign language, American independent, and documentary films in the U.S. in theaters, on DVD/Blu-Ray and via Video-On-Demand. Strand Releasing was honored with a ten and twenty year retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Other honors have included retrospectives at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, the Seattle International Film Festival, the Provincetown Film Festival and the Eastman-Kodak House in Rochester, New York.
SIZE: 4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 21-30
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020:  21-30
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 21-30
TYPE OF CONTENT:  Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM: 10-15 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS:  Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES:  Mogul Mowgli, Monsoon, Minyan, Charlatan
SUBMISSIONS: Through a sales agent
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We have moved our titles to Virtual Cinema, created unique offerings partnering with @HomeArts and Eventive. Unfortunately furloughs are ongoing 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: No
ON DISTRIBUTION: Research the company you are reaching out to. Many do not take unsolicited materials, and further some companies specialize in specific genres. I can’t tell you how many times people reach out with no info or idea of what strand offers

UTOPIA
BIO: Founded in 2019, Utopia Media is a full-service film development, packaging, distribution and sales company with a ‘filmmaker first’ approach co-founded by filmmaker Robert Schwartzman. Recent Utopia titles include the official Sundance 2020 selection Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, celebrated fashion documentary House of Cardin, Academy Award Winner Errol Morris’ American Dharma, Annabelle Attanasio’s Cannes breakout, Mickey and the Bear, starring Camila Morrone, Tim Heidecker’s Adult Swim comedy Mister America, Liam Firmager’s portrait of trailblazing singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro in Suzi Q and the 4K restoration of Hal Needham’s 1986 cult-classic Rad, among others.
SIZE: 4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020:  21-30
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 30+ 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS:  All rights, worldwide
TERM:  10-15 years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets; House of Cardin; RAD; Suzi Q
SUBMISSIONS: Via email 
PANDEMIC PIVOT:  We have been able to use our sister company’s Altavod platform to pivot our theatrical releases to hybrid/virtual theatrical releases and be creative about releasing digitally as opposed to “in person.” 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes

TERROR FILMS
BIO: Terror Films LLC was formed in 2014. We focus on the acquisition, distribution and marketing of independent horror films. 
SIZE: 4-10 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 4-10
TYPE OF CONTENT: Fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: Digital only, North America
TERM: 3-5 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: .No, we don’t look at social media channels for the film or the filmmaker before acquiring a film.
FESTIVALS: Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, Telluride Film Festival, Many Genre Festivals
RECENT RELEASES: Derelicts, Noise in the Middle, The Night They Knocked
SUBMISSIONS: Either directly through our website or sales rep.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We shifted heavily toward expanding our AVOD platform relationships and releasing films on these platforms in the early stage of the release since Ad based platforms have exploded during these difficult times in which people can’t afford multiple subscriptions and or a rental fees. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: Every person on our team is a filmmaker. We’ve done it all and still do. We have been on the other side of many crappy distribution deals ourselves so we work harder than most indie labels to promote every film (we actually guarantee it) and do all we can to place filmmakers in the best financial position possible. It’s also a marathon with us, not a sprint. We are promoting films that have been with us since the beginning. We never give up. 
ON DISTRIBUTION: There are no guarantees for success. There is no magic handbook. No one knows how to make your film make money. It’s all educated guess work and passion for what we do. There are people who actually give shit about getting your films out there and making them successful. 

VARIANCE FILMS
BIO:Variance was founded in 2008 to work directly with filmmakers, producers, and rights holders to execute bespoke marketing campaigns and theatrical releases for top-tier independent films.
SIZE: 1-3 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: Variance does not generally acquire rights, we work as an agent of filmmakers/rightsholders
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: (same as above) 
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:  (same as above) 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: Theatrical only (including virtual), North America
TERM: Duration of release, after which rights revert
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Cannes International Film Festival, Fantasia Festival, Fantastic Fest, New Directors/New Films, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Tigers Are Not Afraid, Scales
SUBMISSIONS: Through representation or festival circuit.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We’ve done a lot with virtual cinema and drive-ins, and plan to do so through 2021 or longer. We like the virtual model as a supplement to theatrical, once theatrical is back and running, and hope it sticks around.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:  Yes
ON DISTRIBUTION:  You don’t need permission so long as you have a good film.

VERTICAL ENTERTAINMENT
BIO: North America/UK Distributor
SIZE: 16-30 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED IN 2019: TBD
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 30+
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:  TBD
TYPE OF CONTENT: Fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM: TBD
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS:  Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES:  Shadow In The Cloud, Informer, Capone
SUBMISSIONS: Direct e-mail
PANDEMIC PIVOT: PVOD
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Too soon to tell 

VIRGIL FILMS AND ENTERTAINMENT
BIO: Founded in 2003 Virgil Films & Entertainment has been behind the successful release of such award winning hits as “Super Size Me, “Restrepo,” Glen Campbell; I’ll Be Me” “I am Chris Farley” “I am Heath Ledger” “We Are Columbine” “Clarence Clemons Who Do I Think I Am” and the multi selling “Forks Over Knives” franchise. Our Originals team also successfully sold the documentary TV Series “Happy Jail” to Netflix. With long standing relationships with SVOD accounts, Premium Cable, TVOD and now Virtual Cinema accounts VFE is poised to continue to be the distributor of choice to get your film in front of as many consumers as possible. 
SIZE: 4-10 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 21-30
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 21-30
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 21-30
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS:  All rights, North America
TERM: 3-5 years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Fest, Garden State Film Fest, Woodstock Film Fest, AFM
RECENT RELEASES:  Nasrin, Maybe Next Year, Michael Smerconish Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Talking, Seven Yards
SUBMISSIONS: send it to me at joe@virgilfilmsent.com
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We strengthened our Originals division and began to pitch programs to accounts to help get feature films and TV series financed. Our relationships get us in the door, the program takes over from there. We also began releasing our acquired films on Virtual Cinema sites to help bolster revenue and PR leading into our traditional VOD/DVD release. We also instituted a new service agreement that is different from the traditional distribution deal we offer that gives filmmakers a guaranteed way to get their film up on all VOD sites.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE:  We are here to work with the filmmakers as partners throughout the planning and execution of their release. We pride ourselves on this.
ON DISTRIBUTION:  Knowledge of the consumer base and what is available.

VISION FILMS
BIO: Lise Romanoff, Managing Director/ CEO of Vision Films, Inc. has been in the Distribution business for almost 30 years. Founded in 1997, and based in Marina Del Rey, CA, Vision Films is a Worldwide Distribution Company with a library of over 800 independent Feature Films and Documentaries. Vision Films releases 2-4 New Release titles each month in the Domestic market (USA and Canada). We manage all windows across a limited Theatrical, DVD, TVOD, SVOD, AVOD and Television release. We have a DVD label with AEC/ Mill Creek. We are a direct VOD Aggregator. Out domestic VOD partners include premium Cable VOD services such as iNDemand, Vubiquity, Dish, Direct TV, and in Canada, Shaw, Rogers, Bell and Telus. We also release on all of the Digital Platforms such as Amazon, iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Vudu, Vimeo, Google Play, and FandangoNow. Then 3 months after TVOD, we typically license the SVOD Platforms such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime, or Pay or Cable TV depending on the Film. And then 6-12 months later, we may release on AVOD such as Tubi, Xumo, Roku, Pluto, The Peacock and YouTube as this method of distribution has now matured to become very profitable.  Vision also has a strong International division. We attend all the Sales Markets (now Virtual!) such as NATPE in January, EFM in Berlin in February, Hong Kong Filmart in March, MIPTV in April, Cannes Film Festival in May, TIFF in September, MIPCOM in October and the AFM in November. Lise currently serves on the board of IFTA on the Executive Committee, and is an active member of OTT.X. 
SIZE: 11-15 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 50-100
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020:  50-100
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 50-100 
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, worldwide
TERM:  5-10 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, AFM, MIPTV, MIPCOM, NATPE
RECENT RELEASES: Adverse, a theatrical feature film starring Mickey Rourke, Penelope Ann Miller, and Sean Astin; Hot Money, a full length Documentary with General Wesley Clark Sr. and Jr., The Black Emperor, a feature film about the first black Broadway star; S.O.S: Survive or Sacrifice with Billy Baldwin; Dune Drifter, an edge of your seat sci-fi film; Liza, Liza starring Mikey Madison, an innocent romance; Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story, The Farmer & The Belle: Saving Santaland and Christmas With A Crown and more.
SUBMISSIONS: We don’t produce or finance, therefore we are only accepting films that are green lit. Please send a detailed email to me at Lise@visionfilms.net with as much information about the film as possible in the body of the email. 
PANDEMIC PIVOT:  No changes, we were lucky as we started working virtual 3 years ago. 
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: We are a hybrid. We release ourselves and are a Distributor in the domestic market, and we also have a sales staff of 4 that specializes in licensing all the Territories around the world. 
ON DISTRIBUTION:  I try to give filmmakers as much info as possible in the beginning so they totally understand what we do and how we do it. We provide full transparency and offer a producer reporting online portal where they can go on and see all the activity on their film in between reporting periods. 

WELL GO USA
BIO: Well Go USA is a theatrical and home entertainment distribution company that specializes in bringing top content, including the best in Asian Cinema, Genre and Independent Films from the US and around the world, to North America, United Kingdom, Australia and Asia. As a leader in independent film distribution, Well Go’s titles can be seen across a variety of platforms, including in theaters, on-demand, via subscription VOD, electronic rental and sell-thru, DVD, Blu-ray and broadcast television. Well Go also owns and operates its own SVOD and linear AVOD channel Hi-YAH! described as martial arts mayhem 24/7.
SIZE: 31-50 employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 30+
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 30+
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: TBD  
TYPE OF CONTENT: Fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  15-25 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It helps, but an online presence isn’t necessary.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Cannes International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: IP MAN 4, TRAIN TO BUSAN presents PENINSULA, CUT THROAT CITY, SYNCHRONIC, POSSESSOR
SUBMISSIONS:  if we don’t already have a relationship with the filmmaker, then thru agencies or reps 
PANDEMIC PIVOT: We released 4 films theatrically during the pandemic and the biggest change to those releases, aside from lowering our theatrical projections, was probably shortening of some of the windows. We’ve also acquired less foreign films, specifically films that are heavily reliant on theatrical revenue where we have to release close to its home country’s theatrical date.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021:  Yes
ON DISTRIBUTION: Talent and filmmaker support can make such a difference on how a film performs for a distributor. 

WOLFE RELEASING/ WOLFE VIDEO
BIO: Founded in 1985 Wolfe is an exclusive distributor of LGBTQ content
SIZE: 4-10 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019: 4-10
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021: 11-20 
TYPE OF CONTENT: LGBTQ content in all forms
RIGHTS: All rights, worldwide
TERM:  5-10 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA:  Wolfe enjoys working with our filmmakers to maximize opportunities
FESTIVALS:  Berlin International Film Festival, South by Southwest, Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival
RECENT RELEASES: Hurricane Bianca, Adam, Retablo, Just Charlie, Where We Go From Here, 1985
SUBMISSIONS: Send a link and all information to: Evan@Wolfevideo.com
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Many small changes to adapt to the new realities and carry on.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes 
ANYTHING ELSE: We consider our filmmakers to be part of our LBGTQ family all working together.

ZEITGEIST FILMS
BIO: Zeitgeist was founded in 1988 by Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo. Zeitgeist acquires and distributes foreign language and documentary films. Zeitgeist has a history of identifying talent and released first films by Todd Haynes, Christopher Nolan, Laura Poitras, Deepa Mehta, Francois Ozon, Atom Egoyan and the Quay Brothers. Their catalog includes films from the world’s outstanding filmmakers including Guy Maddin, Derek Jarman, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Peter Greenaway, Marguerite von Trotta, Matt Tyrnauer, Philippe Garrel, Yvonne Rainer, Andrei Zyvagintsev, Astra Taylor, Ken Loach and Raoul Peck. Zeitgeist is renowned for ground-breaking documentaries which include THE CORPORATION, TROUBLE THE WATER, LAST TRAIN HOME, BALLETS RUSSES, MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, INTO GREAT SILENCE, DERRIDA, UP THE YANGTZE, BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, EVA HESSE, STUDIO 54 and BOMBSHELL: The Hedy Lamarr Story. Zeitgeist’s model was always theatrical and until 2016 they also had an in-house educational, DVD, TV and digital division. In 2017 they entered into a multi-year strategic alliance with Kino Lorber. Zeitgeist still identifies and releases their films theatrically (at this point virtually) and Kino Lorber handles the other platforms. Zeitgeist celebrated their 32nd anniversary on November 1.
SIZE: 1-3 Employees
FILMS ACQUIRED 2019:  4-10 
FILMS ACQUIRED 2020: 4-10
FILMS ANTICIPATED 2021:  4-10
TYPE OF CONTENT: Both documentary and fiction, feature-length films
RIGHTS: All rights, North America
TERM:  5-10 Years
SOCIAL MEDIA: It is important. We rely on the marketing muscle of the filmmaking team in addition to our own.
FESTIVALS: Berlin International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, We have attended festivals all over the world but at the moment the above are the festivals we would be attending were it possible
RECENT RELEASES: Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint; Oliver Sacks: His Own Life; Acasa, My Home
SUBMISSIONS: We depend on festivals to curate for us but we hear from sales agents about new films and also through word of mouth from our trusted colleagues. We don’t accept films ‘over the transom’.
PANDEMIC PIVOT: Our partners Kino Lorber were able to pivot quickly and effectively onto their virtual theatrical platform Kino Marquee which allowed us to do the same
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT 2021: Yes
ANYTHING ELSE: When we started Zeitgeist we were one of the only woman-owned and operated theatrical distribution companies and now that we’ve celebrated 32 years in business there are more women in theatrical distribution but far from enough. 
ON DISTRIBUTION: We may have to write a book about that some day.

DECLINED TO PARTICIPATE OR DID NOT RESPOND:

A24, Amazon, Apple, Aubin Pictures, Blue Fox Entertainment, Cardinal Releasing, Cinema Guild, CNN Films, Comedy Dynamics, Dada FIlms, Darksky, Distrib Films US, Entertainment One/Momentum, Focus Features, Fox Searchlight, Freestyle Digital Media, Gravitas, Greenwich, Gunpowder and Sky, HBO, HBOMax, Hulu, Janus Films, KimStim, Lionsgate, Magnet Releasing, Menemsha, Music Box FIlms, Neon, Netflix, Orion, Random Media, Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Seed & Spark, Shout! Factory, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony Worldwide, Terror Films, Vega Baby, Venera Films

Feel free to reach out if you’d like to be included: liz.manashil@gmail.com