The film distribution process begins when you have decided you want people to see your movie. This is the process that makes your film shift from private to public, and this way people will see your finished product in cinemas or on any other distribution platform.
Say you have finished a great movie and it is so spectacular that you want to share it with the world (congratulations). But hey! Wait, how is this done? Don’t worry if you don’t know, here we will share with you a small guide where you can see what you need to do after you have finished your movie:
This is a stage most filmmakers are familiar with, but sometimes – instead of focusing on getting a distributor – they focus on winning festival prizes. The purpose of festivals is to show your movie and to talk with people in the industry to find opportunities for your movie to get distribution. This is the aim a successful filmmaker should prioritize.
Remember that winning awards is important, because these will make people turn their heads to see your movie, but it is more important to distribute your movie in a professional and serious way. Our advice is: do not take it to all the festivals you find, take it to the most important ones and then plan a good theatrical release or any other platform you want.
Film festivals are a window for sales to the different films presented there. So if you went to some selected major festival or not, take full advantage of meeting with producers, distributors, and the distributors guild.
Let’s use a case study: for some reason or another, a distributor was very interested in your film and you manage to get your film to be selected by them. They will distribute it at a national or regional level (or whatever the case). Keep calm and don’t jump up and down in excitement yet, because this is only the starting point of a long and tedious, or a short and easy negotiation. You always need to be aware of what you are going to get from the agreement and make sure your expectations are at least 90% in accordance with the contract you’re going to sign.
Once an agreement has been met by the distributor and the filmmaker/producer/director then all the arrangements for the film to be released to the public will begin.
Self distribution is a fear of many filmmakers, as they believe that if they don’t have the support of a distributor they will never have access to valuable services to release their film for maximum exposure. The good news is this idea is totally false. Sure you can! Maybe self distribution will involve more work and you may have to learn new skills, but you can always surround yourself with experts who are dedicated to aiding the process of self distribution. There is a lot of information available on the internet to guide you, as well as platforms for filmmakers to interact and discuss the process where you can ask for help about anything you don’t understand.
In another post, we’ll discuss further and in greater detail the different steps you need to follow when you decide to self-distribute your film.
You can read a little bit more about the words used in the distribution world:
If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below.